Why is the world so confused about Jesus Christ - Who and what He is? Some think He was a prophet, others say he is a myth.
We are fascinated by mysteries, fables and myths. Though we know that Santa Claus is just a myth, many take great joy in perpetuating this myth to their children. But to many, even those who profess to be Christians, Jesus Christ is a mystery.
While atheists reject Jesus as a myth and agnostics don't know what to believe, and most Jews, Moslems and other religions believe that Jesus was only a great prophet, most Christians accept Jesus as the Messiah, "that Prophet," who was prophesied in the Old Testament. Indeed, His close disciples, when they saw the miracles He performed, said,
"This is truly that Prophet who is to come into the world" (John 6:14) - speaking of "that Prophet" and Messiah that Moses prophesied of (Deut 18:15).But many do not know whether the biblical stories about Jesus Christ are myths or if they are literally true.
What do you believe about Jesus Christ? How would you compare yourself to Him? Many look up to and tend to idolize and worship athletes, entertainers, movie stars, and sex symbols just like earlier societies made gods and goddesses of their heros in the past. How would Mr. Universe today compare to Jesus Christ?
Traditional "Christianity" worships and pictures Jesus as a helpless innocent baby in a manger popularized by myths and commercialized traditions of Christmas, or as a helpless Savior hanging on a cross. But the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments reveal He is much much more than these popular conceptions. This is one reason God commanded:
"You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them" (Ex 20:4-5).Making any such pictures, statues or images to represent Jesus Christ the Lord only trivializes who and what He truly is. In truth, the validity of the Old and New Testament, Christianity and the salvation of all mankind, including you and me, rests on Who Jesus Christ really is and Whether He is the TRUE MESSIAH or not.
According to the Scriptures, Jesus Himself asked His disciples,
"Who do men say that I, the Son of man, am?"Do you know who Jesus Christ is? And who His Father is?
They said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
So He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?
And Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God."
Then Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar (son of)-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven" (Mat 16:13-15).
Is He the Real Messiah? Or just a Prophet?
Is Jesus God or the Son of God?
Jesus Christ said to the religious leaders of His time,
"You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also" (John 8:19).Most of the Jewish religious leaders rejected Jesus as the Messiah. He asked the Pharisees,
"What do you think of the Christ (Messiah)? Whose son is He?"The apostle Paul writes,
They said to Him, "The Son of David."
He then asked them, "How then does David in Spirit call Him Lord, saying, 'The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool?' If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his Son?
"And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore" (Mat 22:44-46; Mk 12:36; Lk 20:42; Psa 110:1).
"For when they knew God, they did not [honor] Him as God, nor were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
"Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools...
"who changed the truth of God into a lie..." (Rom 1:21,25).
"But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,
"which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Cor 2:7-8).
The Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, from beginning to end, contains prophecies and a biography with eye witness accounts of Jesus Christ and His teachings written by close associates, those who knew Him best, as they were inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16). His disciple John wrote,
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life;
"The life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us;
"That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
"And these things we write to you that your joy may be full" (1 John 1:1-3).
"This is the disciple who testifies of these things and wrote these things; for we know that His testimony is true.
"And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" (John 21:24-25).
When you know the full truth about Jesus Christ, you will understand John's last statement.
Jewish and "Christian" theologians have argued for centuries over the issue of God and Jesus Christ. Both claim to believe in One God. But while Jewish theologians say there is only one true God, the LORD God of the Old Testament, according to their interpretation of Deuteronomy 6:4 and other Scriptures; many Christian theologians, who also say they believe that God is one, believe that Jesus is also God and try to explain this by saying that He is a second person of a trinitarian God, which they admit no one can fully understand and cannot be verified from the Holy Scriptures (New Catholic Encyclopedia - articles on the Trinity, pp. 291, 295, 299, 304, 306...). In one such disputation in the Middle Ages the Jewish rabbi, Nahmanides, wrote,
"Fra Pablo arose and said that he believed in the unity, which, none the less, included the Trinity, although this was an exceeding deep mystery, which even the angels and princes of heaven could not comprehend.
"I arose and said: 'It is evident that a person does not believe what he does not know: therefore the angels do not believe in the Trinity'" (The Jewish Encyclopedia - art. Trinity, p. 261).
What does the Bible Say?
Most biographies begin in the beginning or give a background relating to the events leading to the birth of the individual being written about. Sometimes they are published in serial form before they are completed. And indeed, the Bible, the greatest, most comprehensive and oldest of all books of any kind ever written still in existence today, begins in a beginning and was originally published in serial form to reveal the life and works of one of its most important characters - JESUS The CHRIST.
The prophet Isaiah was inspired by the Lord to prophesy saying:
"'Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name IMMAMUEL,' which is translated, 'God with us'" (Isa 7:14; Mat 1:22-23).Matthew records,
"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with Child of the Holy Spirit.
"Then Jospeh her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privately.
"But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
"And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.
"Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet (Isaiah), saying:'Behold,a virgin shall be with Child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name IMMANUEL,' which is translated, God with us."Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS (Mat 1:18-25).
"Here, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:"
But the original Hebrew text in Deuteronomy 6:4 does not say "The LORD our God is one LORD."
What does it say?
"The LORD ("Jehovah") our GOD ("Elohim"), one ("echad") LORD ("Jehovah")." The word "is" was added and is not in the original. And the word "one," from the Hebrew "echad" means one, first, united, alone, alike, only. The verse should more appropiately be translated:
"Hear ("shama" meaning hearken to, listen and obey or proclaim), O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord only."
Moses was addressing the problem that many Israelites were still worshipping the polythiestic gods of Egypt and other nations or going their own way and not obeying God. He had just admonished them:
"Take you therefore good heed to yourselves... lest you corrupt yourselves and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast...or...of any winged bird... the likeness of anything that creeps...or...of any fish...
"And take heed, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.
"But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, His inheritance, as you are this day...
"Take heed to yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of anything which the Lord your God has forbidden you.
"For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God" (Deut 4:15-20,23-24).
Christian theologians have made the same error in transcribing and translating the New Testament. When a scribe asked Jesus, "Which is the first commandment of all?" He quoted Deuteronomy 6:4 saying,
"The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God (is) one Lord" (Mk 12:28-29).Again transcribers and translators inserted "is" into the text. And "one" translated from the Greek "heis," which means one, only, or unity, in this context should have been translated as "only."
But don't many Scriptures verify that there is only ONE True God ("Elohim")? To distinguish their religion from the polytheism (many gods) of the pagans around them, Jews, Christians and Moslems profess a monotheistic (one God) faith. But as Jesus said, they did not understand or really know God (Elohim).
"You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also" (John 8:19).
"For had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory" (1 Cor 2:8).
Later Christian theologians believing in monotheism had difficulty explaining how Christ could have been God in the flesh while God the Father still existed in heaven. To solve their delemma, over a period of several centuries they formulated a non-biblical doctrine of the "Trinity." This doctrine became stamped into the beliefs of modern traditional "Christianity" by Roman emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D. (A Historical View of The Council of Nice with a Translation of Documents, by Isaac Boyle, D.D., 1879, published in The Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, 1962).
Jesus warned His disciples that they would be persecuted by religious authorities because of the authorities ignorance of God. He said to them,
"They shall put you out of the synagogues: Yea, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he is doing God service.
"And these things they will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father nor Me" (John 16:2-3).
Some scientists say the Universe began with a "Big Bang" creating billions of galaxies, each with billions of stars...
If that's true - than according to the Bible - God started the "Big Bang." The Old Testament begins,
"In the beginning God (Hebrew, "Elohim") created the heavens and the earth" (Gen 1:1). But then "Elohim" said, "Let Us make man in Our image" (vs. 26).
How can God say in the Bible, "Let US make Man in OUR image," if there is only One True God? This is hard for both Jewish and Christian theologians to explain and come to any agreement. But Jesus Christ said,
"Thy (God's) Word is truth" John 17:17). And the apostle Paul was inspired to write, "All Scripture (both the Old and New Testament) is given by inspiration of God..." (2 Tim 3:16).
Elohim is the most commonly used word translated God in the Old Testament. But "Elohim" is plural, the plural form of "El," "Elah" and "Eloah."
But how can ONE God be plural?
God "Elohim" is a collective plural noun, meaning the mighty or Almighty Ones, used in a singular sense like family, team, church, nation, empire or kingdom, which have many members but being ONE - a single group. The Biblical answer is that "Elohim" is a Family Name. God is a Family with more than one member. There is only ONE true Family of God ("Elohim")! There is no other God Family. "Elohim" represents the One True God Family! God said "Let Us create man in Our image..." God created man to be a family like the God Family and to become part of the Family of God to rule over God's creation (Eph 3:14-15; Heb 2:6-8; Rev 21:7).
If this seems confusing to you because you have been taught and believed the opinions and ideas that men teach about God, read and do what the Scriptures say for yourself.
"Prove all things and hold fast to that which is good" (1 Thes 5:21).God's Word can be understood by those who believe and obey God's Word.
Jesus Said, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments" (Psa 111:10).
Jesus said in a prayer to God, "I Thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent (scholars of the world - 1 Cor 1:18-31) and have revealed them to babes" (Mat 11:25).
Few lay members of the various churches or synagogues realize that theologians often don't agree on many biblical doctrines. The Scriptures say,
"What advantage has the Jew...? "Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. "But what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? "Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true and every man a liar" (Rom 3:1-4).
One might ask, "But if God is a Family, who are the Family members?"
The OT Scriptures sometimes use the Hebrew "El," meaning mighty or Almighty One, and derivatives of it to represent a single member of the true God Family and occasionally also to represent mighty men, angels and false gods or idols. "El," "Elah" and "Eloah" are singular forms of "Elohim."
What does this have to do with Jesus Christ?
Jesus was called Immanuel - meaning "God with us" (Isa 7:14; Mat 1:23).
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel, which being intrepreted is, God (Heb. "El," meaning an Almighty One) with us.
Jesus Christ is a member of the Creator God ("Elohim") Family. In the New Testament, John's Gospel begins:
"In the beginning was the WORD ("LOGOS"), and the WORD was with [the] God ("Theos," a Greek translation of the OT "El" and "Elohim"), and the WORD was God.Jesus Christ is the personfication of all the attributes of the written and spoken WORD of GOD, the LORD ("Jehovah," meaning Eternal) of the Old Testament. He is the SPOKESMAN of the GOD Family to mankind. It was the WORD of the LORD, who is Jesus Christ, who was with God ("El," the Father) and was God ("Elohim," of the God Family) who created the Heavens and the earth, and made man (Genesis 1:1,26-27). They together planned and created the billions of galaxies... and formed our solar system and the earth and created the animals and man and woman on the earth. They said,
"He (the Word) was in the beginning with [the] God.
"All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made" (John 1:1-3).
King David wrote in the Psalms, "By the WORD ("DAVAR," meaning word, saying, command, cause - sometimes a personification-as the speaker or spokesman, the same as "Logos") of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth...
"Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him,
"for He spoke, and it was done. He commanded, and it stood fast" (Psa 33:6,8-9).
"Let US make man in OUR image...
"So God (Elohim - the God Family) ["Aleph-Tav" - left out by translators] created man ("adam," mankind, the human species, man-male or female) in [Their] image, in the image of God created He ("Aleph-Tav") them ... male and female He ("Aleph-Tav") created them" (Gen 1:26-27; 2:7). (For an explanation of Who Aleph-Tav is, see the section on "The Alpha and The Omega - "").
In John 1:1-3 the Greek word for God, "Theos," is generally used for the OT plural name "Elohim," though "Theos" is actually singular in Greek. The plural form "Theoi" is never used for God in the NT because it was used by the Greeks for their many pagan gods. In many instances the definite article ("ho" the) occurs before "Theos," though it is usually left out by translators. When the definite article is present with "Theos" it is often singular referring to God the Father as in John 1:1 and 2. (See "Theos" (2316) in The Complete Word Study New Testament with Parallel Greek, p. 909, Spiros Zodhiates)
Verses 14 through 18 explain that this One called the WORD who was with [the] God and was God is the same One who became Jesus Christ.
"And the WORD became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld [Him, The Glory, a glory] as [only generated from] the Father, full of grace (Gk. "charis," favor, especially from God) and truth" (Vs. 14).
"For the law was given through Moses, but [the] grace and [the] truth came through Jesus Christ" (vs 17).
The WORD ("LOGOS," meaning Word, Spokesman, rational, logical or intelligent thought or speaking), who was with God the Father, and who was also God was the One who became Jesus Christ the Son of God (John 1:1-3,14). Jesus, before His human birth, was the WORD or SPOKESMAN ("Logos" in the NT Greek and "Davar" in the OT Hebrew) of the God Family to the patriarchs and Israel in the Old Testament.
"After these things the WORD of the Lord ("Jehovah" Eternal) came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Fear not, Abram, I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward" (Gen 15:1).When Moses warned the Pharaoh of the plague of hail that God would send if he would not let Israel go, some of the Egyptians feared.
When Jacob wrestled with God, it was the WORD who said, "Your name shall no more be called Jacob, but Israel..." (Gen 32:28-29)
"Elijah took 12 stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the WORD of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be your name" (1 Kg 18:31).
"He that feared [Aleph-Tav] the WORD of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh, [Aleph-Tav] made his servants and his cattle flee into the buildings.The WORD, who is "Aleph-Tav" who came as Jesus Christ in the flesh, revealed Himself many times in many ways to His servants. He warned Israel in the wilderness,
"But he that regarded not ["El" God - left out by translators], the WORD of the Lord, [Aleph-Tav] left his servants and his cattle in the field" (Ex 9:20-21).
"The soul that does anything presumptuously, whether he is native born or is a stranger, that one reproaches [Aleph-Tav] the Lord (Eternal); and that soul shall be cut off from among his people.The WORD of the Lord (the Eternal God Family) came and spoke to prophets and kings (1 Kgs 12:22; 13:1...; 16:1; 17:2; 18:1; 19:9; 21:17). They sometimes called on Aleph-Tav, the WORD of the Lord (Eternal) God. King David wrote,
"Because he has despised the WORD of the Lord, and has broken [Aleph-Tav's] commandment..." Num 15:30-31).
"The Lord appeared again in Shiloh; for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel as the WORD of the Lord (Eternal)" (1 Sam 3:21).
"Samuel said to Saul... 'You stand here awhile, that [you] may hear [Aleph-Tav], the WORD of God ("Elohim," the God Family)" (1 Sam 9:27).
"Then it came to pass the WORD of the Lord said unto Samuel,
"I regret that I have set up Saul to be king, for he has turned back from following Me [Aleph-Tav], and has not performed ("quwm," to raise up, establish, perform, enjoin, uphold) My commandments. And it grieved Samuel, and he cried out unto the Lord all that night" (1 Sam 15:10-11).
And Samuel said to Saul, "Because you have rejected [Aleph-Tav], the WORD of the Lord (Eternal), He has also rejected you from being king" (ver. 23).
"Before God I will praise the WORD; before Jehovah (Lord) I will praise the WORD" (Psa 56:10).
"He (the Eternal) sent His Word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions" (Psa 107:20).
"From eternity, O Lord (Eternal), Your WORD is settled ("natsav," meaning to be set up, stationed, stand, established, waiting, in a position of authority) in the heavens" (Psa 119:89).
"I hope in Your WORD" (ver. 114).
"My eyes fail for Your salvation, for the WORD of Your righteousness" (ver. 123).
"I wait for Your WORD" (ver. 147).
"Your WORD is truth ("emeth," truth, faithful), the Head ("rosh," chief, captain, principle, ruler, supreme, first, beginning), and every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever" (ver. 160).
"...my heart stands in awe of Your WORD" (ver. 161).
"And it came to pass the same night, that the WORD of God came to Nathan, saying, 'Go tell David My servant, Thus says the Lord..." (1 Chr 17:3-4).
"And David said to Solomon, 'My son, as for me it was in my mind to build a house unto the name of the Lord my God;
"But the WORD of the Lord came to me saying..." (1 Chr 22:7-8).
"And the WORD of the Lord came to Solomon, saying, 'Concerning this temple which you are building, if you will walk in My statutes, fulfill [Aleph-Tav's] judgments, and keep ("shamar," to keep, guard, preserve, protect, watch over, retain, observe, regard, attend, revere) all [Aleph-Tav's] commandments to walk in them, then I [Aleph-Tav] will perform My word to you, which I spoke to your father David...
"So Solomon built [Aleph-Tav] the temple, and finished it" (1 Kgs 6:12-14).
"Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) said to the king of Israel, 'Inquire, I pray you, with [Aleph-Tav] the WORD of the Lord today" (1 Kg 22:5).
"Jehoshaphat said, 'Is there no prophet of the Lord (Eternal) here, that we may inquire of [Aleph-Tav] the Eternal by him?' And one...answered and said,'Here is Elisha...
"And Jehoshaphat said, 'The WORD of the Lord is with him..." (2 Kgs 3:11-12).
"And it came to pass...the WORD of the Lord came to (Isaiah), saying...
"And Isaiah said to Hezekiah, 'Hear the WORD of the Lord...
"Then said Hezekiah unto Isaiah, 'Good is the WORD of the Lord who has spoken..." (2 Kgs 20:4,16,19).
"And Micaiah said, 'As the Lord, even [Aleph-Tav] lives, what my God says, that will I speak...
"...Therefore hear the WORD of the Lord; I saw [Aleph-Tav] the Lord sitting upon His throne..." (2 Chr 18:13,18).
King Josiah commanded, "Go, inquire of [Aleph-Tav] the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the indignation of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not regarded [Aleph-Tav], the WORD of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book" (2 Chr 34:21).
The apostle Paul further explains this mystery with an analogy:
"For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
"For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body - Jews or Greeks, slaves or free - and all were made to drink of one spirit.
"For the body is not one member, but many" (1 Cor 12:1-14).
He is speaking here of the church, but the same is true for a family. A family is one, but has more than one member. We call all members of a family by the same last name. Understanding that there is only One True God, which is the Family of God, makes it easier to understand many otherwise confusing and seemingly contradictory Scriptures. For example as we read above:
"In the beginning God "Elohim" created the heavens and the earth" (Gen 1:1). And "Elohim" said, 'Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness..." (vs. 26).
GOD here clearly includes, as revealed in other Scriptures: the One called the Word (the Spokesman of the God Family to mankind) who became Jesus Christ the Son of God, and the One Jesus called God the Father, as we will see (John 1:1-3,14,18).
"But if anyone loves God, the same is known by Him. Therefore... we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that nothing else is God except one. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we by Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live. However, there is not in everyone that knowledge..." (1 Cor 8:3-7).
The apostle Paul explains more of this mystery of God:
"the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God ("Theos" the Greek equivalent of "Elohim") who created all things through Jesus Christ... "For this reason I bow my knees to the FATHER of our Lord Jesus Christ, "from whom the whole FAMILY in heaven and earth is named" (Eph 3:9,14-15).And the Scriptures reveal that the Church of God is the body of Christ, spiritually begotten to be children of that God Family,
"Now you are the body of Christ and members individually" (1 Cor 12:27).GOD "Elohim" is a Family. Jesus Christ often referred to God the Father "from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named" as His Father and our Father (John 5:19-43; 6:44,65; 8:19,27-29,42,54; 14:8-31; 15:1-16; 17:1-26; 20:17). And as He told the religious leaders of His time,
"Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is bogotten ("gennao") of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot ("Gennao") also loves him who is begotten ("Gennao") of Him" (1 John 5:1).
"Behold what manner of love the FATHER has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" (1 John 3:1).
"...for which reason He (Jesus) is not ashamed to call them brethren..." (Heb 2:11).
"You know neither Me nor My Father. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also" (John 8:19).From these and other Scriptures we know that the FAMILY of GOD includes God the Father and the Word who became Jesus Christ, the firstborn Son of God, and that we are called to become members of that Family.
"He (Jesus Christ) is the image ("eikon" likeness or representation) of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
"For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible,whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers, All things were created through Him and for Him.
"And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist" (Col 1:15-17).
And in Hebrews 1:3, "Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image ("charakter," meaning engraved character) of His being, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high..."
Elijah the prophet went to king Ahab and the people and false prophets of Israel and said to them,
"How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him" (1 Kgs 18:19-21).How many today do not know who the Lord is, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament?
In the Old Testament, God "Elohim" is referred to as the LORD GOD over 2,000 times. LORD in the OT is translated from the Hebrew word "YHVH," "Jehovah" or "Yehovah," which means Self Existent or Eternal. Jehovah comes from the Hebrew verb "hayah", meaning to be, exist - past was, present is and future become - the I AM in Exodus 3:14.
Whenever Jehovah is used in the OT, it is clearly referring to either God the Father or the Word who became Jesus Christ or both - Who only are Eternal. Hence Jesus' question to the Pharisees.
"What do you think about the Christ (Messiah)? Whose Son is He?"Jesus was proving from the OT Scriptures that the Messiah (He) was not only the Son of David, but also Jehovah along with God the Father - The Eternal Ones - and they could not refute Him. Jesus used "Kurios," the Greek equivalent to the OT Hebrew "Jehovah" ("YHVH"), for both Lord's. Present OT Hebrew texts have substituted "Adonai" for the second Lord in place of "YHVH." Old Testament scribes (Sopherim - keepers and teachers of the holy books; Rom 3:1-2), after Ezra's time (Ezra 7:6,11; Neh 8:1-8), substituted "Adon," ("Adonai") for "Jehovah" in at least 134 passages of the OT Scriptures, apparently to allay their confusion over there being two Lords and/or a misguided reverance considering "YHVH" the 'unspeakable' name of God, (See The Companion Bible, Appendixes 4,30 and 32, and The Complete Word Study of the Old Testament, Zodhaites, pp. 2296-97, Lexical Aids - #113. Adhon). This statement by David and Jesus, which has been a puzzle to both Old and New Testament theologians, is repeated 4 times in the NT (Mat 22:44; Mk12:36; Lk 20:42; Acts 2:34) using the word "Kurios" for both Lords revealing the deliberate transcription error of the OT scribes after Ezra.
When they answered. "'The Son of David.' He said to them, 'How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying, 'The Lord said to my Lord... If David then calls Him Lord, how is He his Son?' And no one was able to answer Him a word..." (Mat 22:41-46; Psa 110:1,5).
Who is the I AM?
Jesus Christ's message in the book of Revelation, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ," should take away all doubt about Jesus Christ's true identity in the Old Testament.
When the LORD God called Moses in the wilderness to deliver Israel, He said to him,
"I am the God of your father - the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob...
"Then Moses said to God, 'Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, the God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?
"And God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM.' And He said, 'Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM ("Hayah," to exist, the verb to be - is, was, and become) has sent me to you.'
"Moreover God said to Moses, 'Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'" (Ex 3:6,13-15).
In the book of Revelation Jesus Christ, the LORD, said,
"I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End...Who IS and Who WAS and Who IS TO COME (the I AM), The Almighty...
"I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last...
"Do not be afraid; I AM the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death." (Rev 1:8,11,17-18).
And again, "And behold, I AM coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and End, the First and the Last.
"I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I AM the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star" (Rev 22:12-13,16).
Jesus Christ makes it clear that He was the "I AM...("Hayah") meaning, "Who IS and Who WAS and Who IS TO COME." Who is the Word in the OT?
The meaning of Jesus' name is a complete mystery to most. A name identifies a person and represents their character, reputation, and authority. In this case it identifies who He Is and who He Was before His human birth.
Just what does the name Jesus Christ actually mean?
As is written on the title of this study, His name is written differently in different languages, but they all represent the same person regardless of what some "sacred names" people might think. After all, it was God who changed the languages at Babel and inspired the Old Testament to be written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek. JESUS CHRIST is a translation from the OT Hebrew and NT Greek into English. YES, His name is in the Old Testament! His name in Greek (transliterated) "Iesous" and "Christos" is a translation from the Hebrew (transliterated) "Jehoshua" and "Mashiyach." So to best understand the original meaning we should go to the original in Hebrew.
What does JESUS, "Jehoshua" in Hebrew, mean?
Jehoshua in the OT is translated directly into the English as "Joshua" as in the Book of Joshua and also in the NT book of Hebrews 4:8. Jehoshua is a contraction of two Hebrew words: "Jehovah" or "Yehovah" (from "hayah" to exist, be or become - the I AM in Ex 3:14 & John 8:58) meaning Self-existent, Eternal or Everlasting, translated into English as Lord - the Lord God of Israel as already discussed; and of "yasha" meaning to be free, safe, defend, deliver, rescue, save, bring salvation, get victory. Hence Jehoshua or Jesus means Jehovah (the Eternal) who makes free, safe, defends, delivers, rescues, saves, brings salvation, gets victory!
David in the OT said:
"The Lord (Jehovah) is my Rock, my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in Him I will trust, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge; my Savior, You save me from violence. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies" (2 Sam 22:2-4; Psa 18:2-3).
In the NT Jesus is called "that spiritual Rock that followed them (the Israelites during their exodus from Egypt), and that Rock was Christ" (1 Cor 10:4).
Jesus is the Rock on which He said, "on this Rock ("Petros") I will build My church" (Mat 16:18).
Jesus than, whom John described as the Word, is none other than a Member of the Lord (Eternal) God Family who saves! The apostle Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to the rulers and people of Israel:
"Let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands before you whole. This is the Stone (Rock) which was rejected by you builders, which has become the Chief Cornerstone. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:8,10-12).
This should have been obvious to theologians from other Scriptures also. Matthew 1:21-23 says concerning the birth of Jesus Christ,
"And she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS ("Iesous" a Greek translation of the Hebrew "Jehoshua"), for He shall SAVE His people from their sins. "Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet (Isaiah), saying, 'Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel' (Isa 7:14), which is translated, 'God ("El" an Almighty One) with us.'"
And in Isaiah 45:15 and 21: "Truly, You are a God (Heb. "El") that hides Yourself, O God (Elohim) of Israel, a SAVIOR!
"... Who has declared this from ancient time? Have not I, the Lord (Jehovah)? And there is no other God (Elohim) besides Me, a just God (El) and a SAVIOR; there is none besides Me."
If the singular and plural terms for God (El and Elohim) seem confusing, it is because theologians have been confused and have failed to translate them correctly because they did not understand the true meaning of the singular and plural God.
What does the name or title CHRIST, "Mashiyach" in Hebrew, mean?
Mashiyach in the OT, means simply "anointed" from the verb "mashach," which means to rub with oil or to anoint. Mashiyach in the OT is translated as "Christos" in the NT Greek and into English in most places as "Christ," "anointed" and also as "Messiah" (John 1:41; 4:25).
What is significant about anointing?
Anointing is a ritual that God commanded in ordaining kings and priests and others for special purposes (1 Sam 9:15-16; 10:1,6-7; 1 Sam 15:1; 16:3,12-13; 1 Kg 1:34-35; 19:15-16). It represented the sanctifying and giving of spiritual gifts to empower those anointed to be able to perform their God-given duties (1 Sam 10:1,6-7,9-11; Dan 4:24-26,34-37).
"You shall anoint ("mashach") them, that they may minister to Me as priests" (Ex 28:41; 40:9-15).
Anointing also is used symbolically in healing to represent God's Spirit, the power by which God does the healing - the same power by which God ("Elohim") created us and all things.
"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven" (James 5:14-15).
"And they (the apostles) cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them" (Mk 6:13).
Also, truly converted Christians, those who have repented of sin, believe and are baptized, "have an anointing from the Holy One" to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 5:32; 1 John 2:20). The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, then is their Helper that guides them into all truth to understand the things of God (John 16:7-13; 1 Cor 2:9-16).
Jesus CHRIST, the MESSIAH, is The Anointed One of whom the prophets foretold. Isaiah prophesied,
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has ANOINTED Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim an acceptable year of the Lord... to comfort all who mourn..." (Isa 61:1-2).
When John the Baptist came, to "prepare the way of the Lord" (Mat 3:3), he said,
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit..." (ver. 11).Then when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist,
"the Holy Spirit descended...like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, 'You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased'" (Lk 3:22).
Soon after, at the beginning of His earthly ministry,
Jesus "came to Nazareth... And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. ...And He had found the place where it was written: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor... Then He closed the book... And He began to say, 'This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your hearing'" (Lk 4:16-21).
The apostle Peter proclaimed,
"how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38).
Daniel prophesied concerning the first coming and anointing of the Messiah,
"Seventy weeks are determined... to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and TO ANOINT ("mashach") the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah ("Mashiyach") the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks... And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself..." (Dan 9:24-26).
Pilate asked Jesus shortly before His crucifixion,
"Are You a King then? Jesus answered, You say rightly that I am a King. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth" (John 18:37).
But He said, "My Kingdom is not of this world. If My Kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now My Kingdom is not from here" (ver. 36).
The angel told Mary before Jesus was born,
"...you shall conceive in your womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus ("Iesous," "Jehoshua"). He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of His father David. And He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His Kingdom there shall be no end" (Lk 1:31-33).
The word of the Lord came to Zechariah saying,
"...Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua ("Jehoshua")... Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the Lord of hosts, saying: 'Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the Lord; Yes, He shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a Priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both" (Zech 6:11-13).Jesus Christ will return to this earth as a KING of kings.
The Church ("ekklesia" the called out ones) is the temple of God in the NT (1 Cor 3:16-17). Jesus said, "...on this Rock I will build My church" (Mat 16:18).
"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war... He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word ("Logos" Spokesman) of God...And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING of kings and LORD of lords" (Rev 19:11,13,16).
"to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated 'King of Righteousness,' and then also King of Salem, meaning 'King of Peace,' without father, without mother, without geneology, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a Priest continually" (Heb 7:1-3).God, in the books of Psalms and Hebrews, testifies of the One who became Jesus Christ:
"You are a priest forever according to the order (rank) of Melchesidek" (Psa 110:4; Heb 7:17,21)
Who is Melchisedek?
We find something regarding the beginning of His existence described in Chapter 7 of the book of Hebrews. It speaks of Melchisedek (King of Righteousness - see Note-1), who was King of Salem (Gen 14:18; Heb 7:1-2 - see Note-2), which means literally "King of Peace," in the days of Abraham. It says that He was the Priest of the Most High God. This Melchisedek had existed from eternity:
"without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually...
"who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life" (Heb. 7:3,16).
This cannot be speaking of a man, a human king. No man could be given the title, King of Righteousness, for as the Scriptures say, "there are none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10,23). And no man has "neither beginning of days nor end of life."
Who then was Melchisedek? Jeremiah wrote concerning this King of Righteousness,
"Behold the days come, says the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous BRANCH, and a KING shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD ("Jehovah") OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" (Jer. 23:5-6).
Isaiah wrote, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The PRINCE of PEACE" (Isa. 9:6).
And in Hebrews 1:8, "But unto the Son He says, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a scepter (rod of royalty) of RIGHTEOUSNESS is the scepter of Thy kingdom".
Since Melchisedek was
"King of Righteousness" and "King of Peace" and "like unto the Son of God," "who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life,"and abides as High Priest forever continually - and since Jesus Christ has eternal life, and is now High Priest according to the order (rank or character) of Melchisedek (King of Righteousness) - Melchisedek and Jesus Christ are one and the same Person! He was, then, "like" the Son of God - but He was not yet the Son of God. He also was God, along with God (John 1:1), and
"He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them" (Heb 7:1-3,16-17,25).
"But no man takes this honor (as high priest) to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.
"So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him""You are My Son, today I have begotten You." (Psa 2:7)"As He also says in another place:"You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek," (Psa 110:4),"Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,
"though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
"And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
"called by God as High Priest 'according to the order of Melcizedek,'
"of whom we have much to say, but hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing" (Heb 5:4-11).
This is another proof that Jesus Christ, who was the Word (Spokesman) of the God Family to man, and who was "without father, without mother, without descent (geneology), having neither beginning of days, nor end of life" had existed eternally with God before coming in the flesh. Jesus answered the Pharisees:
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad."Jesus, when He was the "Word" (the Spokesman of God to man), was an immortal being of the God ("Elohim") Family (Eph 3:9-15) who had ALWAYS existed - there never was a time when He did not exist - without beginning of days. That is why we should not seek to worship Jesus Christ's birthday (and especially on a pagan holiday), we worship Him as our Lord (The Eternal) our God and Savior.
They said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?
"Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM ("eimi," to be, exist)'"(John 8:53-58; Gen 14:18-20 - It was Melchizedek, who is Jesus Christ that met with Abraham).
Now let's notice what else Jesus said to John in the book of Revelation! "I AM the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End... the First and the Last" (Rev 1:8,11). What did He mean by that?
The "Alpha" (Α) and the "Omega" (Ω) are the First and Last letters in the Greek alphebet. That has no apparent significance in itself, but when taken in context with the Old Testament, it has great significance.
The First and Last letters in the Hebrew alphebet are "Aleph" and "Tav." When Jesus was saying He is the Alpha and the Omega, He was saying He is the "Aleph and Tav" of the Old Testament, which is very significant. "Aleph-Tav" occurs as a word in many significant scriptures associated with God as the Creator in Genesis 1 as well as in many other places in the OT (rabbis refer to it as the "Word of Creation" - see also John 1:1-3), but in EVERY case IT IS LEFT OUT by the translators, so no wonder few understand its significance. For example in Genesis 1 and 2:
"In a beginning God [Aleph-Tav] (the Alpha and the Omega who is Jesus Christ) created the heavens and the earth" (Gen 1:1).In addition, Aleph-Tav is used in association with many OT prophecies about the Messiah, Jesus Christ. For example the Lord (Eternal) said to Moses:
"And God [Aleph-Tav] made the firmament (space or sky)...
"And God [Aleph-Tav] made (prepared) two great lights...
"And God [Aleph-Tav] set (appointed) them in the firmament (sky) to give light...
"And God [Aleph-Tav] created great whales...
"And God [Aleph-Tav] made the beast...
"So God [Aleph-Tav] created man...
"And God [Aleph-Tav] saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good..." (Gen 1:1,7,16-17,21,25,27,31).
"And God [Aleph-Tav] blessed the seventh day and sanctified it... (Also see Mark 2:27-28)
"And the Lord God [Aleph-Tav] formed man of the dust of the ground...
"And the Lord God [Aleph-Tav] took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden...
"And the Lord God [Aleph-Tav] made a woman from the rib which he had taken from the man..." (Gen 2:3,7,15,22).
"And the Lord said, I [Aleph-Tav] have surely seen the affliction of My people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry...for I [Aleph-Tav] know their sorrows (See Isa 53:), and am coming down to deliver them...The Prophet Isaiah referred often to Aleph-Tav (The Alpha and the Omega) in many prophecies, especially those concerning the Messiah:
"When [Aleph-Tav] has brought forth the people of Israel out of Egypt, you shall serve [Aleph-Tav] the God upon this mountain" (Ex 3:7-8,12).
Concerning the Passover, "And they shall eat [Aleph-Tav] the flesh in that night...
"The blood shall be to you for a sign...and when I see [Aleph-Tav] the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you...
"You shall observe [Aleph-Tav] the unleavened bread... therefore shall you observe [Aleph-Tav] this day in your generations as an ordinance forever"
"For the Lord will pass through to smite, [Aleph-Tav] the Egyptians; and when He sees [Aleph-Tav] the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the Lord will pass over the door, (Ex 12:8,13,17). (Also see John 6:35,48-51; 1 Cor. 5:7)
The Lord told Moses, "I will raise up a Prophet for them from among their brethren like unto you, and will put My words in His mouth, and [Aleph-Tav] shall speak to them all that I command Him" (Deut 18:18).
King David wrote, "I will bless [Aleph-Tav] the Lord at all times...
"I sought [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me..." (Psa 34:1,4).
"[Aleph-Tav] Your statutes I will keep; O forsake me not utterly" (Psa 119:8).
"Let Israel hope in the Lord... He [Aleph-Tav] shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities" (Psa 130:7-8).
"Praise you [Aleph-Tav] the name of the Lord..." (Psa 135:1).
"You open [Aleph-Tav] Your hand, and satify the desire of every living thing" (Psa 145:16).
"Praise [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, O my soul" (Psa 146:1).
"Praise [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, O Jerusalem..." (Psa 147:12).
"Praise you [Aleph-Tav] the Lord from the heavens..." (Psa 148:1,5,7,13).
King Solomon also... "My son, fear you [Aleph-Tav] the Lord and the King..." (Prov 24:21).
"Ah sinful nation... they have forsaken [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, they have provoked [Aleph-Tav] the Holy One of Israel..." (Isa 1:4).The other prophets also mention "Aleph-Tav" many times:
Isaiah told king Ahaz to ask for a sign from God to increase his faith to trust Him. "But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt [Aleph-Tav] the Lord." Isaiah then said, "...but will you weary [Aleph-Tav] my God also?" (Isa 7:12-13). Isaiah then gave him a prophetic sign, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel," (Mat 1:21-23, Jesus Christ - who is the Aleph-Tav or the Alpha and the Omega).
In a millennial prophecy of the Kingdom of God, Isaiah wrote: "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy Mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, as the waters cover the sea...
"And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover [Aleph-Tav] the remnant of His people..." (Isa 11:9,11).
"Who has directed [Aleph-Tav] the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counselor has taught Him?" (Isa 40:13).
"Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, My called; I am He; I am the first, and I am the last"(Isa 48:12, see Rev 1:11,17).
"The Lord has made bare [Aleph-Tav] His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see [Aleph-Tav] the salvation of our God" (Isa 52:10).
"The Lord has laid on Him [Aleph-Tav] the iniquity of us all...
"He was taken from prison and from judgment: and [Aleph-Tav] who shall declare His generation? for He was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of My people was He stricken" (Isa 53:6,8).
"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord has anonted Me [Aleph-Tav] to preach good tidings unto the meek..." (Isa 61:1, see Lk 4:18).
Hosea prophesied of the second coming of Jesus Christ (Aleph-Tav). "Come let us return to the Lord... After two days He will revive us; in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know...[Aleph-Tav] the Lord; His going is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth" (Hos 6:1-3 - "come let us return to the Lord...after two days" - "one day is as 1,000 years" (2 Pet 3:8; Rev 19:6-7,11-16) is referring to His second coming and the "first resurrection" 2,000 years after His first coming; and "in the third day" is after another 1,000 years at the 2nd resurrection, the time of the "judgment" ("krisis," a tribunal for judgment - John 5:24-29; Rev 20:4-7,11-13) when "He will raise us up" - see God's Plan and Timetable in "Keys to Understanding the Mysteries of Prophecy," Key #4).Aleph-Tav is Jesus Christ, the Word of God (John 1:1), the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. The Hebrew Alphabet has 22 letters in it, Aleph is the first, the beginning and Tav is the last, the end. The Old Testament, which is the Word of God as originally inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16), has 22 scrolls organized into three sections, the Law, the Prophets and the Writings. Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Aleph-Tav, the Alpha and the Omega, endorsed the 22 scrolls of the Old Testament Scriptures, the same number as the Hebrew alphabet from Aleph to Tav, as being complete from the first to the last book, from the beginning to the end, concerning Him.
Joel warns of the coming "Day of the Lord" (Joel 2:1), the time when the Lord says, "...I shall turn back to [Aleph-Tav] the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. I [Aleph-Tav] will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the vally of Jehoshaphat (Armageddon), and will plead with them..." (Joel 3:1-2).
He also prophesied that, "It shall come to pass afterward, that I [Aleph-Tav] will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh" (Joel 2:28-29 - also see Acts 2:16-21 - referring to both His first and second coming).
Amos prophesied, "Behold, the days come, says the Lord God, that I will send a famine...of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea...they shall run to and fro to seek [Aleph-Tav] the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it" (Amos 8:11-12).
But after this he prophesies, "But I will turn back to [Aleph-Tav] the captivity of My people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities..." (Amos 9:14).
Zephaniah admonished, "Seek you [Aleph-Tav] the Lord, all you meek of the earth, who have wrought His judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be you shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger" (Zeph 2:3).
Zechariah was inspired to prophesy, "Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying, 'Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH (Jesus Christ); and He shall grow up out of His place, and He [Aleph-Tav] shall build the temple of the Lord..." (Zech 6:12-13). The spiritual temple is the NT Church (Mat 16:18; 1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor 6:16).
"Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek [Aleph-Tav] the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and pray to [Aleph-Tav] before the Lord" (Zech 8:22).
"...they weighed for [Aleph-Tav] my price thirty pieces of silver... And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast [Aleph-Tav] them to the potter in the house of the Lord" (Zech 11:12; Mat 27:3-9 - prophesying of Judas who betrayed Jesus).
"And they shall look upon [Aleph-Tav] whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him..." (Zech 12:10 - Also see John 19:34).
"Smite [Aleph-Tav] the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered..." (Zech 13:7).
"I [Aleph-Tav] will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle..."
"This shall be the punishment...of all nations that come not up to observe [Aleph-Tav] a feast of tabernacles" (Zech 14:2,19.
Malachi prophesies against the priests "O priests that despise My name. And you say, 'Wherein have we despised [Aleph-Tav] thy name?
"...you have profaned [Aleph-Tav] in that you say, 'The table of the Lord is polluted...
"You also say, 'Oh what a weariness!' And you sneer at [Aleph-Tav], says the Lord of hosts. And you bring what is stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring [Aleph-Tav] the offering! Should I [Aleph-Tav] accept this from your hand? says the Lord" (Mal 1:6,12-13).
"But who may abide [Aleph-Tav] the day of His coming?
"Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed [Aleph-Tav]... In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse; for you have robbed [Aleph-Tav], even this whole nation. Bring you [Aleph-Tav] all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, if I [Aleph-Tav] will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Mal 3:2,8-10).
"Behold, I [Aleph-Tav] will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I [Aleph-Tav] come and smite the earth with a curse" (Mal 4:5-6)
"These are the Words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me" (Lk 24:44).
The True identity of the Messiah ("Mashiyach," "Christos") is revealed in the Old and New Testament prophecies and testimonies. No one has fulfilled all of those prophecies yet. But, as we have seen from the prophecies and evidence above, no one but God Himself, or a member of the Eternal (Jehovah) God (Elohim) Family could be the REAL Messiah. Many Old Testament prophecies reveal that the Messiah would be God Himself and that He would come and save His people.
"Say to them that are of a fearful heart, 'Be strong, fear not: behold, your God ("Elohim," meaning The Almighty Ones) will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; He will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart (male deer), and the tongue of the dumb sing..." (Isa 35:4-6)
Other prophecies reveal that the coming of the Messiah would be dual - as two separate events and times, the first as the Son of God and Son of Man to give His life to save man from sin; and the second in the full power and glory of God as KING of kings and LORD of lords to restore the Kingdom of God over the earth.
Prophecies of the Messiah's first and second coming are often intermixed. This has caused many Jewish theologians to reject His first coming and the New Testament record. But the prophecies are clear that the Messiah's first coming would be born as a human from the linage of Abraham through Isaac, Jacob (Israel), Judah and David (Gen 22:18; 26:4-5; 28:13-14; 2 Sam 7:12-13,29; Isa 9:6-7; 11:1-5,10).
God promised Abraham that the Savior would be his Seed (offspring or descendant) through his wife Sarah. The Lord said to Abraham:
"...in you all the families of the earth will be blessed" (Gen 12:3; Gal 3:8).Abraham had a son, through Hagar, his wife's Egyptian handmaid, whom he named Ishmael who became the father of the Arabs. The angel of the Lord prophesied that,
"He shall be a wild man; his hand shall be against every man..." (Gen 16:1-2,11-12).Mohammed, the prophet of the Islamic religion, was born of the lineage of Ishmael.
"And Abraham said to God, 'Oh that Ishmael might live before You!'Later God tested Abraham and said to him,
"But God said: 'No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him'" (Gen 17:18-19).
Later: "And the Lord said, '...all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in [Abraham]. For I know him, that he will command his children and his houshold after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken to him" (Gen 18:17-19).
"... Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there..."
When Isaac asked his father, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?
"Abraham said, 'My son, God will provide ("raah" to see, appear, show onself, present, provide) Himself the lamb for a burnt offering... Then they came to the place which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there... and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar... And Abraham...took the knife to slay his son.
"But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said... 'Do not lay you hand on the lad... for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.
"Then Abraham...looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up... instead of his son... And Abraham called the place, Jehovah-jireh; as it is said to this day, 'In the Mount the Lord shall [appear].' (The place is where Solomon built the original temple, where the temple mount is today - 1 Kgs 5 & 6)
"Then the Angel of the Lord...said: 'By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son, in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven...
"In your SEED all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice" (Gen 22:1-2,7-18).
What does "in your seed" mean? The apostle Paul clearifies the meaning of the promised blessing through Abraham's SEED:
"Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, 'And to seeds,' as of many, but as of ONE, 'And to your Seed,' who is Christ (the Messiah)...
"For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, ...slave nor free, ...male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal 3:16,26-29).
The promise to Abraham was that the people of "all the nations", those who believed as Abraham did, "shall be blessed" through Jesus Christ.
"...just as Abraham 'believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.'
"Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the nations by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, 'In you all the nations shall be blessed.'
"So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham" (Gal 3:6-9).
"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel" (Isa 7:14; see also Gen 3:15).
The Gospel of salvation (Eph 1:13) and of the Kingdom of God (Mk 1:1,14-15) is the Good News message of the revelation of the Messiah, the Savior, who would come first to save man from the curses of sin and death, and second to establish an everlasting Kingdom of God on the earth and rule in righteousness (Dan 2:44). That Savior would be God (Isa 35:4-6), but He would be born of a woman:
The Messiah, JESUS ("Iesous," "Jehoshua"), was called "Immanuel" - meaning "God with us" (Isa 7:14; Mat 1:23).
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel, which being intrepreted is, God (Heb. "El," meaning an Almighty One) with us."
CHRIST, "Christos," "MESSIAH," "Mashiyach," meaning "Anointed One." Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit, the power of God (Lk 3:22).
"God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppresed by the devil, for God was with Him...
"To Him all the prophets witness that through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins" (Acts 10:38,43).
This same Jesus ("Jehoshua," The Lord who saves), the Christ,
"died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures..." (1 Cor 15:3-4).After Christ had returned to heaven (Acts 1:9-11), and had sent the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, Peter witnessed to the crowd,
He "was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom 1:4),
"...the firstborn among many brethren" (Rom 8:29; Heb 2:9-18).
And "He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by (His disciples) during forty days and speaking of the things pretaining to the Kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3).
"So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God" (Mk 16:19).
"This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says: 'The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.' Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ (Messiah)" (Acts 2:32-36).
No one, including David, whom God called "a man after My own heart, who will do all My will" (Acts 13:22), has ascended into heaven - other than Jesus Christ (the Messiah). "No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is the Son of Man who is in heaven... that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:13,15).
"Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (Rom 8:34-35),
"...who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him" (1 Pet 3:22).
"I, John... was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day (the Day of Trumpets when Christ shall return - Joel 2:1-2,11,15-16; Rev 6:17; 11:15; 16:14; 19:11-16), and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, 'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,' and what you see, write... Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw...One like the Son of Man... His head and His hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like flames of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters... and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, 'Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore... And I have the keys of hades (the grave) and death" (Rev 1:9-18).
How GREAT is this JESUS ("Jehoshua," "Iesous") the CHRIST ("Mashiyach," "Christos"), our SAVIOR and the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb 2:10-11; 5:8-9).
Further proofs that Jesus is the Messiah, and what He the Messiah fulfilled at His first coming, will be covered in the next part detailing Jesus Christ's mission as the Son of Man and Son of God on this earth.
Now "Therefore... let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb 12:1-2).Return to Top
Next installment: Chapter 3 - What was Jesus Christ's Mission on this Earth?
©Copyright: 1998-2005, Allen L. Stout, Serf Publishing, Inc.
Latest Update: 3/2/05
(Note-1) Melchisedek is derived from two Hebrew words: Melek-meaning a king, royal, to reign, counsel; and tsedeq-meaning the right or righteousness, equity or prosperity, hence King of Righteousness.] The Messiah, Jesus Christ, was declared by Jehovah:
"The Lord has sworn, and will not repent, 'You are a Priest forever after ("al" above, over, according to) the order ("dibrah" cause, reason, order, manner, intent, estate) of Melchizedek" (Psa 110:4; Heb 5:6).
"So also Christ glorified not Himself to be made a high priest, but He that said unto Him, 'You are My Son, today have I begotten You.' As He said also in another place, 'You are a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
"Who in the days of His flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared; Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all that obey Him;
"Called of God High Priest after (according to) the order ("taxis" rank or character) of Melchizedek" (Heb 5:5-10).
(Note-2) Salem The Greek word Salem is from the Heb. "Shalem," which is from the same root as shalom, meaning peace, hence King of Peace. Some assume Melchisedek was a human king of either Jerusalem or a city called Salem in Abraham's time or that he was Shem. There is no proof of these assumptions. At Joshua's time when Israel entered the "promised Land" Jerusalem was controlled by the gentile Jebusites up until it was conquered by David (Jos. 15:8,63; II Sam 5:6-7). Hebrews 7:2 makes it clear that the word Salem "shalom" here should be translated as "peace" rather than a location.
"For this Melchizedek, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
"To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by intrepretation King of Righteousness, and after that also King of Salem ("shalom"), which is, King of peace ("eirene," meaning peace)..." (Heb 7:1-2).