"He was called the Friend of God."
This section will demonstrate how the Hebrew Scriptures prove that a Jewish Messiah would be both God and man and come to redeem His people. In order to understand what the Scriptures teach, prejudices against the person of the Lord Jesus Christ must be set aside and the scriptures approached with an open mind and a teachable spirit, allowing God to illuminate and teach through His Word.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
The goal of Bible study is to identify the Jewish Messiah and to understand how to attain salvation from the judgment of sin and to become reconciled to God through the Messiah. The Apostle Paul assured Timothy:
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
Paul stated that the Scriptures were at that time able to make Timothy wise unto salvation. The Greek Scriptures, however, were at that time not yet complete, so the only means Timothy had available to learn of salvation were the Hebrew Scriptures. The Old Testament is also called the Hebrew Scriptures or Old Covenant and the New Testament is also called the Greek Scriptures or New Covenant.
The men on the road to Emmaus
On the road to Emmaus, two men conversed with the Jewish Messiah after He rose from the dead. After they informed Him of the preceding days’ events, the Lord Jesus Christ expounded everything about the Messiah to them without using the Greek Scriptures, since they had not yet been written. He said to them:
“O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27).
Using only the Hebrew Scriptures, the Lord Jesus Christ was still able to teach the men about Himself. The men then said to each other:
“Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32)
Speaking to the Jews
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)
The Lord Jesus Christ must have been referring to the Hebrew Scriptures, for not a single page of the Greek Scriptures had been written.
The record of the Ethiopian Eunuch
“And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? (Acts 8:34)
The Ethiopian Eunuch bought a copy of the book of Isaiah while in Jerusalem, which he read as he returned home. After reading Isaiah 53, he was confused about the subject of the passage. God intersected the Eunuch’s journey with Philip’s, and when Philip learned of the Eunuch’s confusion, he helped the man to understand, demonstrating his knowledge of Scripture.
“Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” (Acts 8:35)
Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ who live in the Scriptures see the Lord Jesus Christ in all the Scriptures and are always ready to answer questions. Philip, not surprised or concerned by the eunuch’s question, was able to explain that Jesus was the Messiah prophesied in Isaiah. Without using the Greek Scriptures, he preached the Lord Jesus as the Savior of mankind. This section is designed for exactly that purpose. Using only the Hebrew Scriptures, the following pages will answer questions commonly asked by Jewish people who want to know who is the Lord Jesus Christ and how can one know He really is God and the Jewish Messiah.
1. Do the Hebrew Scriptures support the tri-unity of the Godhead?
The common Jewish mind set is that while Jews believe in only One God, Christians believe in three Gods known as the Trinity – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
The word Elohim shows that God is not just one person.
The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to man; the first three words in the Hebrew Bible are Barashith Bara Elohim. The word Elohim is a plural form of the Hebrew word Eloah, meaning “God” or literally “Gods.” Therefore, when used in the Bible, it is best to think of the word Elohim as the word Godhead. In grammar, the subject and the verb should agree in number (i.e. singular or plural). In Genesis 1:1 however, the subject, Elohim, is plural and the verb, bara, meaning “created,” is singular. This confirms the fact that there are multiple persons of the Godhead – God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit – but those three persons are one, acting in perfect unity.
“And the Spirit of God [Elohim] moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2) This introduces the Person known as the Spirit of God, or God the Spirit, one of the members in the Elohim Godhead.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Genesis 1:26) Here we are told how God (Elohim) would make man. Instead of referring to Himself as one person, He used plural words such as “us” and “our.” The plural word for God (Elohim) with the plural personal pronouns of “us” and “our,” the singular nouns of “image” and “likeness,” and the singular verb “make” emphasize that God is three persons acting as one in unity.
“And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:” (Genesis 3:22) After the fall of man, God had to remove Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. God used the word “us” to speak of Himself further revealing that the Godhead is made up of more than one person.
“Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language” (Genesis 11:7). In the account of the Tower of Babel, when man attempted to reach Heaven and make a name for himself, God scattered the people by confounding their languages. Notice the pronoun that is used for God.
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8) Here is just another example of God referring to Himself as “us.”
David, King of Israel, wrote about the different persons of the Godhead in his Psalms.
“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” (Psalm 110:1) God the Father is speaking to God the Son. Here, David mentions two persons in the Godhead.
“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psalm 2:12) King David wrote that the Son is God whose anger will punish sinners, but as the Faithful Redeemer, He can also be trusted to save sinners from the eternal consequences of sin.
“Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together…Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.” (Isaiah 48:13, 16) The prophet Isaiah wrote of the three persons in the Godhead. The speaker in this passage is God the Son, who became the Messiah (“sent one”) when God the Father and God the Spirit sent Him from heaven to earth. Isaiah 48:17 goes on to say that this “Sent One” (the Holy One of Israel) was our Redeemer: “Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
The Hebrew words echad and yachid
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” (Deuteronomy 6:4) This is the most famous Jewish prayer, the Shema. I remember as a child, hearing my father sing, “Shema, Yisrael, Adonai, Elohenu, Adonai, Echad.” I was told that the God of the universe was only one God and not three as the Christians say. But here again, the Hebrew teaches that God is three persons in one. The word Elohenu is the possessive form of Elohim, literally meaning, “our Gods.” There are two words in Hebrew for the word “one,” yachid and echad. Yachid refers to one as in sole, whereas echad means a composite unity. The difference can be seen from their use in the Scriptures.
“And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (Genesis 1:5) The first time the word echad occurs in the Bible is in Genesis 1:5: Two parts, evening and morning, made up one (echad) day.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24) Another use of the word echad: two people, the man and woman, would be one (echad) flesh. A clarification of the word echad is the word “unity.” Using this word, Deuteronomy 6:4 would read, “Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is a unity.”
“And he said, Take now thy son, thine only (yachid) son Isaac, whom thou lovest.” (Genesis 22:2) Yachid is clearly seen when God called Abraham to sacrifice his son. Abraham and his wife Sarah, had only one son, Isaac.
In the Shema, by using the words Elohenu and echad, God is teaching us that He is a trinity of persons with each one acting in perfect unity.
Though it is one of the simplest substances on earth, water is a good representation of the trinity (of God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.) It exists in three states: solid, liquid and gas. Each is water, yet in three different forms.
There is no way to know about God apart from what He reveals in His Word. Over and over again, the Bible points to the plurality of God’s person. Only one conclusion can be drawn from the previous biblical observations and facts: that Elohim is One God but three persons. These persons are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Each perfectly agrees in terms of character, purpose and purity. The tri-unity (or trinity) is Jewish in that it is revealed in the Jewish Scriptures.
The greatest discovery anyone can make in life is to discover that God the Son is the Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the greatest decision anyone can make in life is to receive Him as his personal Savior and Lord. This was expressed by Solomon, King of Israel, who wrote, “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” (Proverbs 30:4) and by David, King of Israel, who wrote “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little, Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” (Psalm 2:12)
2. Is the Jewish Messiah God as a man?
The common Jewish mind set is that the Messiah could never be God, because no man could ever become God. However, the Bible does not teach that man became God; on the contrary, it teaches that God became a man.
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2). The Jewish prophet, Micah prophesied that the Jewish Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. However, Messiah’s existence would not start at birth because He has no beginning; He is “from everlasting.” Eternality is an attribute that belongs only to God, and for Messiah to possess eternality would unquestionably show His deity. This prophecy was fulfilled when the eternal, divine Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
“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.” (Isaiah 9:6) The Jewish prophet, Isaiah also told of the Messiah. In this passage, a promise was given to Israel of a amazing child whose description was unparalleled by any other child ever born. He would be called Wonderful Counselor, The Prince of Peace, The Mighty God, and the Everlasting Father.
God the Son could be referred to as Mighty or Almighty or Everlasting, but why was He called the Father? Each person in the Godhead is so one (echad) with the others the Messiah said concerning Himself, “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9). Though Elohim is three, He is still one. For example, every person is made up of three parts: body, soul and spirit. No one ever asks a person if it is his body, spirit, or soul speaking; they are all one!
“Behold, the days come, saith 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 OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jeremiah 23:5-6) A third Jewish prophet who foretold of the Messiah was Jeremiah. This future descendant of David was described as the “Righteous Branch.” His name would be called “THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Psalms 53:3 says that “there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Who, then, is this righteous Israelite, descendant of David, and One called Lord and God? Who is this One who is a King, a Judge, and the Savior of the Jews? It can be none other than the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
All of these Scriptures teach us clearly that the Messiah is the Son of God or God the Son. As the second person in the Godhead, the Messiah is worthy of our worship.
3. Is the Lord Jesus Christ God?
The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is God is the most important doctrine in all of the Bible. This is because (as we shall see) whether or not a person dies in his sins (goes to hell) is determined by whether or not he believes that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. In my case, as typical of most Jewish people accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as God, it was difficult making a decisive decision to become saved from my sins. The Bible teaches that no one can be saved unless they receive the Lord Jesus Christ as both Savior from sins and Lord or Almighty God. This doctrine that the Lord Jesus Christ is God is the obvious secret in the Bible. For those who want to know the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is God it is clearly revealed in the Bible. But, for those who do not want to know and remain prejudice against Him, Jesus Christ as God remains a concealed secret.”
The Old Testament scriptures clearly state that the Lord Jesus Christ is God:
(1) (Genesis 4:1) “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.” After the fall of man recorded in Genesis 3 God had made a promise that their Redeemer who would destroy Satan would be from the seed of Eve. This promise was recorded in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” What is not recorded, but what Eve nevertheless clearly understood was that the Redeemer (or Messiah) would not only be from her seed or fully man, but that He would be fully God. Most translations do not correctly translate the Hebrew of what Eve actually said in Genesis 4:1. What Eve said in the Hebrew in the latter part of the verse was “kanete ish et yehova.” The Hebrew word “et” identifies the object of the verb. Therefore, Eve said that in that son she had gotten Jehovah or God. Following the promise of the Messiah, and with the birth of her first son Cain, Eve proclaimed that she had gotten a man even God. Eve knew that the Messiah would be fully God and even though Cain was not the Messiah and she wrongly proclaimed that with Cain she had gotten the man God. Nevertheless, Eve knew that the Messiah or the Lord Jesus Christ would be both God and man.
As stated above;
(2) Micah said that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, but that he would be eternal or “whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2) “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” Only God is the eternal One, therefore, the Messiah man or the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(3) The prophet Isaiah said to the Jewish people that the Messiah would be born as a child, be given as a Son, and that His name was the Mighty God, or the El Gabor, or the Almighty God. (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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Only God has the title of the Almighty God, therefore, the Messiah man or the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(4) Jeremiah said that the Messiah would be from David’s line and would be a righteous king who would save the Jewish people. (Jeremiah 23:5-6) “Behold, the days come, saith 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 OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” Jeremiah said the Messiah would be called the Lord, our righteousness. Only God has the title of the Lord, therefore, the Messiah man or the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
The New Testament scriptures clearly state that the Lord Jesus Christ is God:
(5) The book of John opens like the book of Genesis with the words, “In the beginning” stating that in the beginning was the Word and that the Word was God. (John 1:1) “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Fourteen verses later it says that “the Word” or the Lord Jesus Christ became a man. (John 1:14) “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” By calling the Lord Jesus Christ the Word which was God the New Testament states that the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(6) The Lord Jesus Christ was called the Word, and the Word created the world. (John 1:10) “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” God created the world. (Genesis 1:1) “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” By claiming that the Lord Jesus Christ created the world the New Testament claims that the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(7) Only God created all things according to the first two chapters of the Bible, Genesis chapters 1-2. (Colossians 1:13-16) “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” By claiming that the Lord Jesus Christ made all things in heaven and earth the Bible claims that the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(8) The angel that announced the coming birth of the Lord Jesus Christ said in (Matthew 1:23) “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” The angel said that the Lord Jesus Christ would be God with man. Therefore, the Bible claimed that the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(9) A person called the Lord Jesus Christ “good.” (Matthew 19:16-17) “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” The Lord Jesus Christ told this person that there is only person who is “good” and that is God. Since the Lord Jesus Christ did not deny that He was good and that only God is good the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(10) At the final judgment for deciding who will be allowed into Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ said that He would decide who gets to Heaven. (Matthew 7:21-22) “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” In the final judgment only God is called Lord. The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ said that they would say to Him, “Lord, Lord” shows that the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(11) A leper came to the Lord Jesus Christ wanting to be healed. (Matthew 8:2-3) “And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” That leper called the Lord Jesus Christ “Lord” and worshipped Him. “Lord” is a title for God and worship is only to be given to God as He said in (Matt 4:10) “Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ allowed the leper to call Him Lord and to worship Him shows that the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(12) A Gentile Canaanite woman came to the Lord Jesus Christ for her daughter who was tormented by a devil. That woman worshipped Him and called Him Lord. (Matthew 15:25)“Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.” The fact that the Lord Jesus Christ allowed the Canaanite woman to call Him Lord and worship Him shows that the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(13) The Lord Jesus Christ healed a blind man and then identified Himself to that man as the Son of God. (John 9:35-38) “Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.” After the Lord Jesus Christ said He was the Son of God or God the Son the blind man worshipped Him. That the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God the Son and accepted worship from the man he gave sight to shows that the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(14) The only person who would be worshipped by all the angels of God would be God Himself. (Hebrews 1:5-6) “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.” When the Bible says that all the angels of God worshipped the Lord Jesus Christ it is claiming that He is God.
(15) Friends of a sick man brought him to the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Lord Jesus Christ saw the faith of those friends he forgave the sins of the sick man. (Mark 2:5-11) “When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.” Only God can forgive sins. By forgiving this sick man’s sins the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(16) The disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ were accused of working on the Sabbath to which the Lord Jesus Christ responded (Matthew 12:8) “For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” God instituted the Sabbath day and only God is greater than the Sabbath. When the Lord Jesus Christ said that He was greater than the Sabbath, the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(17) To his enemies, the Lord Jesus Christ said that He was equal or one with God the Father. (John 10:30-33) “I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” By saying to the Lord Jesus Christ, “thou, being a man, makest thyself God” His enemies understood clearly that the Lord Jesus Christ was claiming to be God. That the Lord Jesus Christ did not correct His enemies shows that the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(18) When the Lord Jesus Christ claimed He was Lord of David, the Lord Jesus Christ claimed He was God. (Matthew 22:42-44) “Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool?” When the sovereign King David referred to the Messiah as Lord he was calling Him God. When the Lord Jesus Christ claimed He was Lord of David the Lord Jesus Christ claimed He was God.
(19) The Lord Jesus Christ stated that He existed before Abraham. (John 8:57-59) “Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” Only God existed eternally. God told Moses at the burning bush that His name was “I am.” (Exodus 3:13-14) “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” By claiming to exist eternally and claiming the name of “I AM”, the Lord Jesus Christ claimed He is God.
(20) The great “I am” is the title for God who appeared to Moses in the burning bush. The Lord Jesus Christ said that if a person does not believe that He is the “I am” then he will die in his sins or go to hell. (John 8:24) “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” (Note, as “he” is in italics indicates that the word “he” is not in the original but was added by the translators.) By stating that no one can be forgiven from his sins and go to Heaven unless he believes that He is the I am the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(21) When the Jewish leaders delivered the Lord Jesus Christ to the Roman governor Pilate they stated why they wanted the Lord Jesus to be killed. (John 19:6-7) “When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.” When those leaders accused the Lord Jesus Christ of being the Son of God or God the Son they understood clearly that the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(22) When the apostle Thomas was convinced that the Lord Jesus Christ was risen from the dead, Thomas made a title proclamation “My Lord and My God”, the Lord Jesus Christ accepted it, and did not correct him. (John 20:28-29) “And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Thomas called the Lord Jesus Christ his Lord and God and the Lord Jesus Christ accepted that title. That the Lord Jesus Christ accepted the title of God shows that the Lord Jesus Christ claimed to be God.
(23) When the Bible calls Jesus “the Lord Jesus” it means ‘God Jesus’, and the Bible claims that confessing Jesus as God is necessary to be saved from sins and go to Heaven. (Romans 10:9) “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” By calling Jesus Lord the Bible claims the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(24) For every knee to bow before a person and call that person Lord that person must be God. (Philippians 2:10-11) “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” When the Bible states that every knee is going to bow before the Lord Jesus Christ and every tongue will confess Him as Lord the Bible claims that the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(25) When the prophets wrote the Bible they spoke of being controlled by the Spirit of God. Peter wrote about the Spirit of God controlling the prophets. (1 Peter 1:11) “Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” When Peter called the Spirit of God the Spirit of Christ he was claiming that the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(26) The Bible says in I Timothy that God became a man. (1 Timothy 3:16) “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” When the Bible says that God was manifest in the flesh it is stating that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. The Bible identifies the Creator as the Word and then states that the Word was the Lord Jesus Christ who was made flesh. Only God is the Creator. Therefore, the Bible identifies the Lord Jesus Christ as God. (John 1:1-3) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:14-15) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.
(27) If a person is equal with God and in the form of God then that person is God. (Philippians 2:5-7) “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” When the Bible states that the Lord Jesus Christ is equal with God and in the form of God it is stating that the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(28) Every man is judged by the Lord Jesus Christ and only God is the Judge of all men, therefore the Lord Jesus Christ is God. (Romans 14:10-12) “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (John 5:22-23) For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. When the Bible describes the Lord Jesus Christ as judging every man when every man will give an account of himself to God then the Bible is stating that the Lord Jesus Christ is God.
(29) The children of Israel are said to have tempted Christ (the Lord Jesus Christ) in the wilderness. (1 Corinthians 10:9) Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. This is referring to Numbers 21:6 when the Jewish people came out of Egypt and were in the wilderness and provoked God to anger. By calling God Christ the Bible is saying that it was the Lord Jesus Christ who is the God of Israel and took the Jewish people out of Egypt.
These 29 instances are not an exhaustive list of the references where the Bible states that the Lord Jesus Christ is God. These verses explain how the Lord Jesus Christ is God. He is Jehovah and Adonai in the Bible. It was He who created everything, who is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who gave Israel his name, who rescued the Jewish people from Egypt, who inhabited the Tabernacle in the wilderness for 40 years, and who came as a man to be the sacrifice to save man from his sins. When Moses said in Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man that he should lie” he was stating that God is not a liar like men. He was not saying that God did not become a man, he was saying that God did not become a man who lies. He was the only sinless man. David, King of Israel said in Psalms 116:11 “All men are liars.” But, the Lord Jesus Christ was the only man who never lied as He was sinless. When God did become a man Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 53:9, “neither was any deceit in his mouth.” That means that God did become the only man who did not lie.
25 times the Hebrew Scriptures say, “they shall know that I am the Lord” and it means that Israel shall know that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel.
4. Is it possible for a man to see God the Son?
To some, the idea that Jesus is God is contradictory; since the Scriptures teach that no man can see God and live through the experience. In Exodus 33:20, God says that, “there shall no man see me and live.” Yet earlier in the chapter, a conversation between Moses and God was described as being face to face, “as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Exodus 33:11) How could the Bible say that no man can see God and live? But, on the other hand, let’s say that Moses spoke to God face to face. The Lord Jesus Christ explained the answer when He said, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18) No man has ever seen God the Father. However, men did see God the Son even before the Lord Jesus Christ was born as a man. God the Son is the declarer of God to man and when men saw Him, they saw God the Father through God the Son.
Abraham saw God the Son.
“And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him:” (Genesis 18:1-2) When Abraham saw these three men, he ran to them and requested to wash their feet and feed them before they continued on their journey. The Bible says in Genesis 18:22, “And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.” The Hebrew word for “before” is paneem, (literally meaning faces), meaning that Abraham stood with his face, in the face of the Lord. “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56) Abraham bargained face to face with God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jacob saw God the Son
In Genesis 32, Jacob wrestled all night with a man who finally prevailed against him. Jacob would not let the man go, though, until the man blessed him. The man did bless Jacob and gave him the name of Israel. Who was this man? “And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Genesis 32:27-28) Jacob wanted to know the man’s name, but he would not reveal it. Jacob realized that the man was God, and to memorialize the place where Jacob saw the God’s face, he named it Peniel, or Face of God. The Person who gave Jacob the name Israel was God the Son; Jacob looked into His face and lived to tell about it.
Moses saw God the Son
During the time of the wilderness wandering, God told Moses to make Him a sanctuary so He could dwell among His people. After that moveable sanctuary, or Tabernacle, was built, Moses went into it and talked with God. “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Exodus 33:11)
Manoah saw God the Son
Manoah and his wife were told by God that Samson would be born to them. In Judges 13:22, Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, because we have seen God.” We know that they did not die, so who did Manoah and his wife see that he called God? Manoah and his wife saw God the Son.
To see God the Son is Jewish as it is revealed in the Jewish Hebrew Scriptures. The instances of Jewish people seeing God the Son were foreshadows. Two thousand years ago, God the Son came and was seen by many as the Jewish Messiah. In the Jewish Messiah, we meet God. That is why the Jewish Messiah is called Immanuel in Isaiah 7:14, “Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Immanuel literally means “our togetherness with God,” representing man’s way of conversation with God.
Amos the prophet saw God the Son
In Amos’ final prophetic vision of son coming judgment, he sees God the Son destroy the idolatrous temple at Bethel where the golden calf was that had given Israel to defection from Jehovah. Amos actually sees the Lord, God the Son, standing by the altar. “I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.” (Amos 9:1)
Micaiah the prophet saw God the Son
Micaiah was the son of Imla according to II Chronicles 18:8 I Kings 22:19 and II Chronicles 18:18 saw the Lord. Micaiah was the only real prophet in Israel out of the 401 that King Ahab had. “And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.” (I Kings 22:19) “Again he said, Therefore hear the word of the LORD; I saw the LORD sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left.” (II Chronicles 18:18)
Men saw God, but which person in the Godhead did they see?
When God spoke to Moses He said that no man can see God’s face and live. (Exodus 33:20), “And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” The Lord Jesus Christ said that no man has seen God. (John 1:18), “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” The Apostle Paul said that no man has seen God. (1 Timothy 6:15-16), “Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.”
But, Exodus 24:9-10 says, “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel.” Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel all saw the God of Israel. (1 Kings 22:19) “And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.” This was the Jewish prophet Micaiah who said that he saw the Lord. (Isaiah 6:1) “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.” The prophet Isaiah saw God. If both the Old and New Testaments say that no man has seen God how could Moses, Micaiah, Isaiah and all these others have seen God? How could this be? When the Scriptures say that no man has seen God it is referring to God the Father or God the Spirit. But, when Moses, Abraham, Isaiah and all the others are said to have seen God it was God the Son they all saw.
5. How can the Jewish Messiah be identified?
God wants His Son to be clearly identifiable, so He gave man the Scriptures, which provides descriptions of the Messiah.
The Messiah’s birth would be in Bethlehem.
“But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2).
“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea.” (Matthew 2:1) The Lord Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem identifies Him as the Messiah.
The Messiah would be born from a young girl who was a virgin.
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14). The Hebrew word for virgin is Almah. It is used seven times in the Hebrew Scriptures, the predominance of which refers to a virgin (see question five).
“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 1:18). The Lord Jesus was born of a virgin named Miriam or Mary. His virgin birth identifies Him as the Messiah.
The Messiah would triumphantly ride into Jerusalem on a donkey.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9). Zechariah’s prophecy was fulfilled when the Lord Jesus Christ entered Jerusalem the week before He was killed, riding on a young donkey. “And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” (Matthew 21:7-9). By His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a young donkey, Jewish people can recognize the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
The Messiah would be despised and rejected by the majority of His own people.
“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3). Hundreds of years before He was born in Bethlehem, Isaiah wrote of how the Messiah would not be received. The Jewish apostle John recorded that “He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (John 1:11) Because the Lord Jesus Christ was despised and rejected, as was prophesied, He can be recognized as the Messiah. Which Jewish person has been more despised and rejected throughout history than the Lord Jesus Christ?
The Messiah would be embraced by the Gentiles as their Light.
“And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Thus saith the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, Kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship, because of the LORD that is faithful. And the Holy One of Israel, and he shall choose thee.” (Isaiah 49:6-7) Isaiah wrote of how the Messiah though despised by the Jewish people, would be embraced by the Gentile world as their Light and Savior. Which Jewish person has been more famous and more embraced by billions of the Gentile world throughout history than the Lord Jesus Christ?
The Messiah would heal the blind, the deaf, the mute, and the lame.
“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 an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing.” (Isaiah 35:5-6). Again, Isaiah wrote of the healing miracles that the Messiah would perform.
“Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.” (Luke 7:22). By His miracles, Jewish people can recognize the Lord Jesus as the Messiah.
The Messiah would suffer and die bearing the sins of the Jewish people and of the world.
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all… he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” (Isaiah 53:4-6, 8). Isaiah predicted the sufferings and burden of the Messiah and the Lord Jesus Christ spoke about His death as a willing sacrifice for sins.
“Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10:17-18)
“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) By His suffering and death, the Lord Jesus can be recognized as the Messiah.
The Messiah would die with his hands and feet nailed to a cross.
“For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.” (Psalm 22:16) King David wrote of the Messiah’s death on the cross in Psalm 22, which describes crucifixion in detail. This passage in Hebrew refers to lions at His hands and feet, but hundreds of years before He was born, 70 Rabbis officially translating these Hebrew Scriptures into Greek (the Septuagint) described the crucifixion and translated this passage as “they pierced my hands and my feet.”
“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him.” (Luke 23:33) The Lord Jesus can be recognized as the Messiah by the fulfillment of the prophecy that He would be crucified.
The Messiah would be raised from the dead.
“For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” (Psalm 16:10) Again, David wrote that the Holy One (the Messiah) would be raised from the corruption of death.
“And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6) Matthew records that an angel explained why the Lord Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb. By the Lord Jesus resurrection, Jewish people can recognize Him as the Messiah.
These are only eight out of over three hundred predictions in the Scriptures of how the Messiah could be recognized when He came. (For a more detailed list of these prophecies, see the Prophecies and Fulfilment section) The Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all of these predictions, and therefore can be recognized as the Jewish Messiah.
6. Do the Hebrew Scriptures support the virgin birth?
How could a virgin conceive and give birth to a son? The Hebrew Scriptures state, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14).
The sign that the Lord promised to identify the Messiah was a virgin giving birth to a son. This prophecy was given hundreds of years prior to His coming. The name of the virgin’s child would be Immanuel, meaning “God with us;” literally “our togetherness with God.” The Messiah is God’s way of having a conversation with man
The Hebrew word used for virgin is Alma. The majority of the time it is used in the Hebrew Scriptures, it is referring to a virgin (Genesis 24:43; Exodus 2:8; Psalms 68:25; Proverbs 30:19; Song of Solomon 1:3, 6:8). In this verse there was a primary more immediate partial fulfillment of this prophecy and a more distant complete fulfillment referring to the Messiah. The more immediate partial fulfillment was the birth of Isaiah’s son in Isaiah 8:3, but he was not referred to as Emmanuel, therefore, this fulfillment was not complete. Thus, to accommodate for both the immediate, incomplete and more distant, complete fulfillment the word Alma was used. The alternate Hebrew word betulah is usually used to refer to a virgin. But, there is one instance in Joel 1:8 where betulah is used and though translated into English as virgin, is clearly referring to a widow. Three-hundred years before the Lord Jesus Christ was born, seventy Jewish scholars clearly understood that the Messiah would be born from a virgin, therefore, when they translated the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek Septuagint they translated Alma in Isaiah 7:14 to parthenos, the Greek word for virgin.
Israel’s history is full of miracles that God performed for their benefit. It was a miracle for Abraham at one hundred years of age and Sarah at ninety to have a son (Genesis 18:10-11). Both Abraham and Sarah laughed when the Lord told them they would have a son in their old age, but God replied, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14). So they would never forget their laughter at the promised miracle, God had them name their child Isaac, the Hebrew word for laughter. The problem with man is that he thinks God is as limited as he is. Moses struggled with doubting his ability to speak to Pharaoh. God had to challenge Moses to remember who He was: “And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord?” (Exodus 4:11). All of the plagues in Egypt, including the parting of the Red Sea, were mighty miracles. If one can accept the first verse in the Bible, that God created the universe out of nothing, then it is not a problem to believe that a virgin could conceive. Yes, the Hebrew Scriptures do support the miracle of the virgin birth. Nothing is impossible for God. The prophet Jeremiah said, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27).
7. Do all men have a sinful nature?
It is common for people to believe they are not sinners, claiming, “I’m not a murderer or adulterer like some people.” Moses said that the mother and father of mankind (Adam and Eve) sinned in that they ate the forbidden fruit that God told them not to. In so doing, they brought death to the earth. The Scriptures say, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:6). By one act of disobedience, sin and death were passed on to all mankind.
The judgment of the flood
“The wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5)
Here the sinful state of all mankind just before the Great Flood is described.
The sacrificial system
“For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11)
This passage from the third book in the Torah, deals with man’s sinfulness and God’s plan for salvation. Until I came to a saving faith in the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, I felt separated from God, and I would never say that God was a close friend of mine. However, in September 1970, when I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior, on that day I could say then (as I can now) that God became a close friend of mine. The prophet Isaiah explains why man is separated from God.
“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).
The reason man is separated from God is because of his sin. The problem is not that a holy God is not able to save sinful man; rather, it is that sinful man loves his sin over God. If he persists to choose sin over God, the result will be eternal separation from God in Hell.
King David wrote about man’s sinful condition
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 14:1-3). David explained that man does not seek God because of the filthiness of his heart.
“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5)
Isaiah the prophet recorded God’s proclamation over Israel’s sinfulness
“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (Isaiah 1:2-4). With terms such as “sinful,” “burdened down with iniquity,” “seed of evildoers” and “corrupters,” it is clear that God views all men along with the people of Israel as sinful. (For this reason the nation of Israel cannot be the “righteous servant” (Isaiah 53:11) sacrifice described in Isaiah 53 as some of the Rabbis assert.)
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all out righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6) Isaiah addressed the issue of man’s ability to override his personal sinfulness with works of righteousness, settling once for all the impossibility for any man to work himself to Heaven.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6) The reason people go to hell is because they did it their way (as the famous Frank Sinatra “I did It my way” song.) The theme song in hell is “I did it my way,” but the theme song in Heaven is, “I did it God’s way.”
The dedication of the Temple
When King Solomon dedicated the Temple in Jerusalem he said, “for there is no man that sinneth not” (1 Kings 8:46) Moses, King David, King Solomon and the Jewish prophets all pronounced that all men are sinners and in need of God to save them.
8. Is there a mediator between God and man?
Another common belief is that while Gentiles need a mediator, Jews do not because they can go directly to God, but, this is not true.
A history of mediators
The history of Israel reveals that they have always had mediators. The first mediator between God and the Jewish people was Moses. At Mount Sinai, where they received the Torah from God, the Israelites were so afraid to speak to God directly that they asked Moses to speak for them. “Speak thou with us, but let not God speak with us lest we die” (Exodus 20:19)
“Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them” (Psalm 106:23)
When Israel had provoked God to anger, King David wrote in Psalms 106:23 of Moses as their mediator
The entire Levitical/Kohanim priesthood was the priests acting as mediators between the Israelites and God. All men, including Jewish people, are in need of a mediator between God and themselves.
9. What is the difference between a Gentile and a Christian?
I was taught while growing up that there were only two categories of people in the world, the Jew and the Gentile, and Gentiles were either Christians or Moslems. The most relevant groups were the Jews and Christians because they interacted the most with the Jewish people where I grew up. Whenever we went to Chinatown for dinner, I wondered where the Buddhists and Hindus fit in. I figured they must somehow be part of the people we did not have any contact with, the Moslems. I was taught that the Gentiles, or Goyim, who were not Muslim were all Christians – even the Nazis. I had no real understanding of what the term Christian meant other than Gentile; I thought that all these terms were simply a matter of birth. However, in 1970, when I was considering becoming a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I wondered if being a Christian was a matter of birth or choice. Could a person be a Gentile and not a Christian? At that time, I was working as a chemical technician, and regularly had lunch with three Gentile men who were my coworkers. I wondered if they were Christians. Even though I had not come to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, I decided to do an experiment to find out if they really were Christians. One day as they were talking about their wives and mistresses, I said, “I think you guys need Jesus Christ.” Immediately, I was ostracized from the group. I found out that although they were Gentiles, they were certainly not Christians. Later, I learned that a Christian is one who follows the Jesus Christ. Being a Christian, therefore, is a matter of choice, not birth.
“He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.” (John 1:41)
The New Testament book of John explains the meaning of the word Christ. Since it is the Greek word for Messiah, a Christian is the same as a “Messiah-ian”. In Israel, Jewish believers in the Messiah are called Meshkim or Messiah-ians. A Christian is a person who has volitionally chosen to follow the Lord Jesus as his Messiah.
10. What is the difference between Israel and the church?
Israel has two meanings in the Bible as can be seen from Romans 9:6-8, “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” and there is a difference between the seed of Abraham (all Jewish people or outward Jews) and the children of Abraham (Jewish people who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ) as seen in John 8:37-39, “I know that ye are Abraham’s seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.”
In the Bible “Israel” refers primarily to the Jewish people, both believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and not believing. They are called the seed of Abraham. But, as can be seen from Romans 9:6-8 and from John 8:36-38 there is another Biblical meaning to the term “Israel” which is the children of Abraham or those who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
When a Gentile or a Jewish person becomes a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ that person whether Jew or Gentile becomes a Jew inwardly and a part of the body of or the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 2:28-29), “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
Every person whether Jew (outwardly) or Gentile needs to become a Jew inwardly by coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Becoming a Jew inwardly occurs when a person becomes born again (or born spiritually). It was to a Jewish leader (a Jew outwardly) named Nicodemus that the Lord Jesus Christ said that he needed to be born again.
(John 3:1-3), “There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
(John 3:10), “Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?”
The term “Church” means called out ones. The Church is made up of outward Jews and Gentiles who have all become inward Jews by responding to the call of God. They are called out ones who have become the body of Christ. (Colossians 1:24), “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.”
The Church is the universal, global body of all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ which are found in many denominations, and the Lord Jesus Christ promised to build His Church. Note in the following verse how He did not say churches as in many churches, but one singular global Church.
(Matthew 16:18), “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
There is only one Church made up of outward Jews and Gentiles who have all become inward Jews.
(John 10:16), “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”
The Church will be the Bride of Christ.
All inward Jews whether outward Jews or outward Gentiles make up the Church and are the saved. The Church are the branches connected to the vine described in John 15 and in Romans 11, the Lord Jesus Christ is the vine.
(John 15:5-6), “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
(Romans 11:17), “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;”
(Romans 11:20), “Well; because of unbelief they were broken off,”
(Romans 11:23), “if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.”
(Romans 11:24), “For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree?”
The Church existed in Moses day as “The Church in the Wilderness”.
(Acts 7:37, 38), “This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:”
The Church began with the first saved people who were Adam and Eve and the Church will be complete when the last person is saved.
People have always been saved and added to the Church in the same way whether in the Old Testament time or the New Testament time which is by believing God and what He told them they needed to do to be saved.
(Genesis 15:6), “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
(Romans 4:3), “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”
11. What is a Jew?
It has been said that where there are two Jews, there are three opinions. This is especially true when it comes to the question of what a Jew is. Answers range from rituals performed at birth (such as a Bris or circumcision) to identification with great Jewish achievers and adherence to different levels of orthodoxy. It is not uncommon for orthodox Jews to accuse others of not being Jewish unless particular observances are kept, such as resting on the Sabbath. The more strict orthodox Jews attempt to keep many laws, rituals and observances.
Growing up, I knew I was Jewish. Yet, apart from birth, I could not explain why other than the fact that I looked like a Jew, laughed at Jewish humor, identified with other Jews, and from time to time ate Jewish food now I was a Jew. Before studying the Scriptures, I never knew where the term Jew came from, but afterwards, I learned what being a Jew really meant. In the book of Genesis, Adam sinned and set out on a path for judgment in an eternity of Hell, incurring for himself and his posterity a sinful nature. However, in Genesis 3:15, God promised Adam that a redeemer would be born who would rescue mankind from sin and judgment. From that point on, people who followed God looked earnestly for the human redeemer that would rescue man. The burning question was, “Through what lineage will that Redeemer come? God said that the Redeemer would come through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah. In Genesis 49:8-12, Jacob said that all the Jews would praise, worship and bow down to the Messiah (referred to as Shiloh or star of Judah), that He would defeat the enemies of the Jews, and that He would come before Israel lost its sovereignty as a nation. In order to identify with the Messiah coming through Judah, a Hebrew person was named a Jew or more clearly, a Judah. This is a matter of choice, not of birth, and is the reason why Moses wrote about another circumcision of the heart: “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked” (Deuteronomy 10:16) This is also why Paul wrote that being a real Jew was something in and of the heart as opposed to outward and of the flesh: “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:28-29) Therefore, to be a Jew (or, literally, a Judah) by choice is to identify with the Messiah of the tribe of Judah, the Lord Jesus Christ.
12. Is it possible to be both Jewish and a Christian?
I come from a long line of many generations of Rabbis and Cantors, orthodox Jews. Yet, when I was 19 years old, I discovered that Jesus Christ was the God and Messiah who died for my sins and rose again from the dead. At that time, I humbled myself before Him and confessed I was a sinner who deserved an eternity of Hell. I asked Him to forgive me of my sins and told Him that I was throwing open the door of my heart and asking Him to come and be my Savior. Immediately after that prayer, the guilt and sense of internal filthiness I had been carrying for so long left, never to return. That decision made me a Christian. According to the Bible, unlike being born Jewish, no one is born a Christian. Becoming a Christian is not a matter of birth or blood line, it is a personal choice. This is made clear from (John 1:12-13), “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” It was not the joining of any particular church that made me a Christian, it was the start of a relationship with the Lord Jesus the Messiah that made me a Christian. That decision did not change my appreciation for my Jewish heritage. Quite the contrary, it deepened my appreciation, because with my new appreciation for the Scriptures I realized that God entrusted to the Jewish people the writing and keeping of God’s Holy Scriptures and chose to come to the world as a Jewish man.
I have come to discover through the Scriptures that there are two parts of being Jewish, outward and inward. Outwardly, I was born to Jewish parents and circumcised on the eighth day as God commanded Abraham: “And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed” (Genesis 17:12). The Scriptures also speak of an inward circumcision that is made by a choice – the circumcision of the heart. Moses wrote of this inward circumcision in Deuteronomy 10:16, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.”
I decided to have my heart circumcised and become a Jew inwardly when I threw down the weapons of my personal warfare against God. Not everyone is Jewish outwardly (born to Jewish parents). It is more important to become a Jew inwardly. “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans 2:28-29). It is possible to be both Jewish (outward Jew) and a Christian (inward Jew).
13. Why did rabbis never tell Jewish people about Jesus, the Messiah?
A majority of Jewish Rabbis do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Jewish Messiah. Growing up, I was not allowed to say the names Jesus or Christ, because there was a bias against any consideration of who Jesus was. During the 18-1900’s, prejudice was a real problem in the southern U.S. Some people were not considered human if their skin color was black. The definition of prejudice is “to refuse to consider.” At the beginning of his book in the Bible, the prophet Isaiah said that God was the object of a prejudice that refuses to consider who He is. “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (Isaiah 1:2-4).
Thank God for the Scriptures, which reveal the encouraging truth that the Lord Jesus, who was rejected and rebelled against by the Rabbis, will eventually be worshipped, accepted and obeyed by them. I work in the field of clinical biochemistry, and in 1998, my team and I discovered a new parathyroid hormone. For the next ten years we worked to see this hormone accepted by the scientific community. The process followed a typical course that can be likened to the viewpoint of the Rabbis towards the Lord Jesus. At first there is the stage of dismissal of the new as nothing important, then vehement denial against the new as untrue and finally acceptance of the new as, “It was always my idea.”. The current state of the Rabbis’ strong rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ is only temporary and will eventually change.
14. Why do some Jewish people doubt the existence of God?
Regarding atheism, King David wrote, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good” (Psalm 14:1). According to this Scripture, immorality and corruption are at the root of atheism. However, not knowing whether there is a God is not atheism, but ignorance. Before receiving the Lord Jesus Christ, I felt very far from God; and after I read God’s words spoken through His prophet Isaiah, I understood that I was separated from God. “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2) Clearly, the problem is not with God, but with man. Man is separated or blinded from seeing God. However God solved this problem when He became the Passover Lamb, dying for the sins of mankind. Now, whoever puts their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ by calling upon His name for forgiveness, and asking for the blood of the Lord Jesus to be placed on the doorposts of his heart, they will be forgiven by God, and their separation removed. The Jewish prophet Joel wrote, “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.” (Joel 2:32)
15. Do the Hebrew Scriptures teach on Heaven and Hell?
“And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people” (Genesis 49:33). Jacob was sitting on the edge of his bed with his feet on the floor as he blessed each of his sons. When he was finished, Jacob lifted his feet into bed, gave his last breath, and was gathered to his people. All of these events were recorded as happening one after the other. After expiring, Jacob was taken immediately into the presence of his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac.
King David said, “and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). The house of the Lord is Heaven.
“I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23). When David’s baby son died, David said that he would someday go to Heaven to be with his son.
The day before King Saul was killed in battle, the prophet Samuel, who had already died, spoke to him: “tomorrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me” (1 Samuel 28:19).
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 19:25-26). The oldest book in the Jewish Scriptures is the book of Job. Job knew that, despite his failing body, he would live forever in Heaven.
“Hell from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming: it stirreth up the dead for thee, even all the chief ones of the earth; it hath raised up from their thrones all the kings of the nations. All they shall speak and say unto thee, Art thou also become weak as we? art thou become like unto us?…yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit” (Isaiah 14:9, 10, 15). Isaiah the prophet wrote a description of the proud king of Babylon and stated that Hell is a place of God’s eternal judgment. The Jewish Scriptures affirm that both Heaven and Hell are literal places.
16. What is God’s plan for the salvation of the Jewish people?
God has one word to describe what is wrong with us – sin. Our forefather Adam sinned when he disobeyed God by eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. With one act, Adam caused every one of his progeny (including you and me) to be born with the spiritual disease of a sinful nature. The Scriptures clearly state that all men are sinners.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6)
“The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Psalm 14:2-3)
“…there is no man which sinneth not…” (2 Chronicles 6:36)
Because God is holy, He must judge sin. Therefore, every man’s life is headed down the road to Hell, God’s place of eternal judgment for sin. “The soul that sinneth, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:4) God does not see a personal scale of good works on one side and bad works on the other. Rather, He sees justice, which demands judgment for sin. Even if there was a scale, Isaiah described the way God sees our good works: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6) No man can be saved if he will not recognize his sinfulness.
God is merciful and does not want anyone to perish in hell, so He provided a way of salvation. After man sinned, God promised that He would send a Redeemer who would save man from his sins. “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15) This Redeemer of men is the Messiah, meaning “the anointed one” or “one sent with a commission to accomplish a certain work.” Isaiah explained that Messiah was the Mighty God and Everlasting Father, yet He would be born as a child on earth. “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, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) About five hundred years before the Messiah was born, Isaiah wrote that the Messiah was going to save man from his sins: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed…the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:5-6) God the Son became a man so that He could be the perfect Passover Lamb. Forgiveness for sin, salvation from hell, and a future home in Heaven is now offered as a free gift. God’s offer leaves every Jewish person with a decision that determines his destiny: receive God’s free gift and be forgiven, avoiding hell and reserving a home in Heaven, or reject the gift, choosing to die in sin and be cast into hell forever. There is no middle ground. One simply receives or rejects this gift. To receive God’s gift, repentance or a turning away from sin is required. King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” To receive the Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, is to surrender to His mercy and bow before Him as God.
While still in Egypt, Moses instructed each Israelite family to kill a lamb and place its blood on their door posts. Receiving the Lord Jesus Christ is literally making Him a personal Passover Lamb. When He comes into any person’s life, He becomes that individual’s saving Passover Lamb and God.
“Thou shalt make His soul an offering from sin” (Isaiah 53:10)
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered” (Joel 2:32)
Will you call on the name of the Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him right now? The prayer I prayed to the Messiah in September, 1970, was simply, “Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner, and I hate my sin. I believe that you came to earth as a man, died on a cross for my sins, and after three days, you rose from the dead. I open the door of my heart. Please come in and save me from my sins; be my Savior and God. I pray in Jesus’ name.” After finishing that prayer, I was born a second time, born of the Spirit of God, and was no longer separated from God.
17. Is baptism a Jewish ritual?
Baptism is equivalent to the Jewish Mikveh, or ceremonial bath. The Mikveh essentially symbolizes a change, and was used for ceremonial cleansing. Outside the Temple in Jerusalem were a large number of Mikvehs for worshippers, who used them to cleanse themselves before entering the Temple. Cleansing is basically a change. It is often symbolic of a change from an unclean past into a future of purity. Additionally, the Mikveh was also used to signify that a person was becoming an official new follower of a teacher. In this case, the follower would make a public statement of whole-hearted agreement with the doctrines of his teacher, just as followers of the Jewish Messiah were baptized to signify their agreement with His teachings. Baptism proclaimed the followers’ identification with the Lord Jesus Christ as teacher and guide and the Lord Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for them. It symbolized His death and burial by placement under the water, and His resurrection by coming up from the water.
Being immersed in the outdoor Mitzveh was a public declaration of allegiance to a teacher. It follows, then, that baptism is a public declaration of allegiance to the Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. In my case, I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior in September 1970, but several months elapsed before I was baptized. During those intervening months, my Jewish father tried to get me to deny the Lord Jesus Christ while continually asking me if I had been baptized. At the time, I did not understand why he kept asking about my baptism, wondering if he understood something about it that I did not. After I told him that I had been baptized, my father never tried to get me to deny the Lord Jesus Christ. It was evident that he viewed baptism as my public statement that there was no turning back.
18. Is it worth it for a Jewish person to receive the Lord Jesus Christ?
The cost involved in a Jewish person’s receiving the Lord Jesus Christ can be substantial. In some cases, the family of the convert feels that whatever makes their loved one happy is fine with them, but in more severe cases, as with mine, the family disowns its “irrational” member. Usually, this sounds worse than it eventually becomes. I lacked understanding, and became offended at my family (and in particular my father) because of their rejection. It was my Gentile wife’s persistent expressions of love and concern for the Jewish family she had joined which rebuilt the bridge of fellowship between them, my wife and I. My father later told me that it was my wife, not myself, that reconciled the family. Sometimes, however, even with great overtures, reconciliation does not occur, and the alienation is strongly felt when a person is part of a close Jewish family, surrounded by a Jewish community, married to a Jewish spouse, or working in a Jewish business. Then, a more relevant question is, “Is it worth the cost for a Jewish person to become a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ when it means loss, alienation and rejection?” In such cases of great distress, it is important to look back at the Scriptures for guidance. The first Hebrew, Abraham, paid a price to follow God.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.” (Genesis 12:1-4)
Some Jewish people excuse their rejection of the Jewish Messiah by claiming their culture. They were born, raised, and plan to die as Jewish people. From the passage above, we see that Abraham was seventy-five years old when God called him to leave his country, his people, and his extended family. In return, God promised Abraham that He would take care of him and use him to do great things.
Following Abraham’s example, one should put God before country, people, and family. The record says that, “Abraham departed as the Lord had spoken unto him.” The question of whether or not it is worth it to become a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ is answered simply. God is worth it! God is worth the cost and has promised a great inheritance to those who put Him first. The Jewish prophet Isaiah wrote, “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.” (Isaiah 64:4). God and His inheritance are well worth any cost to follow completely.
19. What is God’s purpose for the Jewish people?
There has never been a people who have been so persecuted and have yet have survived so miraculously. How? From the beginning, God had a purpose, plan and promise to the first Hebrew, Abraham. The first promise started with the Abrahamic covenant as recorded in scripture.
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him.” (Genesis 12:1-4a)
God promised Abraham that his seed, a nation of people descending from him, would be a blessing to all families of the earth. These families have a common problem – personal sin that separates them from God and sentences them to hell. Their greatest need is to be saved from their sin, delivered from the hell they deserve, and given an undeserved home in Heaven. This need was to be met through the descendants of Abraham.
God gave His “Word” to the world through the Jewish people. People all over the world read the Jewish Bible, every page in the Bible was written by a Jew. The Bible tells how God the Father gave His Son to be the Savior of the world. When He came to earth, God the Son was born as a Jew. Families of the earth can follow God’s biblical plan of salvation by confessing their sin to God, forsaking it, and then calling on the name of the Jewish Messiah to save them. When God met the world’s greatest need by offering them salvation, the gift came through the Jewish people. During His earthly ministry, the Jewish Messiah encountered a Gentile Samaritan woman by a well, and their conversation was monumental. It was not merely a conversation between the Jewish Messiah and a Gentile woman, but a conversation between the Jewish world and the Gentile world. In that conversation, the Lord Jesus told the woman, “Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22) In this statement, the Lord Jesus Christ said that the Gentiles who had not received Him did not know what they worshipped. Gentiles who have not received the Jewish Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, are in a state of darkness, with no assurance of Heaven when they die. By contrast, volitional Jews (those who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and God, including Gentiles who follow the Jewish Messiah) know what they worship, and have 100% assurance of a home in Heaven. Salvation to the world flows from God through Jews who have received the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and God.
It is not uncommon for Jews to have a personal crisis of purpose in life. My father would often tell me that I would be happy and fulfilled if I became a successful medical doctor, but that never seemed to me like it would be enough. I believe that this is because God has made Jews to be prophets of His message of salvation. God has gifted the Jews with all of the natural abilities to be effective messengers. The problem is that most Jews have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, leaving them as effective messengers without a message, preachers without a sermon, and prophets without authority. Those natural abilities of communication and persuasion have been used by Jewish people, but only for temporary earthly gains like business, science, and humanistic accomplishments. When Jews become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and give themselves to fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives, they can then experience vocational fulfillment.
20. What peace did Messiah bring to earth?
The Messiah, as Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6,) was predicted in the Scriptures to come twice, bringing a different peace each time. The first peace that God brought at His first coming, was a personal peace in our hearts, peace between man and God. When man sinned, he declared war with God and all of mankind became alienated from Him. Sin demanded judgment before there could be reconciliation and peace between God and man. That judgment took place at Mt Calvary, when the Messiah took on Himself the sins of the world. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all…by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:5-6, 11) When the Messiah took all sin on Himself and was judged for them, man became free to receive atonement and peace with God. King David described what happened at the cross. “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psalm 85:10). It was at the Cross where the mercy of God and the truth of our sin met each other; it was at the Cross where God’s righteousness, our lack of it, and our peace with God were able to kiss each other. There at the cross, where God’s righteousness was satisfied, the mercy and peace of God so desperately needed flowed to the world.
When the Messiah comes the second time, He will bring outer peace to the world. With His first coming, He brought peace to the heart. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1)
21. Do Jewish people automatically go to Heaven?
Writing to his own Jewish people, the prophet Daniel explained that the dead fall into two categories, those who go to Heaven and those who go to a place of everlasting contempt or hell, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:2) Every person, including every Jewish person, has sinned and is therefore a sinner. “The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Psalm 14:2-3) Every person is born a sinner, and speaking for himself, King David said, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Psalm 51:5) Isaiah described sinners as sheep. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6) It only takes one sin to make a person a sinner, incurring the eternal wrath of God in hell. Without the intervention of God, every person, including every Jewish person, will be judged for eternity in hell. To man, it seems right that somehow he can overcome all of his sins by doing good works, or Mitzvaot, but Isaiah made it very clear that good works performed to overcome sins are disgusting to God. “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6) That is why God intervened for man. Isaiah 53 explains how God became a man, the only perfect man, in order to die for man’s sin. That perfect sacrifice, the Messiah dying on a cross for our sins, is offered to each person personally and individually. Isaiah 53:10 offers that sacrifice with the words, “when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin.” (Isaiah 1:18-20) Isaiah speaks of this sacrifice and explains the results when it is accepted — Heaven- or rejected — Hell. (Isaiah 1:18-20) “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
All Jewish people do not automatically go to Heaven. The only Jewish people who go to Heaven are those who accept the Jewish Messiah or the Lord’s free gift of salvation. Taking God’s free gift of salvation is like putting the Passover blood of the Lord Jesus Christ on the spiritual door post of your heart and being exempted from the second death of hell or having that death Pass-over you. Simply put your faith and trust in the saving knowledge of who the Lord Jesus Christ is and what He has done for you, all reflected in the light of who you are as a transgressor or sinner in need of forgiveness and restoration. That is the spiritual understanding and applying that spiritual faith to the door post or trust of your heart, and that is all that is needed to get to Heaven. Good works (Mitzvaot) or keeping the law (Torah) or keeping traditions are all both ineffective and unnecessary to get to Heaven.
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall not flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16.
22. Where was God during the Nazi disaster?
The enemies of the Jewish people have always wanted to exterminate them. There is only one reason why the Jewish nation has not been entirely destroyed. The prophet Malachi repeated God’s promise, “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Malachi 3:6) God does not change His character or His mind. Moses explained that God set His love on Israel by choice. “The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8) Israel’s continuation as a people has everything to do with God and nothing to do with Israel. “Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.” (Jeremiah 35:35-37) Throughout the Bible, even when Israel left the shelter of trust in God and exposed themselves to the will of their enemies, God heard their cries and delivered them. The figure always remembered from the Holocaust is the 6 million Jews that were killed. Not many people know that 11 million Jews were living in Europe at the time. During the famous Final Solution to the Jewish Question meeting on January 20, 1942, the plan was laid out to exterminate not 6 million, but all 11 million Jews residing in Europe. God stopped the Nazis from their plans, and destroyed them halfway through their plans to wipe out all of the Jewish people living in Europe.
23. Can man write and say the name of God or should He be called, “the name”?
The original Hebrew Scripture text did not contain any vowel points. Later, the Masoretic Bible text added vowel points to all of the words except for YHWH, which is one of the names of God, and it became a tradition to just say the word Adonai when the Hebrew letters YHWH appeared in the text. The Lord never said that His name was not to be spoken or written; this tradition was not based on Scripture. Throughout the Bible, God encouraged man to call on His name.
The practice of calling on the name of the Lord began with the fifth man on the earth, Enos. “And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Genesis 4:26)
At the great contest between Baal and the Lord, the prophet Elijah challenged the false prophets to call on the name of their gods, while Elijah called on the name of the Lord. “And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.” (I Kings 18:24)
King David declared that he called on the name of the Lord. “What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.” (Psalm 116:12-13) Then, turning to instruction, King David advised all to call on the name of the Lord as well. “Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” (1 Chronicles 16:7-8) Moses, Aaron, Israel’s priests, and Samuel all called on the name of the Lord. “Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the LORD, and he answered them.” (Psalms 99:6)
The Lord has always wanted a close relationship with man; it was Adam who turned away from God. Man’s sin held him back from closeness with God. To call God Ha Shem or “the Name” is an expression of being far from Him. Friends are close to each other. Moses and Abraham were both described as friends of God. “Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?” (2 Chronicles 20:7). “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Exodus 33:11) A friend is always called by name, never just “the name” or “Ha Shem”. The distance is spanned in the new covenant relationship described in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is one of close relationship with God, where the Jewish people have a personal knowledge of God because of salvation and forgiveness of sins. “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34) The change was expressed by the Lord Jesus Christ when He said, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15) With the new salvation relationship and forgiveness of sins comes a new friendship. Ceasing to call God Ha Shem and beginning to speak His name is very significant, because it declares a close friendship with God. This friendship is built on the new covenant relationship of being saved from sins and completely forgiven by God, who became the atoning sacrifice for sins. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:15) To mark the change from being lost to being saved, a Jew can now call God by His name, the Lord Jesus Christ rather than Ha Shem.
24. Is the name of the Lord Jesus Christ not found in the Hebrew Scriptures?
We know that the Godhead is made up of three persons who are Abba Elohim (God the Father), Ruach Elohim (God the Spirit) and Ben Elohim (God the Son.) These three persons are One or Echad (a composite unity) as stated in the Shama of Deuteronomy 6:4. Can we see the name of Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures? Yes! The name Jesus in Hebrew is Yeshua, which means “salvation.” Here are some places where we see the name Yeshua or Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures:
Jacob on his deathbed said, “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.” (Genesis 49:18) Jacob said that all his life he had waited to see Yeshua or Jesus.
King David said, “I have longed for thy salvation” (Psalm 119:174) David said that all his life he had longed for God’s Yeshua or Jesus.
The prophet Isaiah said that God was his Yeshua or Jesus in Isaiah 12:2-3: “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
We can clearly see instances where Ben Elohim (the Lord Jesus Christ) appeared as a man in the Hebrew Scriptures. For example, the Lord Jesus appeared to Abraham as a man in Genesis 18:1-3, 22 “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant…And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.” This narrative explains that the Lord appeared to Abraham when three men came to him on a mission to investigate the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. Two of those men went on to Sodom while one of them stayed with Abraham. That man was Ben Elohim, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In another instance, Ben Elohim appeared to Jacob, in Genesis 32:24-30, “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Here, we are told that a man wrestled with Jacob all night long. This man prevailed over Jacob, and in the end changed Jacob’s name to Israel. Jacob asked the man for His name, but the man refused to reveal it. Although Jacob did not get to know the man’s name, Jacob knew He was God; he called the name of the place Peniel (the face of God.), because he had seen God face to face.
Again, Elkanah and Manoah, the parents of Samson, saw a man who they assumed was an angel, but who was really Ben Elohim or God the Son or the Lord Jesus Christ. “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son…Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name…And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret…And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God.” (Judges 13:3, 6, 17-18, 22) When the angel of the Lord appeared to the wife of Manoah, she described Him to her husband as “a man of God.” When Manoah saw the angel, he said, “we have seen God.” Manoah asked the angel for his name, just as Jacob had, and the response was the same – the name was secret. That man was not an angel, but was God, Ben Elohim or the Lord Jesus Christ.
We know that God kept the name of Jesus a secret in the Hebrew Scriptures. King Solomon said in Proverbs 25:2, “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing.” God in His glory chose to keep the name of His Son a secret and reveal it only to those who really want to know Him. David, King of Israel, said in Psalm 25:14, “The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.” This great secret of the name of Ben Elohim, God the Son, was finally revealed to Miriam or Mary in Matthew 1:21, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” While Jesus’ name was kept a secret in the Hebrew Scriptures, it was later revealed in the Greek Scriptures as the person through whom God’s people would be saved from their sins. Today, if a person wants to be saved from their sins, seeking God with all of his heart, God promises that that person will know the name of Ben Elohim, as Jeremiah promised. “Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:12-13) Solomon further said in Proverbs 30:4, “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” To make this discovery that the name of God the Son is the Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest discovery anyone can ever make in life.
25. Can someone understand the Scriptures without knowing Hebrew?
Abraham spoke Chaldean or Aramaic, and he lived in a place of idolatry called Ur of the Chaldees. When God spoke to Abraham, He used Abraham’s own language. Hebrew is a Canaanite language; called in Isaiah 19:18 “the language of Canaan.” Hebrew is no more a holy language than any other language is. God speaks to the human heart – anyone can call on God, and God has promised He will answer, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” (Jeremiah 33:3)
26. Is God needed to understand the truths of the Scriptures?
The Bible is God’s Book. Because of sin, our eyes are blind to His Word, but God is able to open our eyes to truth. King David gave the secret for how to understand Scriptural truths in Psalm 119:18, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” We need to call on the Lord Jesus Christ as the Great Menorah (illuminator) to show us the His truth. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
27. Was an oral law given to the Rabbis separate from the written law of Moses?
There is no such thing as another oral law given by God. The Talmud and Kabalah are commentaries fabricated by man and do not have Biblical authority.
The person who would be very angry with the suggestion that there is an oral law that was not part of the written law is Moses.
And Moses alone shall come near the Lord : but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him. And Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the Lord hath said will we do. And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. (Exodus 24:2-4) God did not tell His words directly to the Jewish people. The Jewish people were not present when God told Moses His words. The Jewish people were not witnesses to God giving Moses His words. Moses alone received God’s words. Then Moses was faithful to tell the Jewish people ALL the words that the Lord had told him. Then Moses wrote ALL the words that God told him. The pattern was that God told Moses alone all His words and then Moses told the people ALL God’s words and then Moses wrote ALL God’s words. There was no oral law that Moses told a select few Rabbis which somehow mysteriously got passed down for thousands of years to further groups of select few Rabbis who continued to write it down for thousands of years. Moses would be infuriated at the notion that he did not tell the people all the words of God and write down all the words of God as he affirmed in writing.
“What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” (Deuteronomy 12:32)
“Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:2)
The Lord explicitly warned the people not to add or subtract from His Words. Any additions to the words of God are the commandments of men and not the commandments of God. The oral law is wrong because the oral law is an addition to the Words of God and therefore only commandments of men. If a person says, “My father said or my mother said or my grandfather said or my grandmother said or the rabbis said or Ramban said or Rashid said or the Talmud says or Moses Maimonides said” the only thing that matters is Va Yomer Adonai (and God said). God’s word as recorded by Moses and the prophets is our authority and not what others said.
28. Who really killed the Lord Jesus Christ?
There are 4 answers to this question and all are true.
1 – The Romans killed the Lord Jesus Christ.
The brothers of Joseph sought to kill Joseph when they cast him into the pit (Genesis 37:20-21) Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him. Instead of killing Joseph, the brothers sold him to the Midianites for twenty pieces of silver. The Midianites then sold Joseph to a man in Egypt. In the same way the Jewish leaders wanted to kill the Lord Jesus Christ. (Matthew 12:14) Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against him, how they might destroy him.
But, like Joseph’s brothers, the Pharisees did not want to kill Him themselves so they asked the Roman governor, Pilate, to kill him. (John 19:6-7) When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. But Pilate did not want to kill him when he said, “I find no fault in him.” The Jewish leaders forced Pilate with the argument that Pilate would not be loyal to Caesar unless he killed Him. (John 19:12) And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar. (John 19:16) Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. So, it was the Romans who killed Christ by the non-Jewish way of execution, which was crucifixion.
2 – The Jewish people through their leaders forced the Romans to kill the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Jewish people killed The Lord Jesus Christ by delivering Him to the Romans to be killed. They could have recognized and received the Messiah, but their willful pride kept them from receiving the Messiah. That rejection has had a consequential generational impact on the Jewish people, even today.
(Matthew 27:25) Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
(Acts 3:14-15) But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
Some day the Jewish people will acknowledge that they killed their own Messiah.
(Zechariah 12:10) And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
3 – We, as sinners, killed the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our sin has both the immediate consequence of separation from God, and the eternal consequence of everlasting suffering in hell. Man needed a blood sacrifice from a perfect victim in order for him to be saved from his sins. This requirement excludes all men, since mankind is universally sinful, so God the Father sent His Son to become the only perfect man, able to save the world from sin. No one forced the Lord Jesus Christ to lay down His life as a ransom for sin. It was for our sins and the sins of the world that the Lord Jesus Christ was killed. Although religious leaders persuaded the Jewish people to turn the Lord Jesus over to the Romans who crucified Him, and it was God the Father who sacrificed His Son for the sins of man, it was our sins that nailed Him to the cross of His execution. If we were not sinners, then God the Father would not have sacrificed His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ for us.
(1 Corinthians 5:7b) For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: (Rev 5:9) And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
4 – God the Father (or Abba Elohim) killed the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Similar to Abraham lifting his knife to slay his son, Isaac in Genesis 22:10, “And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son,” God offered up His Son as a sacrifice. The Father killed or sacrificed The Lord Jesus Christ so we could have the soul of The Lord Jesus Christ as our offering for sin and be saved. (Isaiah 53:10) “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
29. Haven’t Christians been responsible for persecuting the Jewish people?
Both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures teach that the Jewish people are God’s people. They further teach that God loves His people even when they are rebellious against Him. Therefore, throughout history, God has blessed those who bless the Jewish people and cursed those who curse them. Many groups who called themselves Christians have hated and persecuted the Jewish people, including the Inquisition enforcers, the crusaders and the Nazis. However, not all that call themselves Christians are really Christians. A true Christian is a person who believes the Bible and follows the Lord Jesus Christ, who loves the Jewish people and does not seek to hurt them. Therefore, no true Christian who is obeying the Bible would be responsible for persecuting Jewish people.
30. Does a Jewish person cease to be Jewish by following the Lord Jesus Christ?
There are many groups of Jewish people, including those in the reformed, conservative, orthodox and reconstruction synagogues. Among the Orthodox, there are also different groups, including Hassidic, Chabad and others. Among the more adherent orthodox, it is not uncommon for members from one group to accuse the others of not being Jewish because they do not adhere to a particular practice. The adherents of each group usually take a pledge to follow their leader. The Lord Jesus Christ was a Jew. Those who choose the Lord Jesus Christ as their Jewish leader are no less Jewish than followers of other Jewish leaders, even though they may have differing beliefs.
31. Why do English Bibles translate some prophecy differently than the Hebrew?
One prophecy in question deals with the crucifixion detailed in Psalm 22:16. English Bibles translate this passage as “they pierced my hands and my feet,” while the Hebrew says, “lions (or ari-ye) are at my hands and my feet.” Is this a dishonest translation of Psalm 22:16? The texts that we have for the New Testament are in Greek. When the Greek New Testament quoted from the Old Testament, they relied on the official Jewish Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint. The Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Scriptures was done by a scholarly group of seventy Jewish Rabbis. That official rabbinical translation was completed over 250 years before the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified. Carefully examining Psalm 22:16, the seventy Rabbis concluded that its meaning was “they pierced my hands and my feet” and this is the way they translated the Hebrew into the Greek. Unfortunately, the notes from the translators who worked on the King James Bible were burned in a church fire in England. Otherwise, it would have been interesting to read the translators’ discussion as they noted the difference between the Hebrew and Greek Septuagint. What a miraculous intervention of God took place when those Rabbis translated the scriptures and described the death of the Messiah by crucifixion! The Lord revealed the meaning to the Rabbis making the official translation of the Old Testament into Greek, directing them in their translation work so that the prophecy pointed clearly to the Lord Jesus Christ in His crucifixion as the Messiah.
32. Who is the Servant?
This is Isaiah 53:11 in Hebrew:
The issue at hand and the key to interpreting how this verse can be interpreted comes from answering the basic question of who is the Ebed servant of Isaiah 53:11 referring to?
At the end of this verse it clearly states that this servant bears the sins of many (literally – “And the depravities or crookedness or sins of them he shall bear”)
Who is this servant of Isaiah 53 that bears the sins of many?
The servant is described as a righteous servant:
Those 2 words clearly mean “righteous servant.” The literal interpretation of those 2 Hebrew words is “righteous servant.”
The interpretation of the verse to mean that the people of Israel spread the knowledge of the righteousness of God is not what the verse is literally saying with the words “righteous servant.” The verse does not say the servant spreads the knowledge of the righteous God. The real question is – “does Isaiah 53 refer to the Messiah or the people of Israel?” Saying that Isaiah 53 refers to the people of Israel came from Rashi.
Rashi broke with the tradition of the Talmudic Rabbis and denied that this servant was the Messiah and instead introduced the concept that this servant refers to the people of Israel. The interpretation of “Israel will teach the nations righteousness” relies on Rashi’s interpretation that this “righteous servant” refers to Israel. Rashi was a French Talmudic Rabbi who lived from 1040-1105 which is after the Lord Jesus Christ.
Before the Lord Jesus Christ came the Talmudic Rabbis taught that Isaiah 53 was speaking about the Messiah who was “stricken” bearing our sins and carrying our sorrows. The following is the text from Talmud Bavli in Sanhedrin 98b which was written before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Literally this reads:
“What is the name of the Messiah? His name is “stricken” as it is written (then they quote Isaiah 53:4
“surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem Him stricken of God,) and afflicted.”
So, clearly the Rabbis understood Isaiah 53 to be referring to the Messiah who was to be stricken for our griefs and sorrows. But, Rashi was biased and prejudiced against the Lord Jesus Christ (Rashi in Talmud, Rashi called the idea that Jesus was the Messiah “an insult to God.”) Rashi realized that if Isaiah 53 refers to the Messiah who suffered for sins then this passage leads to the Lord Jesus Christ. So, in order to prevent people from seeing the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah in Isaiah 53 Rashi broke with the traditional Talmudic interpretation of Isaiah 53 and introduced the unfounded concept that the righteous servant of Isaiah 53 refers to Israel. The interpretation that the term “righteous servant” somehow means that Israel is spreading the knowledge of the righteousness of God (which is taught in other parts of the Bible, but not here) still stems from Rashi’s wrong interpretation that Isaiah 53 is referring to the people of Israel. The people of Israel cannot be referred to as “righteous” because Isaiah had previously established in Isaiah 1 that the people of Israel are very sinful in themselves and could never be called the “righteous servant” of God.
The description Isaiah gives in Isaiah 1 of the people of Israel makes it impossible for the people of Israel to be the righteous servant referred to in Isaiah 53:11.
(Isaiah 1:2-23) Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. (3) The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. (4) Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. (5) Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. (6) From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. (7) Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. (8) And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. (9) Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. (10) Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. (11) To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. (12) When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? (13) Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. (14) Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. (15) And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. (16) Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; (17) Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (18) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (19) If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: (20)But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. (21) How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. (22) Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: (23)Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.
33. Does God ever use numbers to send secret messages (numerology) as the Kabbalah and other Jewish mysticism writings teach?
God said clearly that He has not spoken in secret
“ I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.” (Isaiah 45:19)
Since communicating through numerology would be speaking in secret we know that God has not used numerology.
God told Moses to communicate very plainly with the people of God
“And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly. ” (Deuteronomy 27:8)
Sending secret messages by using numerology is not speaking very plainly, therefore, God would not use numerology.
The intention of the Lord Jesus Christ is to make His truths crystal clear and the method He uses is “great plainness of speech.”
“Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: Hiding the truth behind a mysterious system of numbers is not using “great plainness of speech” and is, therefore, not of God.” (2 Corinthians 3:12)
The word used for plainness in 2 Corinthians 3:12 is παῤῥησία or parrhesia and it means openness and this same word is used in John 18:20 as the word openly
“Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.” (John 18:20)
Speaking through codes of numbers would be speaking secretly and since He said that “in secret have I said nothing” you can be sure that the Lord Jesus Christ would never use numerology.
In conclusion God would never use a system of hiding the truth through a mysterious system of numbers. This is superstitious and not of God. Based on the revelation that God has given to us in His Scriptures (the verses above) numerology is to be rejected as not of God.
34. What does it Mean to Have Eternal Life or to be Saved?
“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)
When David, King of Israel sat down with his Son, Solomon and wanted to give him the most important advice for his life. From all King David had learned the most important wisdom he could pass on to Solomon was to Know God. David advised Solomon to give himself to seek to know God, not just to know about God, but to know Him as friend to friend.
In another place King David said,
“And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” (Psalm 9:10)
In other words we are to have the friend to friend relationship with God that Moses had with God:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (Exodus 33:11)
Abraham was the friend of God
“Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?” (2 Chronicles 20:7)
How are we to know God? How are we to find God? How are we to become friends with God? God promises that if anyone seeks God with all his heart he will find Him:
“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
There is only one way to know God or to find God or to become friends with God and that is by having God first reveal Himself to the person. If a person wants to know then God will reveal to that person that God is the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord Jesus Christ said:
“All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)
The Lord Jesus Christ is the revealer of God, because He is God in the flesh.
“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” (John 1:18)
To know the Lord Jesus Christ as friend to friend is to know God.
“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” (John 17:3)
Eternal life is a relationship with God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Eternal life or salvation does not come from being a member of any particular church or synagogue or congregation. Eternal life does not come from adhering to any traditions or sacraments of baptism or bar mitzvah or communion or trying to keep the 613 laws of Judaism. Eternal life comes from knowing the Lord Jesus Christ personally as friend to friend.
There were those who thought they should go to Heaven and they had done many wonderful works to support their false assumption, but they were wrong:
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:21-23)