The Hebrew Bible vaguely introduces the concept of a messiah figure expected to manifest in the future. In this video teaching, we explore 10 criterion of the final Messiah.
To read this teaching instead, visit:
The Hebrew Bible vaguely introduces the concept of a messiah figure expected to manifest in the future. In this video teaching, we explore 10 criterion of the final Messiah.
To read this teaching instead, visit:
To read this article instead, click this link: https://flipflopfellowship.com/2020/08/30/why-jesus-didnt-die-for-your-sins/
The Hebrew Bible vaguely introduces the concept of a messiah figure expected to manifest in the future. Messiah simply means “anointed one” and the Hebrew term “mashiach” has been used throughout the Hebrew Bible to describe many prophets, priests, and rulers, including a Gentile King. To learn more about the term “mashiach”, read my article “Not THE Messiah, But Many Messiahs“.
Many Jews and Christians alike believe a messiah or anointed ruler will manifest one fine day, but it should be noted not all Jews or Christians believe in such concepts. I have found the various branches of Judaism and their off-shoots have varying interpretations as to when this messiah will appear if they believe in a messiah figure at all. Christians obviously believe Jesus is the one and only messiah and that he will return at some point in the near future to rule and reign. In other words, Christians, specifically Evangelical Christians, believe in a “second-coming” of the messiah.
Throughout thousands of years, many have claimed to be the much anticipated “messiah” and many more will surely do the same, but none of them fit the profile of the final messiah. So how can a person know who is or isn’t the final messiah? To learn clues of what to look for in a messiah, we must study the book that made us even aware of such a concept, the Hebrew Bible.
The Final Messiah could be David himself upon being resurrected, which would be a literal interpretation of the prophetic text (Ezekiel 34:23; 37:24-25; Jeremiah 30:8-9; Micah 5:2).
Now knowing the criteria or profile of the final messiah, let’s compare what the New Testament tells us about Jesus to see if he fits this profile.
Having been armed with this knowledge, I trust you will be better equipped to determine who is and is not the final anointed one.
To assist you with your studies, I attached a downloadable/printable version of this article.
Many Christians believe Jesus of Nazareth is THE Messiah. But did you know there are many “messiahs” throughout the Hebrew Bible? The reason Christians mistakenly believe there is only one messiah is because of the King James Version translation of Daniel 9. It appears the mistranslation was intentional to lead the reader to believe in Christian dogma. Keep in mind, Christians have been told there are some 300 Messianic prophecies in the Hebrew Bible all about Jesus and Daniel 9 is one of the alledged 300 prophecies predicting Jesus as THE Messiah. Moreover, Christians are trained to read into the text what they want it to mean instead of letting the text interpret itself or reading the text in context. Interestingly, the New Testament not once quotes Daniel 9 as proof text predicting Jesus as Messiah or when he would arrive on the scene. The deceiving urge to do has become more popular within modern times. Additionally, it is common within recent years for some Evangelicals, Hebrew Roots, and Messianics to use the phrase “Yeshua HaMashiach” or some variant to mean Jesus The Messiah, all of which only adds to their confusion. I confess I once was guilty of such false practices before realizing my error.
To clear up the misunderstanding of believing there could only be one Messiah, let’s take a look at the text within Daniel 9 which the King James Version translates the term “mashiach” to be Messiah. More specifically, in Daniel 9:25, it translates the Hebrew text into English as “the Messiah the Prince”.
Similarly, in Daniel 9:26, the King James Version translates the Hebrew text as “Messiah”.
And yet, in the other 37 times the term “mashiach” is used throughout the Hebrew Bible, the King James Version translates the term as “anointed”, which is the accurate translation.
In other words, the term “anointed” or “mashiach” in Hebrew was used a total of 39 times throughout the Tanakh or what Christians refer to as the Old Testament. I will list below each time so you can review them for yourself in your own Bible while using a tool like Bible Hub to see for yourself how the term “mashiach” is translated as “anointed”. Each time it is used it is referring to a priest, prophet, or king that was literally anointed or ordained, if you will, as such. It was not limited to a Jewish king for even the Gentile King Cyrus was anointed or “mashiach” in Isaiah 45.
As you can see within the pages of your own Bible, there was and is not one messiah, but many anointed persons throughout Jewish history. For further study specifically on Daniel 9, read this article and watch these videos:
List of 37 Times The Term Maschiach Is Translated As Anointed:
Leviticus 4:3, 4:5, 4:16, 6:22
1 Samuel 2:10, 2:35, 12:3, 12:5, 16:6, 24:6, 24:10, 26:9, 26:11, 26:16, 26:23
2 Samuel 1:14, 1:16, 1:21, 19:21, 22:51, 23:1
1 Chronicles 16:22
2 Chronicles 6:42
Psalm 2:2, 18:50, 20:6, 28:8, 84:9, 89:38, 89:51, 105:15, 132:10; 132:17
To download his article with Scriptures, Click Here.
The famous verse of Isaiah 9:6 is circulated and exclaimed in Christmas services worldwide, as many Christians, and likely even non-Christians, know. But what I didn’t know as a former Christian and likely many of my friends/family also don’t know is a few eye-opening truths about this particular “Christmas verse”.
1) Isaiah 9:6 was altered in translation from the Hebrew to English to make it sound like the prophet Isaiah was speaking of a FUTURE person (like 700+ years in the future), which Christianity uses to proclaim Jesus is the Messiah, when in fact the verbs in Hebrew throughout the verse are PAST tense or indicating an unfolding matter. In other words, this verse is not about Jesus, but more accurately a person in Isaiah’s time.
Most Christians don’t have Hebrew Bibles, read Hebrew, or speak it let alone understand the depths of Hebrew like Rabbis do and many Jews do for they are raised early on to read it, speak it, study it. Naturally, the average person reading the translations put much trust in the translator(s). Hence, why I am slowly learning to read Hebrew for myself, though daunting.
2) Many don’t recognize the significance of Hebrew names and that it is common to refer to God or an attribute of His within the Hebrew name while not labeling that person as God Himself for that would be blasphemous and against concepts throughout Torah. So most Christians don’t realize the phrases like “wonderful counselor”, “prince of peace”, “mighty/strength of God”, etc. are the translations of Hebrew name meanings. In general, Judaism believes this verse of Isaiah 9:5/6 is describing Hezekiah, Ahaz’s son, when one reads/studies Hebrew and in context. Apparently, even some Christian commentators agree with Jewish sages on the meaning of this verse being about Hezekiah, not Jesus. Moreover, names throughout the Hebrew can and often do have prophetic, or at the very least, hopeful implications connected to that child and/or his/her descendants. For example, in Isaiah 8:1-4, the chapter before the infamous Christmas verse, Isaiah’s wife gets pregnant and they name the child to capture a hopeful, future event WITHIN that child’s lifetime – according to those verses. What is interesting is in Isaiah 7:10-17, a chapter earlier, King Ahaz reluctantly asks for a sign to help know God’s will, per the LORD’s prompting. The prophet Isaiah informs the skeptical king that a pregnant woman, likely a wife or concubine of King Ahaz’s when you consider he says “Look” indicating the young woman is present and uses present tense verbs stating she “is” with child and about to give birth. The Prophet Isaiah tells King Ahaz that baby or pregnant woman is the sign of hope and direction King Ahaz needs. Was that baby the future King Hezekiah? Highly likely. Hence, the eloquent and lengthy description of what was about to unfold for the Northern Kingdom/House of Israel/Ephraim the Southern Kingdom/House of Judah when Assyria, who God uses as His rod of anger/discipline (Isaiah 10:5) approaches, and the description of King Hezekiah (Ahaz’s son) in Isaiah 9:6 (vs 5 in Jewish Bible). Hezekiah means strength/mighty God. Over a few decades, Assyria invaded Israel, but thanks to King Hezekiah’s leadership as a wonderful counselor, ruler of peace, and strength of God in him, etc.(2 Kings 18-20), Assyria failed to conquer Jerusalem and the House of Judah (the Southern Kingdom), but did take the Northern Kingdom and those 10 tribes of Israel eventually assimilated into the nations, lost. Even more interesting is how God used yet another pregnant woman, being Isaiah’s pregnant wife, their unborn son, as a confirmation to Ahaz’s sign in the following verses of Isaiah 8. Neither of those pregnant women’s unborn babies was God Himself, nor foretell of God “in the flesh”, for that is against God’s own instructions in Torah, but rather, both of those pregnancies conveyed the reassurance that the tribe of Judah/House of Judah/Southern Kingdom need not fear, God is with them. For as the prophet Jeremiah reiterated later during the Babylonian captivity of Judah, God always has (and still has) hope and a future for Jews/Israel (Jeremiah 29:10) even when things look bleak. The prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 8 also predicts, in the end of it all, Gentiles will flock to Jews realizing God indeed is still with them.
Such things among many others I discovered when trying to prove Jesus is the Messiah using only Hebrew Scriptures. Shockingly, while studying and wrestling with God, I discovered the heartbreaking opposite as the “messianic prophecies” allegedly linked to Jesus could rather easily be debunked. Moreover, in addition to discovering I was misled, albeit unintentionally, I, like many Christians, are grossly guilty of reading into the “old” testament (Just labeling it “old” is clever, isn’t it? Implying it is irrelevant and replaceable just like “the church” is allegedly the new and improved Israel) what we want it to mean rather than letting the text interpret itself as well as actually studying the many layers of Hebrew not to mention the numerous wise sages who spent lifetimes studying such things. Even more disturbing was discovering how many pagan gods have a similar storyline as Jesus (i.e. virgin birth, celebrated on Dec 25, or died and was resurrected, etc.) as well as learning the gospels, where we get the largely fictional accounts of Jesus, were written decades after Jesus lived and died by unknown authors- all after Paul mysteriously sees some vision in the sky similar to Emperor Constantine’s vision in the sky who really went and turned faith of Jesus into an entirely antisemitic beast.
Needless to say, 2020 was a very eye-opening year as I discovered much truth and still am learning more! Many tears were shed I will tell you that much, but once I accepted these harsh realities, the truth set me free. I will attach some articles and videos for anyone interested to investigate for themselves. In all sincerity, for the love of God, I pray more take off the Christian glasses we’ve been prescribed for in doing so, much comes into focus. 2020.
Since we each must give an account for ourselves and ideally should be able to explain one’s faith, I have wrestled with some difficult questions over the years all of which cumulated in this eye-opening year of 2020 vision. This, like all my thought-provoking articles, are not an attack against an individual person, but rather it is exposing what I now see is a false ideology called Christianity, specifically what G!d labels as idolatry, and moreover, an invitation to dig into the Holy Scriptures for oneself while pondering, praying, and pursuing such critical concepts.
Naturally, when people can’t explain or can’t overcome such objections, they become angry at the person exposing error or at the very least challenging their belief, not realizing the person, such as myself, typically are motivated by love to do so. After all, iron sharpens iron. Nevertheless, I understand the mentality, the passion, and emotion of the Christian, as I, too, was appalled and even angry upon learning such truths below – first, at the person or people sharing, and then, more appropriately my anger became directed at Christianity or idolatry in general for propagating such blatant and now obvious to me fallacies. Though I readily admit, I know not all of G!d’s truth, for none of us can, today, I am in complete peace (Psalm 119:165), more in love with G!d and others than ever and daily learning to surrender to G!d, His will, and His Spirit of Holiness. It has been a long process of truth-seeking that eventually led me to the LORD when I thought I would be leading others to Him! You could say it’s been a journey of flip-flopped faith, though certainly not my intention when I picked the name “Flip Flop Fellowship” for my ministry. G!d clearly has a sense of all-knowing humor. It is my prayer these questions, as well as my various articles and testimony, spurn you, dear student of the Bible, to continue to seek Abba Father and His will for you with all your being and by continually comparing and examining your will and theology to His as defined in His Holy Scriptures. But I both confess and warn, it is not easy to lay our idols down.
As always, much love, shalom, and blessings! ~Carrie, 10.5.2020
1)What criteria did G!d give the Israelites regarding how to discern a false prophet, false teacher, or false messiah?
FACT: In Deuteronomy 13, God specifically instructed the Israelites to beware of and test a person based off two criteria: 1) Does the person implore the Israelites to worship any other person, thing, or other gods as “G!d” for G!d alone is to be worshiped – not His son, not anybody, or anything but G!d. 2) Does the person teach that G!d’s instructions being G!d’s law or Torah is done away with, old, irrelevant? For Israel is only to obey G!d and His instructions, not man’s, not Paul’s, not Jesus’ commands, but G!d’s alone.
2) What are the Jews, Israel, or Twelve Tribes of Israel chosen for? “Chosen” to do what exactly and why?
FACT: Israel, being the Twelve Tribes, specifically the Jews, are chosen to make G!d, His name, and His Torah known. They are chosen to be the light of the world, to set the captives free, so that all the world may also experience salvation. They are chosen as G!d’s “Servant” (Isaiah 44:1, 21, 45:4, 48:20, 49:3, 52:13) or commissioned to instruct the world in Torah, which the Scriptures define as light itself (Psalm 119:105,130; Proverbs 6:23; Isaiah 62:1-2), the way of salvation or righteousness, and moreover, living a lifestyle of loving G!d and loving others. According to the prophets, eventually, in the World-To-Come/Messianic Era, they are elevated and honored while some of them are specifically commissioned to help teach Torah to the world as the world “learns righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9-10). See Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 6, 7:6-8, 26:17-19; 2 Samuel 7:23-24; Psalm 105; Isaiah 2:1-5; 26:1-12; 32:16-20; 33:20-24; 35:1-10; 42:6-7; 48:17-19; 49:6; 51:4-7; 52:1-2; 62:1-12; 66:5-24; Jeremiah 29-31; Zechariah 8, 12; Ezekiel 44:23-24; Amos 9:11-15; Obadiah 1:15-21; Micah 4:1-5; Joel 3; Zephaniah 3:8-20; Daniel 12:3; Hosea 14. Nearly every prophetic book foretells this glorious event and outcome for the children of Israel, wherever they are scattered in the past, present, and future world!
3) If both Jew and Gentile can be forgiven by simply repenting and striving to keep G!d’s commands, which are His instructions for life found in Torah, why did Jesus have to die for people’s sins?
FACT: G!d has always eagerly forgave people who authentically repented. His grace has always been available well before Jesus arrived. See Deuteronomy 4:29-31; 1 Kings 8; 2 Samuel 12 (Did King David have to make a sacrifice for forgiveness of his sin?); Isaiah 1:16-17; 42:6; 43:25; 44:22; 45:22,25 ; 49:10; 55:6-7; Psalms 24:3-6; 25:6,10; 30:5; 32:1,5; 34:22; 36:5,10; 37:18,29,34,37-40; 51:1-4, 7-9 (really all of Psalm 51); 68:19; 72:12-14; Psalm 103; 119:118,132,155-156; 146:17-20; 147:11; Micah 7:18-20; Book of Jonah (notice even the Gentiles had to repent- repent from what? Did they have to have a blood sacrifice for forgiveness?). To study more passages, read this article: Always Have Been Saved By Grace
4) Since forgiveness has been and still is granted without any blood sacrifice and by simply repenting, why did Jesus need to spill his blood as a sacrifice?
FACT: G!d forgave people with or without blood sacrifices and /or if they only offered other items instead of blood sacrifices such as flour, money, or jewelry when a temple was in place. See passages above in #3 as well as Leviticus 5:11-13 (flour), Exodus 30:15-16 (money), Numbers 31:48-52 (jewelry). The sin sacrifices were a tangible act in order to teach them to not forget G!d’s instructions/His law like requiring your kid to sacrifice their electronics when they disobey for sin has consequences – best to learn to obey Abba Father/G!d for our own good (Deuteronomy 5:29; 6:24-25; 10:12-13). To learn more, read this article: Why Jesus Didn’t Die For Anyone’s Sins (but his own)
5) Why would the unknown authors* of the gospels claim Jesus is G!d’s one and only son (John 3:16) when Scripture reveals the twelve tribes of Israel/the Jewish people (and their descendants) are God’s sons and daughters; therefore, G!d has many sons?
*scholars don’t know for certain who exactly penned each gospel
FACT: When G!d speaks to the Israelites/Israel/Judah or when the prophets refer to G!d, G!d or the prophet often identifies Himself/G!d as Father inferring He has many sons and daughters – see Deuteronomy 32:6; Isaiah 64:7; Jeremiah 3:19, as a few examples. Similarly, G!d says in Isaiah 56 that non-Jews/Gentiles/foreigners who choose to enjoin themselves with G!d and His holy covenant (meaning Torah) by willingly obeying it (Judaism refers to this as “Jews-By-Choice”) are considered “better than sons or daughters” indicating the naturally chosen are sons and daughters while the “Jews-By-Choice”, or adopted if you will, are even more honored and also brought to Mt Zion upon being literally saved, regathered, or resurrected. Also, see Psalm 82:6 and even Jesus referred to his audience of Jews also as sons in John 10 when quoting Psalm 82:6. And yet the mysterious author of John* made it seem like Jesus is the one and only begotten son of G!d a few chapters earlier in John 3. In other words, Jesus was one of G!d’s many children.
6) Why would G!d instruct one of His sons, since Jesus was a Jew, to die for the sins of the world as the New Testament claims when G!d already informed Israel no person can die for another person’s sins?
FACT: According to Deuteronomy 24:16; Ezekiel 18:1-32; 33:12-20; Jeremiah 31:29-30 (which is also what Eze 18:1-2 says), and Psalm 49:7 no person can die for another persons’ sins even in the New Covenant chapter of Jeremiah 31.
7) Why would G!d instruct one of His sons, much less G!d’s other kids, to believe G!d would offer His child as a sacrifice when G!d specifically told His kids, being the Israelites, never to offer their children as sacrifices?
FACT: G!d often instructed the Israelites to not mimic other religions such as offering their children as sacrifices to a god(s), or as a form of worship, and labeled such behavior an abomination. See Leviticus 18:21, 20:3; Deuteronomy 12:29-32; 18:10; 2 Kings 3:27, 16:3, 17:17; 2 Chronicles 28:3, 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31; Psalm 106:35-38; Ezekiel 16:20-21 as some examples.
8) Why are we still teaching each other about who the One True Living G!d is if we are currently in the New Covenant?
FACT: According to the only chapter in the Holy Scriptures that refers by name a “New Covenant”, found in Jeremiah 31, no one will need to inform one another who G!d is for all will know Him (see verse 34). Incidentally, most Christians seem to not notice what the ambiguous author of Hebrews pens in chapter 8:13, which says referring to the “old” and “new” covenants, “Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away” inferring the “old” covenant isn’t obsolete or done away with yet because the New Covenant hasn’t manifested just yet -obviously, since there is no world peace and everyone obeying Torah (but more on that later). Equally fascinating, is the New Covenant isn’t activated until there is a New Jerusalem, New Heavens, and New Earth – hence, all the references to “Behold, I will do (future tense) a NEW thing..” Isaiah 43:19. More accurately, RENEWED covenant, RENEWED earth, RENEWED Jerusalem, etc. How interesting G!d is referring to do a “new thing” upon literally saving Israel from their oppressors and restoring them all to the land of Canaan/Israel as discussed in #2.
8) Why in the New Covenant / World-To-Come / Messianic Era (the future, whatever you want to call it) are there still sacrifices if Jesus was the final sacrifice? Moreover, how can Christians honestly believe another man, namely Paul, when he says God’s laws are a curse and not to be obeyed when clearly it is not just commanded by G!d, but the future of the world?
FACT: Ezekiel chapters 36-48 describe both the literal resurrection of all of Israel, regathering, and restoration of Israel, both dead and alive, to the land of their inheritance in Israel, a magnificent event nearly all the prophets describe but hasn’t manifested nowhere near its entirety just yet. In this future era, there is a unique temple established along with sacrifices led by the ruler/prince including not just the praise sacrifices, but sin sacrifices as well (see specifically Ezekiel 43-44). Additionally, Zechariah 14:16+ informs us in the future, after God literally physically saves Israel from their enemies, all the remaining survivors of the nations must participate in bringing sacrifices to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, or what is known in Hebrew as “Sukkot”, in order for it to rain, or put another way in order for them and their economy to survive. Sukkot is in the Fall (September/October on the Gregorian calendar) and is the initiation of the rainy season. In fact, as I pen this, it is Sukkot, a festival of rejoicing, for one day, it will indeed be a whole new world full of joy and peace! To learn more about the Feasts of the LORD, read Leviticus 23. Also, in Isaiah 65-66 G!d describes the future and how He wants to be worshiped, as well as how He is specifically angered at those who consume pork, which He instructed not to eat in Leviticus 11; Deuteronomy 14, and describes worship as participating in the Sabbaths and festivals of the LORD in the New Heavens and New Earth (aka New Covenant). Furthermore, Zechariah 8 tells us Gentiles will be clinging to Jews to learn more about G!d one fine day.
9) Why would the “New Testament” and Christianity be all about propagating one must “believe” Jesus is Messiah in order to be spared from hell and go to heaven when there is absolutely no prophecy in the Hebrew Bible stating one must believe in a future Messiah in order to experience salvation much less the heaven vs hell concept?
FACT: Search the prophets out for yourself, you will not find any prophetic word regarding anyone must believe in a Messiah to be saved. But what you do read in Amos 3:7 is G!d does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first. Also, you will find a very different definition of salvation unfolds. Plainly said, salvation is a literal, physical experience, not solely spiritual mental ascent, while both salvation and righteousness are repeatedly linked with obeying G!d’s commands, His laws, His Torah, His Voice. Whereas many passages infer or directly state those who disregard G!d’s laws are considered wicked (Psalm 50; Psalm 119), without knowledge, and will perish (Hosea 4:6). You will not find in the Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, the law, and the prophets where salvation is merely a mental belief in a Messiah, but rather reward is based on your conduct, the exact opposite of what the New Testament, namely Paul, teaches.
10) In the early 1990’s, did you believe David Koresh when he claimed to be Messiah? His followers claimed he performed miracles and was prophetic. He and presumably his followers were writing manuscripts to spread his good news, his message. Would you put your trust in him? How about if he and or his roommates, who all tragically and unnecessarily perished, claimed he WAS actually G!d? Would you pick up your cross and follow him? On what criteria do you judge a person and their message? Is not the Hebrew Bible, the law and prophets, the foundation for which all are to be judged? Hence, the very label “the law”. What makes you put your trust in Jesus, or more accurately, Paul since Christianity is mostly based on Paul’s message and spiritual experience of seeing Jesus in the sky allegedly? Did Jesus, Paul, or other Apostles entice you to worship someone or something other than G!d, or worse, did Jesus or his followers indicate Jesus WAS/IS G!d; therefore, replacing G!d or elevating oneself to be as G!d or as part of G!d? Did Jesus, Paul, the other Apostles, or any of their followers, then and now, instruct you to disobey G!d by not keeping His law? Do you or your church have an Easter ham for dinner, as an example of breaking God’s law? Do you rest, reflect, and spend time with G!d and family on the 7th day or are you out grocery shopping, mowing the grass, or doing laundry? Does your church celebrate Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, but not the feasts of the LORD, His holy holidays? Why do some, if not all, denominations of Christianity claim everybody should keep the 10 commandments, but not the one about Sabbath or worshiping other gods?
FACT: Every Christian, whether Catholic or Protestant or even Messianic Jew/Gentile, knows that according to the writings of the New Testament, Jesus, but especially Paul as well as the other Apostles and the unknown authors of the gospels, elevated Jesus to be G!d (John 1), for Jesus to be worshiped and obeyed (Matthew 28:18; Philippians 2; Colossians 2), as well as instructed their audience, their disciples to disregard G!d’s laws (Galatians 3)or at the very least, the church instructs congregants to disobey most of G!d’s laws, the eternal law (Psalm 19, 119:142,152,160: Isaiah 2) of then, now, and the future. Hence, eternal. So with all that said, back to Deuteronomy 13, what were the two criteria G!d specifically said to watch out for? See #1.
“Choose this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15.
Zechariah 8 is a short and sweet chapter telling the people of Israel (and readers), one fine day, God will dwell in Jerusalem. At that time, He will end antisemitism and instead, not only bless the reunited 12 twelve tribes of Israel (House of Judah and House of Israel), but vindicate them. There are many chapters in the Hebrew Bible that describe a miraculous regathering or reuniting of the scattered Israelites across the globe, both the living and the dead, bringing them all to heaven on earth being Jerusalem (such as Ezekiel 36-37; Jeremiah 29-31). Also, notice the section of Zechariah 8:16, a prophecy about the very end of time as we know it. Right after the LORD describes and promises Israel’s future literal salvation, what does He instruct the must the Jews/Israel do in the meantime? Believe in the Messiah? Believe in God’s Son yet to be born (at the time this chapter of Zechariah was written)? Believe in Jesus? No, essentially, live righteously – obey the principles of Torah. Shouldn’t the concept of believing in Jesus to pay for your sins or even just stating “Believe in The Messiah” be inserted in this epic moment leading up to their salvation? I encourage you to pray and ponder as to why there is nothing like that mentioned in the Tanakh/Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and yet, Amos 3:7 says the Lord does nothing without revealing it to His prophets first. Moreover, always get in God’s word for yourself and ask Abba Father (Jeremiah 3:19) lots of questions. He will show you things you did not know (Jeremiah 33:3) as He does with me and many others.
Ask yourself and Abba Father (Jeremiah 3:19), why after He dwells on earth in Jerusalem described in Zechariah 8, the entire globe is seeking not just God in Jerusalem, but clinging to Jews, specifically their tallits, which are the garments with tzits-tzits attached (see Zechariah 8:23 below)? These are commanded by God to be worn and are symbols to help them remember the importance of obeying God’s commands (see Numbers 15:37-41).
Think about the connection –> At this future moment, people will be clinging to the Jews realizing God is with them. Notice the verse of Zechariah 8:23 specifically state people will be grabbing onto the Jew’s garment corners as if the prophecy is telling us people will cling to Jews and God’s Torah, which has already started to manifest today. God’s ways are found in His commands, His Torah, His instructions for living, which not only is His will, but they are the light (Psalm 119:105-106, Proverbs 6:23) and the Jews/Israel are called to be the light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6; 49:6). Hence, what they are chosen to do: Be the light – lead in love as they live by Torah.
Why doesn’t the prophet Zechariah describe the New heavens and New earth or New Jerusalem or New Covenant era (notice all the “NEW”s -pun intended) as…”And in that day the Christians will be the light of the world teaching people how to decorate Christmas trees, how to have successful Easter egg hunts and stand in line for the best Heavenly Ham, how to plan a great turn-out for Trunk or Treats, or teaching them about communion, how to successfully and secretly slip up that repentant hand and inwardly profess the sinner’s prayers without anyone knowing then or later, or how to memorize the Lord’s prayer, how to evangelize by handing out tracks about God’s son, how to go on mission trips and build things but tear down with our words..”, or whatever other definition Christians used to define as being the light?
I don’t think it’s possible for any of us, whether Jew or Gentile, to ponder and know God’s truth in it’s entirety, much less live it precisely as He intended it here and now, for how can we know infinite truth and all His thoughts or ways? But we do know truth is what He chose to reveal in the Tanakh and that is: Israel is chosen and God’s Torah is the light for all eternity. So much so the non-Jews will be looking to Jews and the instructions God gave them for guidance.
Carrie R. Turner, 9.3.2020
Christianity teaches that the New Covenant began with Jesus’ death and resurrection. However, according to the Hebrew Bible, the events that describe the initiation of the New Covenant are vastly different than Christian dogma wants you to believe.
Because G!d does nothing without revealing it to his prophets first (Amos 3:7) and He is BIG on reiterating concepts with at least two or three prophetic witnesses, it’s important we study what G!d specifies through these prophets to better understand important concepts such as the New Covenant and other related events.
In both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, there is a limited dialogue regarding the New Covenant. Nevertheless, the one and only time the terminology is used, the LORD provides a few critical clues through His prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 29-31. Specifically, the term is used in Jeremiah 31:31.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – ” Jeremiah 31:31 NKJV (New King James Version)
In Jeremiah 31:31, the reader is introduced to the term “New Covenant” and that this New Covenant is made between G!d and two groups of people, the Northern Kingdom or ten tribes of Israel, being the House of Israel, and the Southern Kingdom, primarily consisting of the remaining two tribes, the House of Judah. The slang term “Jew” comes from the tribe of Judah, which later evolved to be “House of Judah”. To understand how the kingdom of Israel split into two groups, read 1 King 12. Essentially, there was a family feud, but not the Steve Harvey type.
The famous Jeremiah 29:11 quote, which can be found in nearly every Christian Bookstore and Hobby Lobby across the United States, G!d says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future…” (NIV). Technically, this promise is given to Israel, not Christians shopping at Hobby Lobby. When we read Jeremiah chapters 29 through 31, at the time of these prophecies, both houses were in captivity. The House of Israel had been taken captive by the Assyrian Empire much earlier and the House of Judah was taken captive by the Babylonian Empire. Although the prophecy in chapter 29 primarily applied to the Jews held in Babylonian captivity, the prophecy of Jeremiah 30, applies for a much later time. In Jeremiah 30:7 it references a time of trouble for Jacob, meaning the nation of Israel, perhaps it could imply a greater captivity, if you will. Daniel 12:1-2 also uses the same terminology of “a time of trouble” and is referring to the Battle of Gog and Magog. Such an epic battle will be led by Gog, the ultimate villain, as he and numerous other nations surround and attack the nation of Israel. More details of this battle can be found in Ezekiel 38 and Zechariah 14 among other prophetic passages. Nevertheless, through the prophet Jeremiah, G!d is giving His people hope that even though life will be frightening for them in the future, G!d will literally and physically save them from their enemies similar to how He did when they were in Babylon and years earlier, in Egypt.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, G!d expands in great detail exactly what He means when He says “a future and hope” or “a hope and a future” (depending on which version you are reading) in Jeremiah 30. Notice in Jeremiah 30:3, Adonai, the LORD says, “For behold the days are coming…that I bring back from captivity My people Israel and Judah…I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers and they shall possess it..” So here we see G!d plans on rescuing and restoring all of the House of Israel and the House of Judah, uniting both the divided kingdoms and bringing them all back to the land of Israel to safely dwell.
Interestingly, the House of Judah largely consisted of the tribe of Judah, Benjamin, and the Levites, but the House of Israel, the ten northern tribes that were taken prisoners by the Assyrian captivity and assimilated into the nations, have never been tracked, much less regathered. As a side note, texts from both the Hebrew and Christian Bibles reveal some of those Northern tribes merged with the House of Judah and therefore, it can be argued that the Jewish population today represents all or at least some of the twelve tribes, but for the most part, it would appear the vast majority of the ten tribes assimilated with the nations and are considered unidentified or lost. With that said, here in this text of Jeremiah 30, G!d declares He will be regaining custody of all His kids in a glorious and miraculous family reunion in the New Covenant. In other words, the lost will be found!
Jeremiah 30, verse 9, reads, ”They shall serve the LORD their God and David, the king whom I will raise up for them.” Now, if you aren’t familiar with the plethora of other passages in the prophets discussing this same prophecy you might glaze over the “raise up” phrase but this is referring to the resurrection and restoration of the House of Israel and the House of Judah described in Ezekiel 37. I believe this verse indicates the LORD is literally going to resurrect King David, as well as all of the deceased Israelites (twelve tribes), and David will rule and reign once more. Other Jews state this verse means, G!d will provide someone from David’s lineage, specifically through the line of David’s son, Solomon, to rule. Christians typically assume this David figure refers to Jesus’ alleged past resurrection and yet, obviously, this reference to resurrecting, rescuing, and restoring Israel cannot be about Jesus’ alleged resurrection because #1 all twelve tribes were not rescued from the Roman Empire, in fact, the Jews weren’t rescued at all, though they were oppressed, AND #2 nobody was raised up to be a literal, visible-to-all king of Israel after Jesus’ alleged death and resurrection. Just the opposite manifested. The House of Judah was scattered throughout all the nations in the years after Jesus’ alleged resurrection, not rescued to dwell in safety, much less restored.
It wasn’t until 1948, that a minority of Jews have been and still are being restored to the land of Israel in present modern times, but still not both houses. There still are many Jews scattered throughout the globe as well as the deceased House of Israel and their unknown descendants.
As we continue to read the surrounding verses and context of the new covenant prophecy, notice we left off at Jeremiah 30:9, an important verse to grasp as it proclaims the House of Israel and the House of Judah, previously defined, will all be serving G!d collectively, not Allah or Jesus, mind you, but “their God”. Furthermore, that same verse adds they also will be serving David as their king. David was known as a “man after God’s own heart” and one of the greatest kings of Israel to ever have lived, who also authored most of the Psalms. You could say, David, the king/prince, was the ultimate worship leader as he will do once more in the New Covenant. In the prophetic Book of Ezekiel, the prophet Ezekiel also speaks about the reunion of both the House of Israel and the House of Judah in addition to describing David, a ruler or prince that leads the people in worship, including in making various offerings, even sin offerings (Ezekiel 34:23-24, 36:22-24, 37:24-28, 45:16-46:18). Ponder this as you study these passages: If Jesus was the final sacrifice, why does the prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 45-46 and the prophet Zechariah in Zechariah 14:16-21, very clearly detail sacrifices will resume as a critical means of worship in the future for both Jew and Gentile?
Go to Ezekiel 34:23-31. Notice G!d reiterates here through a different prophetic witness being Ezekiel what He said in Jeremiah 30:9 that He will make David be like a shepherd to His sheep (of Israel), the LORD will be their G!d (not Jesus), and David will be a prince or governing ruler. Verse 25 describes the New Covenant as a “covenant of peace” made with them. Incidentally, Ezekiel 37, verses 25-26 express the same statement. Notice in Ezekiel 34, the prophet goes on to describe a time of peace and prosperity, where animals will no longer attack people or each other (Hosea 2:20 & Isaiah 11:6-9, 65:25 also speak to this), the earth will be a lovely garden producing delectable crops, Jews will no longer be persecuted by Gentiles anymore, and all will know who the LORD is (Ezekiel 34:25-31). Return with me to Jeremiah, specifically Jeremiah 31:33-34. Please carefully notate that the LORD makes it very plain and understandable in this New Covenant that “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, his brother, saying ‘Know the LORD’, for they ALL shall know Me..” There will be no more wars because there will be no religious or political debates for all will know G!d and His ways in the New Covenant time frame. Other prophetic witnesses such as in Isaiah 2 and Micah 4 both speak to similar sentiments of all will know and be taught G!d’s instructions and there will be no more war.
Did these descriptive events manifest upon Jesus’ alleged resurrection? Of course, not. In fact, Jesus proclaimed the opposite, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34 NKJV). The Crusades and other heinous persecution of innocent Jews by the hands of Christians confirm the fruit of the Gospels. Jesus and the faith that developed in his name indeed failed to bring a covenant of peace to the globe. Rather, the prophets of the Hebrew Bible describe obvious physical changes as G!d more or less will provide a NEW way of life, or perhaps you could say, a type of NEW heaven and NEW earth; hence, the NEW, or more accurately termed, RENEWED covenant, a covenant of peace on earth. By describing the earth and this covenant as “new”, it is simply a figure of speech inferring a refreshed version of the existing earth and existing eternal covenant G!d has with Israel. Each covenant G!d has made with humans builds upon the previous. As a simple example, women are still experiencing pain in childbirth, which was part of the very first covenant G!d established. Several more have been established since then, but no covenant nullified the previous, it only builds upon it.
Lastly, in all these Scriptures foretelling a future era, have we read anything stating Israelites or anyone for that matter must believe in a Messiah in order to receive eternal life, be resurrected, be forgiven of sins, and miraculously make it to Israel? Do you notice the resurrection of the dead, as well as the rescue and reunion of both the House of Israel and the House of Judah, have been in the forecast even without any belief in Jesus? Moreover, if G!d can reveal all these other details to His prophets, why didn’t he reveal the most important detail that a person must believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, to be resurrected, or rescued? Christians are led to believe Jesus died for their sins and therefore, believe they are in the New Covenant, and yet, in addition to the fact that none of the events of the New Covenant have manifested yet, Jeremiah 31:30, quite literally the verse next to the “new covenant” verse, reiterates commands G!d already stated, which is “every one shall die for his own sin”. Just like G!d says numerous places elsewhere – nobody can die for your sins – each person is held accountable to G!d for themselves. Study Deuteronomy 24:16, 2 Kings 14:6, Psalm 49:7, Jeremiah 31:30; Ezekiel 18 & 33. Therefore, it is a direct violation of G!d’s word for another person, like Jesus, to die for the world’s sins.
With all this overwhelming evidence, it is clear the new covenant has not manifested yet. While we can’t be certain WHEN exactly these prophecies will manifest, we do know WHO is involved, WHERE to be watching, and WHAT to look for as there will be glaringly obvious signs indicating the New Covenant has been activated. For now, we wait and put our trust in G!d alone.
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Many Christians are told Isaiah chapter 53 is all about Jesus. If one were to only read that chapter in all of the Book of Isaiah while also ignoring what the other prophets of the Hebrew Bible prophesied about, then it would be easy to assume Isaiah is describing the death of Jesus on the cross. However, one cannot grasp all the author is conveying by only reading one chapter and jumping to conclusions. Whether Christian or Jewish, we must learn to stop making Scripture fit our preconceived notions and rather, let Scripture interpret Scripture within context and how the author refers to terms throughout. Additionally, how can the reader determine who the character is when that particular chapter only uses pronouns such as “him”? What is the series or book’s overall theme? First, let’s explore the theme of the Book of Isaiah before identifying the character of Isaiah 53. As I read Isaiah 53, I recognized a familiar theme manifest. In several other chapters penned by Isaiah as well as others throughout the Hebrew Bible, G!d’s chosen people, particularly the righteous remnant, are often overlooked or considered the ‘underdog’, persecuted, and afflicted. Certainly, throughout the pages of the Bible and over the course of history, many of G!d’s chosen people at times are stiff-necked and rebellious; however, there are some, a remnant, who chose to live righteously by adhering to Torah, or G!d’s ways, to the best of their ability and were eventually rewarded. We see Noah mocked while being obedient and yet spared of the great flood of judgment by the arm of the LORD. We see Joseph rejected and afflicted by his own family only to be elevated to the highest position by the arm of the LORD. We see David, a lowly, humble shepherd boy, overlooked as G!d’s anointed by man, but cultivated into a mighty warrior King by the arm of the LORD. We see Esther, an orphaned, girl chosen simply for her beauty but chosen by the arm of the LORD to save the Jewish people elevating them and all involved. We see people like Job and Daniel tested and refined; yet, rewarded by the arm of the LORD.
Similarly, in the final verses of Isaiah 52 leading up to the often misunderstood Isaiah 53, we see “the servant” will be raised up and revered by Gentiles after having been rejected and refined due to the sins of the rebellious fulfilling prophecy often spoken of throughout the Torah and Prophets (compare Deuteronomy 26:19, 28:1,10 as well as Isaiah 60-61, 62:2-4). Consider and compare Isaiah 52:13-15 with other chapters in the Book of Isaiah as well as other prophetic books all express similar sentiments referring to the nation of Israel as those who were once hated and despised, being the Jews and all of the twelve tribes, will be exalted / resurrected, reunited, and restored to rule and reign or extolled and be very high (see Ezekiel 34-48, Jeremiah 29-31, Isaiah 2, 11, 60-62, Micah 4, Zechariah 8, Zechariah 14).
In regards to Isaiah 52 and 53, I asked myself, “What other passages refer to Israel as ‘him’?” Surprisingly, numerous Scriptures refer to Israel in the masculine (Isaiah 45:11,46:8,56:8; Jeremiah 31:9-11,18,20-22; Hosea 7:8-10, 8:14, 10:6, 11:1,5, 12:1-4, 13:12-13). It would appear collective people such as Israel/Jacob/Ephraim/Judah uses pronouns such as him/his and them/their. Whereas when Scripture references specific cities such as Zion, Jerusalem, Holy City, Samaria, Babylon, etc, it uses the feminine pronouns (Isaiah 10:11,47:1,5, 51:17-18, 52:1-2, 62:1-2).
I then asked myself, “Has Israel been defined as ‘My Servant’ such as in Isaiah 52:13?” Again, surprisingly, yes. Isaiah 44:1-2,21-22, 45:4, 48:20, 49:3.
When reading any other book, would you insert a different subject just because they have similarities and then deem that one chapter is all about a different person not identified within the book? For example, while reading a book about the suffering of Jews during the Holocaust, no one would pick out one chapter and say, “Oh, this must be about Anne Frank, because she was a Jew that suffered in the Holocaust.” when there is no mention specifically of Anne Frank.
More specifically, let’s examine each verse of Isaiah 53 to see other themes of these same sentiments further proving this text is about Israel, not specifically and exclusively Jesus.
Isaiah 53:1 arm of the LORD = strength; see Isaiah 51:9, 59:16; 63:5 and Psalm 44:4 all of which speaks to this pattern is all of G!d’s doing, His strength and His will, the arm of the LORD.
53:2 no form or comeliness is likened to Zephaniah 3:12 referring to the remnant as meek and humble
53:3 the servant is despised and rejected; despised and we did not esteem him is similar to Psalm 44:13-15, but especially Isaiah 49’s reference to Israel being rejected by men, yet later esteemed or raised up just as the later part of Isaiah 52 and 53 speak to. Notice the entire passage of Isaiah 49 is about Israel, the servant (vs 3), who is afflicted by men (vs 13-14), and just as Isaiah 52:13-15 speaks to the “servant” being miraculously extolled higher than kings which shocks the kings that this little nation is now honored, Isaiah 49:23-26, Isaiah 51 speak to the same prophecy as does all of Isaiah 60, but specifically Isaiah 60:14-15, as well as Isaiah 62:2-4.
53:4 wounded, stricken, smitten and afflicted by G!d compare to the remnant of Israel being afflicted in Zephaniah 3:19, Psalm 44:24-25, Isaiah 51:7,12 (notice Isaiah 51:9 referring to the arm of the LORD just as Isaiah 53:1 and the close proximity of these parallel verses); also, see Isaiah 60:14-15.
53:5 all of Israel will suffer for the sins of Israel (i.e. even the righteous remnant such as Daniel and Jeremiah were carried off into the Babylonian captivity). Also, compare the servant being bruised for iniquities then healed to Israel being bruised for their iniquities in Isaiah 30:9-15, then bind up the bruise and healed in Isaiah 30:26
53:6 is about the entire community being held accountable for sins. Should one person sin, they all suffer; hence, why there are incidents in the Hebrew Bible of drastically removing the offender from the camp (i.e. Joshua 7-9). G!d is big on community, unity, and being in one accord; hence, why He stresses we are responsible for one another (think Cain and Abel; love your neighbor; priests sacrificing for the entire community should there be unintentional sin members committed) or how G!d’s entire justice system is designed to hold one another accountable. Remember, the prophet Isaiah was the prophet sent to the Northern Kingdom of Israel/10 tribes/House of Israel. So when the majority of the House of Israel sins, hence “we (House of Israel) like sheep have gone astray”, everyone suffers including the few righteous ones just like Jeremiah and Daniel suffered in the Southern Kingdom/House of Judah when the Babylonians took the Jews to Babylon and held them captive. Some of Judah had sinned and consequently, G!d sent the Babylonians to discipline them for 70 years due to their violation of G!d’s land laws. Nevertheless, the righteous remnant paid heavily too (Jeremiah, Daniel, and others). We see that same concept in the second part of the verse, “and the LORD has laid on him (righteous remnant of House of Israel) the sins of us all (the majority of people of Israel/House of Israel)” and is likened to Zephaniah 3:13 as well as Ezekiel 34 and Psalm 44:11
53:7 the servant/he didn’t open his mouth is also referenced of the righteous remnant of Israel learning to not open their mouth in rest and quietness Isaiah 30:15 and Zephaniah 3:13 and Psalm 46:10/11 (depending on if you are using the Hebrew or Christian Bibles); sheep for slaughter, the sheep being representative of Israel, is also found in Jeremiah 11:19 and 12:3 as well as Psalm 44:22.
53:8 the righteous servant/remnant being cut off from land of living is also referenced in Jeremiah 11:19 whereas Israel being cut off from the land/living in general is mentioned in 1 Kings 9:6-7 and Ezekiel 37:11
53:9 no deceit in his mouth is also referenced in Zephaniah 3:13 of no deceit being in the mouth of the righteous remnant (even the author of the Book of Revelation seemed to understand this reference is about Israel see Revelation 14:5 and how it is referencing the 144,000 righteous remnant of Israel found in Revelation 7)
53:10 again references bruising the servant as did 53:5 and 30:26; note: Jesus/Yeshua had no physical seed or offspring to carry on his legacy, but Israel’s descendants continue to be fruitful and multiply. The prophet Isaiah also prophecized a tenth of the holy seed will remain in chapter 10:13.
53:11 -12 by his knowledge – knowledge or wisdom in the Hebrew Bible always refers to Torah/G!d’s laws see Hosea 4:6 as an example or Proverbs 3. Obeying Torah is defined as being righteous and received by G!d (see Psalm 95:6-11; 103, 119 and Isaiah 1:16-20, as just a few examples, but really it is everywhere in the Tanakh.) Also, notice Isaiah 26 speaks all about salvation and the importance of learning righteousness in Isaiah 26:8-12 or Isaiah 48:17-19. Israel, specifically the Jewish people, are called to be the light to the nations (Isaiah 42:6-8 and 49:3,6) and how are they/we to be the light? By living Torah, obeying G!d’s voice, which is Torah (Deuteronomy 28:1; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:23; 4:2). So that the world might come to know how to be saved and therefore not perish (Hosea 4:6). The righteous remnant repeatedly intercedes on behalf of the people, despite their transgressions (see Moses and Aaron and all the prophets as examples), but moreover, lead in love simply by example of a Torah-observant lifestyle (to the best of their ability). Isaiah 53 speaks to the affliction of Israel; Isaiah 54 speaks to the salvation of the Jews/Israel; Isaiah 55 is an invitation for all to follow their example; Isaiah 56 explains the Gentiles/foreigners who also keep G!d’s covenant (Torah) are also saved/gathered to Mt Zion.
Next, after pondering such concepts, I thoroughly researched Scriptures to find where it indicates a person will need to die for my sins and that one is eternally damned in their sins. To my surprise, I found “salvation” is always referencing a literal, physical saving, no one can die for another’s sins for we each are held accountable (Deuteronomy 24:16, 2 Kings 14:6, Jeremiah 31:29-30, Ezekiel 18:19-24, 33:12-20), and that all one must do is repent and obey G!d’s commands and He will gladly forgive (see Psalm 103 and Isaiah 1:16-20 or the story of Jonah and how even the Gentiles had been forgiven simply for repenting or the repeated message of the Prophets).
Christianity teaches if you don’t believe in Jesus you are damned to hell, eternally lost, part of the Anti-Christ Spirit, etc. while the Hebrew Scriptures teach if you believe in Jesus you are an idolater and will be held accountable for your sins as we all are.
Choose this day whom you will serve and choose wisely. Shalom and blessings!
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