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MESSIAH – GOD AND MAN

 

The word ’Messiah’ means ’anointed.’ God’s anointed

ones were

1. the king (I Sam. 9.16, I Kings 19.15)

2.the high priest (Exodus 30.30, Leviticus 16.32)

3. a chosen servant of God’s kingdom, a prophet

(I Kings 19.16).  A pagan could also be in this category

– for example, Cyrus the king of Persia (Isaiah 45.1).

 

Judaism possesses a Messianic expectation.  Rabbi Moshe

ben Maimon (1135-1204) known as RaMBaN for short

and also known as Moses Maimonides listed thirteen basic

ideas regarding this expectation.  The twelfth is as follows:

”I believe  with a firm faith in the coming of Messiah and,

even if He tarries, I will still wait for Him every day.”

 

The Jewish expectation of a Messiah is based originally

on the more than 300 biblical prophecies.  On the basis

of these prophecies  someone is ex­pect­ed, who is not

merely king, high priest, or prophet, but who is all of these

in one person. Later there arose varying beliefs as to who

or what the Messiah is.  In the opinion of some he is

descended from King David.  In the opinion of others

he is God’s anointed one regardless of ancestry.  Some

await only an age of Messianic peace which might be

achieved polltically.

 

Christians also have an expectation of the coming of

Messiah (or ’Christ’ as he is usually called.  They believe

that he came to earth 2000 years ago.  He was not received

by His people, He was crucified and, upon arising from the

dead, He ascended into  heaven. Before His ascension He

promised to return.

 

Among Christians we find different understandings

regarding Christ. The majority believe that He is the

son of God.  But there are variations to what the term

‘son of God’ means. Others believe that that He is the

Son of God begotten by the Holy Spirit, but in His deity

a lesser god. There are also some who believe that He is

the Son of God but not God just a man.  Other Christians

believe that He is God in the flesh.

 

Also among Jews who believe in Jesus there are differing

views. These Jews who believe in Jesus are generally called

‘Messianic Jews’.  But in a broader sense the Jews who

await a different Messiah or a Messianic age are also

Messianic – not just those who believe in Jesus. 

Nevertheless we use the word ‘Messianic’ to mean Jews

who believe in Jesus. Messianic Jews generallycall Him

by His Hebrew name – Yeshua.

 

Among the early believers in Yeshua there were at least

Jewish three sects:  the Elkanites, Ebionites, and Nazarenes. 

1. The Elkanites became a gnostic sect and lost their faith.

Gnostic sects appeared in the first three centuries AD; they

contained a mixture of  Eastern religions, Christianity,

mystery cults, and Greek philosophy.

2. The Ebionites drifted into heretical teachings. They

distorted the Messiah’s nature and personality. They

denied his deity.  He was not the Son of God, they made

of him a man, a Davidic Messiah.

3. The Nazerenes were the most remarkable group because

doctrinally they held to the true scriptures even though they

tried to use Jewish customs to express their faith and they

preserved many customs and practices of their Jewish

heritage.  As a result they suffered severe persecution

from both the synagogue and the Catholic church.

 

That is how it was in history. Today the situation if similar.

Among Christians as well as Messianic Jews there are those

who believe that Christ is God’s Son, begotten of the Holy

Spirit but in His deity is a lesser god.  There are also those

who do not believe in His deity but consider Him a man

anointed by God, the son of Joseph.

 

The majority of Messianic believers believe as the early

Nazarenes did – that Yeshua is God’s son who lived on

the earth, paid for the sins of mankind by his death on the

cross, rose from the dead, and returned to heaven from

which he will return at the end of this age to judge the

unbelieving world and to initiate a new eternal age.

 

Judaism in general and most Messianic Jewish believers

call this eternal age ‘the world to come’. In Judaism the

term ‘Messianic age’ means specifically ‘the world to

come’. But biblically speaking it is already here.

The Messianic age does not mean only the time of

Messiah’s earthly life but in general it means the age

of the dispensation of grace during which Messiah serves

as mediator.

 

Among the Messianic believers there are different opinions

regarding the Torah:

1. A believer in Yeshua is free from the law.

1. By means of the covenant of Moses a Jew is obligated

to personal obedience to the Torah.

3. The translation of the phrase Christ is the end of the law

(Romans 10.4) is faulty.   The word teloV (telos) means

‘goal’, ‘intention’, ‘fulfill­ment’. Messiah did not put and

will not put an end to the Law.  It means more specifically

that the goal and intention of the Torah is in Messiah and

in faith in Him.  He is the logical result and fulfillment of

the observance of the Torah. In the New Covenant God

has written his Torah onto people’s hearts. According to

Jeremiah 31.31 God has not changed the Torah except

for making the letter alive.  Yeshua himself warned his

disciples about workers of lawlessness (Matt. 5.17-20,

7.21-23).

 

From the Scriptures we can determine who Messiah is.

We will begin with the words of Yeshua.  These are hard

words. What man would dare to say this?  “He said to them,

‘You are from below.  I Am from above, you are of this

world, I am not of this world.  Therefore I said to you that

you will die in your sins for unless you believe me to be

who I am, you will die in your sins’” (John 8:23,24).

 

When Eve was deceived in paradise by the serpent, she

took the fruit of the forbidden tree and offered it to her

husband.  They ate it together.  After the Fall God uttered

these words to the woman and to the serpent: ”’What

have you done’? The woman answered, ’the serpent

deceived me and I ate.’ And the Lord God said to the

serpent, ’Since you did this, cursed are you among all

cattle and all beasts of the field.  On your stomach you

shall move and eat dust all your life.  And i will put enmity

between you and the woman and between your seed and

her seed.  He shall strike you on the head and you will

bruise his heel’” (Genesis 3.13-15).

 

This is the first promise of reconciliation in Messiah that is

given in the Bible.  He will be born of a woman, but His

beginning will not be from the natural relation between a

man and a woman.  The prophet wrote, ”But as for you,

Bethlehem Ephratah, too little to be among the clans of

Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in

Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days

of eternity.” (Micah 5.1).  His origin is from eternity.  This

is the prophecy regarding the earthly location where he will

be born in flesh.

 

”Drop down, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds

pour down righteousness; let the earth open up and salvation

bear fruit, and righteousness spring up with it.  I, the YHVH

(Lord), have created it” (Isaiah 45.8).  From eternity there

is no one but God, YHVH.

 

The exact pronunciation of the name YHVH is not known

since in accordance with the third commandment none of

the Jews would utter the name except the High Priest and

he did so only once a year when he entered the Holy of

Holies on the great Day of Atonment.  The pronunciation

of the name was transmitted from one high priest to the

next but when the temple and its Holy of Holies were

destroyed in 70 AD, the way of of pronuncing it was lost

since no one could any longer enter the Holy of Holies on

the Day of Atonement and the name could not be uttered

anywhere else.

 

In general all Hebrew names have a meaning which can be

translated into other languages.  For example the name of

Judah’s king Asa means ’healer’ or ’physician’.  The name

Shmuel (Samuel), the prophet and judge of Israel, means

’heard by God’ or ’God hears.’ Channah (Hannah), the name

of Samuel’s mother, means ’received mercy’.

 

God’s name is written with four Hebrew letters יהוה YHVH

and appears almost 7,000 times in the Tanakh (the Hebrew

Old Testament).  This name comes from the Hebrew verb

הוה HAWAH, ‘the being one’, ‘I am’, ‘becoming someone’

in the causative mode and it means ‘I am the present one’

(I am present) or ‘can become someone’.  He can thus

become that which is needed so that His purpose could be

fulfilled.  In fulfillment of His promises He becomes among

other things Creator, Judge, Savior, and Sustainer of Life.

This verb is in the grammatical mode that indicates activity

in the process of fulfillment.  Thus He becomes the one who

fulfills His promises.

 

The prophet Isaiah prophesied about Messiah, “For

a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and

the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name

will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal

Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9.5).  From this we see

that He is God.

 

The apostle Paul wrote, “who, although He existed in the

form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to

be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a

bondservant (or slave), and being made in the likeness

of men, and being found in the appearance of a man…“

(Philippians 2.6-7). His coming into the world was already

prophesied in Paradise after the Fall.  His birth as a man

was not according to nature even though He became a

man. He departed from His deity and became fully human.

 

His beginning as a man is recorded in Matthew’s gospel

“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows.  When His

mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they

came together she was found to be with child by the Holy

Spirit.  And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and

not wanting to disgrace her, desired to put her away secretly.

But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the

Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, ‘Joseph, son of

David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that

which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.  And

she will bear a Son , and you shall call His name Jesus, for

it is He who will save His people from their sins.’ Now this

all took place that what was spoken by the Lord through

the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, ‘Behold the virgin

shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call

His name Immanuel,’ which translated means ‘God with us’.

And Joseph arose from his sleep, and did as the angel of the

Lord com­manded him, and took her as his wife, and kept

her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His

name Jesus” (Matthew 1.18-25).

 

God was coming into the world and the words of the

prophet “God with us” (Isaiah 7.14) were being fulfilled.

 

In Bible translations the name Yeshua is usually not in its

Hebrew original.  The name which the angel said he should

be given is ישוע, YESHUA in Hebrew.  The name means

‘YHVH saves’ or ‘YHVH’s salvation’.  The meaning of

the name cannot conveyed in translations.  Yeshua is thus

‘salvation sent by YHVH’, ‘YHVH himself as a man’,

‘God with us’.

 

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer,

the Lord of hosts: I am the first and I am the last, and

there is no God besides Me” (Isaiah 44.6).  YHVH is

Israel’s King and Redeemer and He says of Himself,

that He is the first and the last.

 

“Truly, Thou are a God who hides Himself, O God of

Israel, Savior.  … Declare and set forth your case; indeed,

let them consult together.  Who has announced this from

of old? Who has long since declared it?  Is it not I, the Lord?

And there is no other God besides Me, a righteous God and

a Savior.  There is none except Me.  Turn to Me, and be

saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is

no other” (Isaiah 45.15,21,22).  The God of Israel, the only

God, is Savior.  “…God was in Christ  reconciling the world

to Himself … (II Cor. 5.19).

 

There is another meaning to the words that God spoke in

paradise besides the meaning that Messiah is to be born

of a virgin.   “And I will put enmity between you and the

woman and between your seed and her seed, He shall

bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on

the heel” (Genesis 3.15).

 

Israel is likened to God’s wife. That is seen in many of

the texts of the prophets, for example, in Jeremiah 3.20

and especially in Hosea’s book which speaks at this level

in almost its entirety.  The words spoke in Eden also

contain the meaning that the Savior and reconciler of

all the sins of mankind will be born from God’s wife,

the nation of Israel.

 

“…who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as

sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of

the Law and the temple service and the promises, whose

are the fathers and from whom is the Messiah (Christ)

according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed

forever. Amen” (Romans 9.4,5).

 

Messiah is an Israelite in his flesh since his mother was

a virgin from the tribe of Judah.  Messiah’s birth as a man

took place in Bethlehem, a town that belonged to the tribe

of Judah as the prophet Micah foretold, “But as for you,

Bethlehem Ephratah, too little to be among the clans of

Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in

Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days

of eternity” (Micah 5.2).

 

God spoke these words to Moses which refer to the

Messiah, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a

prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen,

you shall listen to him… I will raise up a prophet from

among their countrymen like you, and I will put My

words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that

I command him.  And it shall come about that whoever

will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My

name, I Myself will require it of him”  (Deuteronomy

18.15,18-19).

 

When Yeshua lived on the earth among the Jewish people,

He did countless signs and wonders including healing the

sick, setting free those bound by spirits, and multiplying

food.  He also gave this same power to his followers.

When Yeshua had been crucified, buried, and had risen

from the grave after three days, He revealed himself to

his disciples during a 40-day period and finally, before

ascending to heaven, He promised that He would send

the Holy Spirit and the disciples would be anointed

with power.  This happened on Shavuot (Pentecost) in

Jerusalem. From that point in time the disciples began

their work filled with power and signs and wonders

began to happen by means of their hands.

 

One day through the efforts of Peter and John a lame

man rose to his feel and began to walk normally and

praised God for it.  This awakened great astonishment

in the people. Therefore Peter explained to the people,

“But where Peter saw this, he replied to the people, ‘Men

of Israel, why do you marvel at this, or why do you gaze

at us, as if by our own power or piety, we had made him

walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God

of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one

whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of

Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. But you

disowned the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for

a murderer to be granted to you, but put to death the

Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead,

- a fact to which we are witnesses.  And on the basis of

faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has

strengthened this man whom you see and know; and

the faith which comes through Him has given him this

perfect health in the presence of you all.  And now,

brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as

your rulers did also.  But the things which God announced

beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His

Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled.  Repent

therefore and return, that your sins may be wiped away,

in order that times of refreshing may come from the

presence of the Lord and that He may send Jesus, the

Christ appointed for you, whom heaven must receive

until the period of restoration of all things about which

God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from

ancient time.  And Moses said, ‘The Lord God shall

raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren,

to Him you shall give heed in everything He says to you.

And it shall be that every soul that does not heed that

Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the

people.  And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken,

from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced

these days. It is you who are the sons of the prophets, and

of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying

to Abraham, ‘and in your seed all the families of the earth

shall be blessed.’  For you first, God raised up His Servant,

and sent Him to you to bless you by turning every one

of you from your wicked ways.’” Yeshua is that prophet

whom God said through Moses he would raise from

among the people of Israel.

 

The following prophesy from the Old Testament

confirms that the reconciler of our sins, our redeemer,

Yeshua, who shed his blood on the cross on Golgatha

outside Jerusalem and gave His life, was truly YHVH

himself come in the flesh. “And I will pour out on the

house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the

Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look

on Me, whom they have pierced; and they will mourn

for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will

weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over

a first-born” (Zechariah 12.10). 

 

Here the prophet foretells Messiah’s death which

happened when the Romans crucified Jesus and how

in the last days the Jewish people will come to repentance

when it is revealed to them who this person is whom they

turned over to the mercies of their brutal occupiers for

judgment.  From Zechariah 12. 1,4,5,7,8 we see that here

it is YHVH speaking. They will be looking at YHVH

Himself and be mourning and grieving over Him whom

they turned over to the pagans for execution.

 

Let us read from the book of Isaiah: “I have sworn by

Myself, the word has gone forth from My mouth … and

will not turn back, that to me every knee will bow, every

tongue will swear allegiance (Isaiah 45.23).  Since Jesus,

having emptied Himself of the form of God, humbled

Himself and became like a man and was obedient unto

death – a reconciling death on the cross, He is the one

before whom every knee must bow. “Therefore God highly

exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is

above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee

should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth,

and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”

(Philippians 2.9-11).

 

In the book of Revelation John writes about Messiah

and reveals him as the one who arose to heaven after

His resurrection.   “And I turned to see the voice that was

speaking to me.  And having turned I saw seven golden

lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands on lie

a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and

girded across his breast with a golden girdle.  And His head

and His hair were white like white wood, like snow; and

His eyes were like a flame of fire; and His feet were like

burnished bronze, when it has been caused to glow in a

furnace, and His voice as like the sound of many waters.

And in His right hand He held seven stars; and out of His

mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was

like the sun shining in its strength.  And when I saw Him,

I fell at His feet as a dead man.  And He laid His right

hand upon me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first

and the last, and the living One; and I was dead, and

behold, I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of

death and of Hades” (Rev 1.12-18).

 

He thus no longer appears just as an ordinary man.  He is

truly in the form of a man as the words “like a son of man”

reveal.  In their original meaning the wordsבן-אדם ,

BEN-ADAM, ’son of man’ simply mean a man. He אל שדי,

EL SHADDAI, God Almighty, יהוה JHWH, the First and the

Last, apeared to John and he was able to see Him as he

now is.

 

The prophet writes, ”… whoever calls on the name of the

Lord will be delivered” (Joel 2.32).  The apostle Saul (or

Paul) borrows Joel’s text and writes, ”For whoever will call

upon the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10.13).

 

Throughout the New Testament it is taught that Yeshua

saves.  In the Acts of the Apostles Peter (or Simon) was

recorded as saying,  “And there is salvation in no on else:

for there is no other name under heaven that has been

given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4.12). 

We see that by this he means the name of Yeshua (v.10).

Likewise Saul in writing to Timothy emphasizes salvation

in Yeshua, “For this reason I endure all things for the sake

of those who are chosen, that they also may obtain the

salvation which is in Christ Jesus and with it eternal glory”

(II Timothy 2.10).

 

Saul teaches that one should call upon the name of YHVH

but elsewhere he says that salvation is in Yeshua.  Is there

a contradiction here?

 

Let us take a closer look at the Hebrew name ישוע YESHUA.

It contains the meaning ’help’ or ’salvation’ in its three-letter

root ישע YESH'A.

 

This name has two parts. The first part is the letter YOD ( י ).

It indicates God’s name יהוה YHVH. This name of God

appears in the Old Testament in its entirety or in parts:

 

י

יה

יהו

יהוה

 

The lettter י YOD appears in some names.

 

The letters י YOD and ה HE form the word יה YAH, God.

 

It also appears in the names of many people in the Bible. 

The letters י YOD, ה HE ja ו VAV form the word יהו YAHU

and it appears in the names of many people in the Bible

such as Yesha'yahu (Isaiah ) ja Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah).

 

The three letters of the second part שוע SHU'A, mean

’call for help’.

 

When we say the name ישוע, YESHUA, it means, depending

on  the immediate situarion, a call for help – YHVH save

me! – or thanks and praise for his salvation.  There is thus

no contradiction for everyone who calls upon the name of

YHVH shouts: Yeshua!

 

He is not only God’s annointed man and the son of Mirjam

(Mary) and Joseph.  And he is not in his divinity a lesser

god, He is God, YHVH, who lived upon the earth as a man,

atoned for the sins of mankind by His death on the cross

– reconciled the world by means of himself (II Cor 5.19)

and arose from the dead and returned to heaven.  From

there he will return at the end of the age to judge the

unbelieving world and establish His eternal Messianic

kingdom, the world to come in which God dwelling place

will be in the midst of men as the prophet Zechariah

prophesied, ”’Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion;

for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst’,

declares the Lord” (Zechariah 2.10).   The initial fulfillment

of this prophecy was when Yeshua the Word became flesh

and dwelt among his people (John 1.14, notice also verse

1 of this chapter).

 

John saw in his Revelation the final fulfillment of this

prophecy of Zechariah and he writes about it in his

Revelation:  ”And I heard a loud voice from the throne,

saying, ‘Behold the tabernacle of God is among men,

and He shall dwell among them, and they shall  be His

people, and God Himself shall be among them, and He

shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there

shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be

any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have

passed away’” (Revelation 21.3-4).

 

Before he was born as a man, His name was יהוה YHVH,

now His name is ישוע YESHUA, ’the salvation of YHVH’

and in the world to come He will have a new name

(Rev 3.12): יהוה שמה YHVH SHAMMA, God is there

(Ezekiel 48.35).

 

ברוח אתה יהוה אלהינו מלך העולם האדון ישוע המשיח

BLESSED ARE YOU, YHVH OUR GOD, KING OF

THE UNIVERSE, LORD YESHUA THE MESSIAH

 

 

 

"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®,
Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995
by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."

Original text in Finnish: Messias - Jumala ja ihminen
(Messiah - God and Man), Moshe Zew, 2005
Translation to English:
Steve Mintiyev, 2009

 

 

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