MESSIAH – GOD AND MAN
The word ’Messiah’ means ’anointed.’ God’s anointed
1. the king (I Sam. 9.16, I Kings 19.15)
2.the high priest (Exodus 30.30, Leviticus 16.32)
(I Kings 19.16). A pagan could also be in this category
– for example,
Cyrus the king of
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
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
Among the Messianic believers there are different opinions
regarding the Torah:
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,
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
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
In general all Hebrew names have a meaning which can be
translated into other languages. For example the name of
the prophet and judge of
’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
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
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
that He is the first and the last.
“Truly, Thou are a God who hides Himself, O God of
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
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).
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
contain the meaning that the Savior and reconciler of
all the sins of mankind will be born from God’s wife,
the nation of
“…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
took place in
Bethlehem Ephratah, too little to be among the clans of
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
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
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
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
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
himself come in the flesh. “And I will pour out on the
house of David and
on the inhabitants of
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”
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
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:
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
”’Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of
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
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."