Sunday, June 15, 2008

Weekly Meditations: Is. 9 (1): Messianic Prophecy

But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil. For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

(Is. 9:1-7)

The prophet Isaiah, after pronouncing severe judgment against Judah and those within her who disbelief God, carries on here to prophesy about the Messiah who will save Israel from her enemies. He has already prophesied that the Messiah is to come to bring peace to His people, and the sign of the Messiah is that he comes from a virgin (Is. 7:14). Such peace is the true peace which only He can give, and in this passage, we can see Isaiah proclaiming much more regarding this great Messiah who will bring peace to Israel.

In verses 1, we can see the prophecy being proclaimed of the place where the Messiah is to come from (not his birthplace but his place of residence and hometown so to speak). Galilee is situated at the Northeastern region of Israel in the land given to the tribe of Naphtali, and it is from this place where hope would shine forth. God starts off by promising that "there will be no gloom for those who are in anguish", thus showing forth that God is here offering consolation for those who are in deep sorrow over sin and the judgment because of sin. This area has not featured as an important area at all in God's plan previously, and as such is described as being "brought into contempt", yet this will change as God will use this backward area as the hometown for the coming Messiah. Galilee the backward, uncouth and rustic area, the place at the edge of the land of Israel where Gentiles are very much present, will be the place which God decides to honor as the place where the Messiah would grow up and hail from.

Verses 2 to 7 proclaims the exceeding wonders and glories of the coming of the Messiah, of which we can meditate on its fullness just by itself. The Messiah here is the Light that comes into the world (Jn. 1:9; 8:12). To a dark and dreary land full of darkness and hopelessness, He came to give joy (v. 3) and light, as He is the One who can give them peace. The Messiah will come to release His people from bondage from the oppresor (v. 4), though such a delivery was most definitely not what the Jews of Jesus' time expected as they were too carnal to understand true spiritual truths. The garments of war would be burned up and destroyed in the fire at His coming, thus signifying the ceassation of war and the coming of peace as the Kingdom of God breaks into the lives of people as they submit to Christ. Truly, the Messiah would bring peace and joy to His people, which is certainly great news to those who are in the midst of war and/or oppression.

Verse 6 is the mighty proclamation not only of the lofty titles of the Messiah, but also of His identification with Divinity itself! This child the Messiah is born and is given for us, and He shall be the ruler and sovereign over His people, finally shattering the kingdoms of the world when He comes again and takes His rightful Kingship over the whole world. He is called Wonderful Counselor, showing His tender-hearted care of His people and binding up their wounds. He is also the Prince of Peace who will bring peace over our souls and our lives and, when He comes again, over the whole world. And He is called Mighty God and the Everlasting Father, which are titles of divinity and thus identifying the Messiah as being God Himself; God incarnate since He would come in the flesh, being born of a virgin (Is. 7:14), as a child and a son! What an astounding revelation God made to those who have eyes to see and ears to hear this astounding prophecy uttered by the prophet Isaiah, which was canonized in the Old Testament before Christ even came on the scene historically? Yet, the Jews in Jesus' time (including the religious leaders) were so blind to their own scriptues which prophesied about their own Messiah that they think it is blasphemy for Jesus who claim to be the Messiah to claim to be God (Jn. 8:58; 10:30-33)! How tragic!

Verse 7 carries on with the proclamation of the victorious, ever-growing and everlasting nature of the reign, rule and peace of the Messiah's Kingdom, which will be established in perfect justice and righteousness. The Messiah is prophesied to sit on the throne of David and is thus the eternal heir of David's throne. We can see here the phrase that "there will be no end" applied to his kingdom and of peace, thus showing that no mere earthly reality and Kingdom is meant here, nor is this ruling Messiah a mere mortal since all human beings must die and "lose" their kingdoms to either their heirs, usurpers or conquerors (And no, they cannot bring their kingdom to heaven either unless he is God). From this, we can immediately see that the Messiah must be more than human if such a prophecy is to come true, so this should immediately put to rest all Jewish speculations about an earthly Messiah, which sadly it didn't.

This entire prophetic utterance is concluded by the sure word of the Lord promising the fulfilment of this prophecy, because God Himself as it were places His Name and honor on the line for its fulfilment. "For the zeal of the LORD of host will do this", and therefore it will be done, and absolutely nobody can stop it.

Truly, what a powerful Messianic prophecy of encouragement to the remnant during Isaiah's time, and to us too as we look back to the Cross. For God so loved us that He promised and placed His honor on the line to fulfil His promise for our deliverance and hope. Absolutely nothing can stop God from sending the Messiah our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to come and save us from our sins, to liberate us from darkness in the power of sin into His glorious light, and thus bringing us into His Kingdom where he reigns in our hearts and brings peace to our troubled souls. Let us therefore come now and spend some time in awe of this God who has done all this for us, and worship Him who is worthy of all our praises and honor and glory! May the Lamb who was slain receive all glory, honor, power and praise now and forever, world without end, Amen!

7 comments:

Anders said...

Hello! I found your website. My name is Anders Branderud and I am from Sweden.

I noticed that you quoted from John?
Who then was the historical “Jesus”?

Did you know that the original “Matthew” was written in Hebrew and it’s called Hebrew Matityahu. It speaks about an Orthodox Jewish leader..

I am a follower of Ribi Yehoshua – Mashiakh – who practiced Torah including Halakhah with all his heart.
He was born in Betlehem 7 B.C.E . His faher name was Yoseiph and mother’s name was Mir′ yâm. He had twelve followers. He tought in the Jewish batei-haknesset (synagogues). Thousands of Jews were interested in His Torah-teachings. The “Temple” Sadducees (non-priests who bought their priest-ship in the “Temple” from the Romans, because they were assimilated Hellenist and genealogically non-priests acting as priests in the “Temple”; they were known by most 1st-century Jews as “Wicked Priests.” decided to crucify him. So they did - together with the Romans. His followers were called Netzarim (meaning offshoots [of a olive tree]) and they continued to pray with the other Jews in the synagogues.

Christianity does not teach the teachings of Ribi Yehoshua. Ribi Yehoshuas teachings were pro-Torah.

If you want to learn more click at our website www.netzarim.co.il -- than click at the lick "Christians"; click at my photo to read about what made my switch religion from Christianity to Orthodox Judaism.

Anders Branderud
Follower of Ribi Yehoshua in Orthodox Judaism

PuritanReformed said...

Anders:

you claim many things, but where is the proof? Your supposed "historical Yehoshua" is totally illogical as well as ahistorical, as if the Jews were somehow willing to allow themselves be ruled over by "wicked priests", not to mention that there is no credible historical documentation of these things (unless you want to talk about the Ebonites). This is of course not to mention the excellent textual proof of the texts of the New Testament, which prove that the New Testament is written early, is credible and has not been corrupted.

Besides, with regards to this text in Isaiah, you have not addressed the point made in this passage, of which since it is in the Old Testament, the Jews similarly have the same text in it. The Messiah clearly has to be divine according to this text, so how do the Jews attempt to explain it away?

And Jesus was decidedly pro-Torah (in fact of all three sections of the Old Testament - Law, Prophets and the Writings), since He Himself said that He has came to fulfil the Law and not to abolish it (Mt. 5:17-18). The problem is that the Jews have distorted the true interpretation of their own Torah and then claim that we Christians are against the Torah, when nothing is further from the case. Traces of almost if not all distinctively Christians doctrines can be found all throughout the Torah (including salvation by faith apart from works of the law, in Deuteronomy), but the Jews up till now are blinded to them but instead follow their distorted rabbinic traditions which distort the Torah, the Neviim and the Ketuvim.

Since such is the case, I would strongly urged you to re-consider the claims of the Bible and see that the Old Testament does in fact prophesied the Messiah as fulfilled in the life of Yeshua ha Messiach. In fact, since this post is an exegesis of Is. 9:1-7, perhaps you can start by examining this text to see that the divinity of the Messiah is in this passage made so explicit. Perhaps you can start by interacting with this text then.

Anders said...

Hello,
The proof is at our website – www.netzarim.co.il

Some examples (including sources):
• The earliest extant Church historian, Eusebius further documented (EH IV.vi.3-4) that, in 135 CE, the Roman gentiles displaced the Nәtzarim by their expulsion ("ethnic cleansing") from Yәrushalayim of every Jew… which included the 15th Nәtzarim Paqid (EH IV.v.1-4) whom the Romans displaced with the first gentile "bishop," Marcus (EH V.xii.1) — the birth of the gentile Roman Church in 135 CE!!!
• The earliest extant Church historian, Eusebius further documented (EH III.xxvii.4-6) that the original Nәtzarim accepted only the Jewish Tana"kh as Bible and only The Netzarim ("their own") Hebrew Matityahu (NHM) as an authentic account of the life and teachings of Ribi Yәhoshua, never accepting the the 2nd-4th century, heavily gentile-redacted (Greek), NT.

Christians are promoting the Roman-Hellenist” Jesus”, which even the Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible has acknowledged was accomplished through tens of thousands of misojudaic redactions in the NT. Torah says that the Jews has an eternal Covenant with Hasheim – the Creator – and they shall never listen to prophets that removes or adds commandments from the Torah (see Devarim (some translate it Deuteronomy) 13:1-6). Christians practices Torah selectively.

If you want to learn about the Historical Ribi Yehoshua, whom Orthodox Jews can live with (witness the Netzarim Jews in Raanana, Israel, members in good standing in an Orthodox synagogue), you must start with books like How Jesus Became Christian by Prof. Barrie Wilson (most bookstores) and Who Are The Netzarim? (publ. www.schuellerhouse.com) by Israeli Orthodox Jew, Paqid Yirmeyahu Ben-David.

Yәshayâhu (the name which you would use if you knew Hebrew) has always been interpreted by Jews to be the Messiah – a human. Not divine – that is alien to Torah.
You are giving an interpretation that Jews have never given it. And the text doesn’t imply a divine person. You are stating something unknown; logic states that the one who states something unknown – that contradicts the known – must give proofs.

From Anders Branderud
Follower of Ribi Yehoshua – Messiah
www.netzarim.co.il

PuritanReformed said...

Anders:

Once again, you are just stating your ipse dixit without proof. I asked you to interact with the text of Isaiah, and your response is that "you are stating an interpretation Jews have never given it", which is of course true in this modern time since if they did, they would be Messianic Jews and not Judaist Jews! But such is not proof at all. Why don't you interact with the text instead and show that it does not teach what I am claiming it does teach? It is only unknown because centuries of rabbinic tradition has obscured the true interpretation of the text. And put it bluntly, the Jews do not have any written primary source interpretation of the Old Testament dating before the time of Jesus. So nobody has any proof of what interpretation was held by the Jews up till the time of Ezra, Nehemiah and Malachi (ie up till the end of prophetic revelation in the Old Testament era in ~400 BC)

With regards to proof, I have said that I am looking for primary source information, not unverifiable secondary quotes. For example, you mentioned such and such as being written by Eusebius. Maybe you may want to show where is that stated in the authoritative source material, the Nicene Post Nicene Father (NPNF), where the text of his famous work The Church History of Eusebius is included in it, which I think is the text you are trying to quote from. So far, I cannot find your supposed quotes. What I have seen however is factual information about the Ebionite heresy. Are you claiming to be a modern Ebionite then? If so, you worship a false Jesus of your own imagination, and have distorted the writings of Eusebius which does not prove what you have written. You have been deluded. Go read the actual writings of Eusebius here (http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf201.iii.html) and see how far they are from saying the things you claim he said.

With this, I would like to exhort you to repent and get out of this heresy you are in. When your proofs are based on a distortion of historical writings, then it can be seen that you are severely deluded. You do not know what you are talking about when you claim that you are following the true Messiah. Nothing can be further from the case, since there is no historical record of anyone who holds such a view in history except the Ebionites, who are the children of the Pharisiatical false Jewish converts who broke off from the Church after the Council of Jerusalem presided by the (Jewish) Apostles officially condemned their position as error (Read Acts 15:1-29).

Anders said...

About Isiah 53.
Click at www.netzarim.co.il; click at ”History museum”;
click at ”Mashiakh.” in the top menu; click at the image with the flaming book.

Acts is anti-Torah and-non authoritative. Netzarim don't accept NT-doctrines.

Devarim 13:1-6 has always been interpreted in the way I interpret it and if you read it in Hebrew it is the only way to interpret it. The verse is crystal clear!!!

You follow a false prophet according to Devarim 13:1-6 and you are trying to evade it.


Anders Branderud
Follower of Ribi Yehoshua - Mashiakh (some translate it Mashiakh) - in Orthodox Judaism
If you want to learn more about my life and religion; then click at our website www.netzarim.co.il -- than click at the link "Christians" – then click at my photo.

PuritanReformed said...

Anders:

As usual, you evade the question. The passage under consideration is Is. 9, not Is. 53, so your point is moot. Is. 9 teaches a divine Messiah, so by your own reasoning, you reject your own prophetic writings.

If you Ebionites want to reject NT doctrines, fine, just don't try to tell us that you believe in Jesus. You don't; you believe in an ahistorical Jesus made out of your own imagination - an idol. By this, you violate the ninth commandment in the Decalogue. Either you believe in the historical Jesus, or you stop lying and deny Jesus as the Messiah as with all the other unbelieving Jews.

Deut. 13:1-6 supports our case, because it is you who have made claim after claim based on lies and blatent distortion of historical facts. The fact is that Jesus Christ draws people to God and is YHWH Himself, being a member of the Trinity. By denying Him, you are denying YHWH and are thus damned because of your unbelief.

When I expose your distortion of Eusebius' writings, have you repented and removed all of these distortions? No, you haven't. This shows that all your evidences are based on lies and more lies. Clearly, you are not interested in the Truth. And let me quote you a passage from Scripture:

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
- Jn. 8:42-47

As it has been documented, you persist in your lies, and thus show yourself to be a child of the devil himself. Repent from your lying therefore, stop trying to distort the words of Eusebius for example, and turn to Jesus Christ who died so that whosoever believes in Him will have peace with YHWH. If you will not believe, then YHWH will be against you and His wrath poured out against you for rejecting His Son.

PuritanReformed said...

Anders:

I have prepared a comprehensive reply for you in my blog post here. May YHWH open your eyes so that you may repent and turn to the one true God and our Savior Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega. Amen.