The Reality: Why has the truth been hidden from us for so long?
Why does the Haftorah deliberately skip Isaiah 53? What are they specifically trying to hide from you?
Why does the Talmud curse those who calculate the time of the coming of the Messiah? (Sanhedrin 97b) Why don’t they want you to know who the true Messiah is?
How will you be personally affected by willingly following religious deceivers?
What the Rabbis don’t want you to know…
Through the centuries, there have been many who have been accredited as the Messiah. Christians believe that it is Jesus of Nazareth (32 AD). Others accredit men like Simon bar Kokhba (132 AD), Moses of Crete (440-470), Sabbatai Zevi (1626-1676) and Nachman of Breslov (1772–1810). Recently many of the followers of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1994, claim him to be the Messiah. The rise of these Messiahs continues to grow in many religions.
Can we know for certain who the Messiah is and when He will come? Do we even need a Messiah?
For just a few moments, let us examine these questions.
The only reliable knowledge that one has of the Messiah is found in the Bible.
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Mankind was created to live forever, but when Adam disobeyed God and ate of the fruit, it brought death to humanity.
Why do people die today? Physical death is a result of this sin.
In His righteousness, God pronounced judgment upon mankind, but in His love, He gave a promise of hope and redemption to mankind.
God spoke to the serpent and said, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
The enmity between the future seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent is foretold.
Rabbis have long considered this to be the first gleam of a promise that God would send a Redeemer, a Saviour, who would be The Messiah. If sin had not entered the world, there would have been no need for the Messiah. In bruising the head of the seed of the serpent, thus overcoming him, the Messiah would be bruised and suffer through the process.
In the Book of Proverbs chapter 30, we are asked a question. In the beginning of the verse it says, “Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name…” It is clear from the Book of Genesis that this is talking about God. The last part of the verse is very interesting and says, “and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Does God have a son?
What else does God say about His Son?
Psalm 2 says, "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him."
God says that a man will be blessed who puts his trust in the Son, but he will perish and have God’s judgment and wrath upon him if he does not.
Later, the Book of Micah chapter 5 states, “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”
Here we are told where the Messiah would be born: in Bethlehem. This eliminates Schneerson, Nachman, Sabbatai Zevi, Moses of Crete, Simon bar Kokhba and many more. This verse not only tells us where He would be born, but that He has been from everlasting. This tells us something about His nature. He had no beginning; He is more than just a man. He is eternal.
Then, in the Book of Daniel, we are told when the Messiah will come. Daniel was one of the many Jews who were taken into captivity to Babylon after the First Temple had been destroyed by the Babylonians.
As he begins to pray to God, confess his sins and the sins of the nation of Israel, God reveals to Daniel something great that He is going to do. Daniel chapter 9 states, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness…” The relationship that God had between man and Himself in the Garden of Eden will be restored.
God showed Daniel in Babylon, 2,600 years ago, after the First Temple was destroyed, that Jerusalem would be rebuilt and the date the Messiah will come. “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:"
According to Daniel 9:2, this prophecy is relating to years. Thus 7 weeks is “seven sevens” which is 49 years and 62 weeks is “sixty-two sevens” which is 434 years.
From the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem by King Artaxerxes, to the coming of the Messiah is 483 years. This tells us that the coming of the Messiah would be 32 AD, as calculated below.
Thus far we see that the Messiah will be the Son of God, He will be born in Bethlehem, He would appear at about 32 AD, and He is eternal.
In the following verse, God reveals something unusual to Daniel. “And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary…” After 483 years, the Messiah will die and the Temple will be destroyed. That Temple, the Second Temple, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
This means that Messiah had to die before the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 AD.
The Book of Daniel speaks extensively about the Messiah, when He will come, and the events surrounding the end of the world. Of concern, the Book of Daniel is not included in the Haftorah. For a Book to say so much of the Messiah, yet be deliberately skipped in the Haftorah makes it appear the truth is being hidden from us. In fact, Rabbi Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of Rabbi Jonathan: “Blasted be the bones of those who calculate the end. For they would say, since the predetermined time has arrived, and yet he has not come, he will never come.“ (Sanhedrin 97b) Clearly, the Rabbis knew Whom God identified as the Messiah of Israel, but rejected Him. The Rabbis have not only hidden His identity from us, but have cursed those who simply want to know what God says regarding Who the Messiah is and when He will come.
It is not until we look at the 53rd chapter of Isaiah (which is also deliberately skipped in the Haftorah) that we see the identity of the Messiah more visibly and the purpose of His coming. It states in vs. 5, “He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:” The Messiah’s sufferings were for our sins. You may think you are a good person. You may not have killed someone, stolen a car, etc., but you have sinned against the Holy God. In the Torah, it is said that there are 613 commandments. These commandments have a purpose; that purpose is to reveal the righteousness of God and the sinfulness of man.
No matter how hard one tries, he will always fall short of God’s standard of righteousness. The Bible teaches us in Ecclesiastes chapter 7, “For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” Isaiah 64 also states, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;”
The picture that God started painting in Bereishit is becoming clearer. In order for man to be restored back into fellowship with God, the Messiah had to come and give His life as an atonement for our sins.
Isaiah 53:8, “…for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.” He died, but it was because of our sins that He died. He suffered greatly at the hands of men. Isaiah tells us that He would be beaten, spat upon, and even have His beard ripped from His face. (Isaiah 50; Haftorah for Eikev)
In the same passage of Isaiah 53, it states, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him;” The Messiah’s purpose was to take the chastisement of our transgressions and iniquities in order for us to have peace with God.
The next verse says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Our sins such as lying, stealing, fornication (sleeping around), adultery, hatred, lust, witchcraft, contentiousness, wrath, strife, profanity, envy, jealousy, murder, drunkenness, carousing, homosexual activity, covetousness, rioting, extortion, injustice, deceit, idolatry were laid on the Messiah. He personally suffered for those sins in our place.
Was all this necessary? According to Isaiah 53, it was. His death was an offering for sin, and God was pleased with this offering. Verse 10 states, “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin…”
We not only see the Messiah dying but being buried; “And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death…” Also in verse 10, it says, “he shall prolong his days”. Now we see His days lengthened: that speaks about resurrection.
Notice the result of this sacrifice in verse 11, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” God is satisfied that the Messiah’s atonement has fully paid for our sin. However, in order to be justified with God, we must accept this atonement personally. “…by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many.”
Many who have been accredited as the Messiah, simply do not meet the credentials laid out by the Bible.
- They were not born in Bethlehem
- They did not suffer and die in 32 AD
- They were not eternal in nature
- They were not called the Son of God
- They did not make atonement for mankind’s sin
- They did not resurrect from the dead
But as we examine the life of one man named Jesus, we find a complete fulfillment of all these prophecies and so many more.
We know that the Messiah is to be the Son of David, but when the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 AD, records of genealogies were also destroyed. The Book of Matthew, which records the genealogy of Jesus, was written, recorded, and published before the Second Temple destruction.
Jesus was from the line of David. Matthew 1:1 “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Matthew 2:1 “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king,”
Jesus came at the appointed time, about 32 AD, before the Second Temple was destroyed. He suffered for our sins according to Isaiah 53, was buried and rose again on the third day (Psalm16:10) and was seen by over 500 people on one occasion after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:6). He was “declared to be the Son of God with power…” (Romans 1:4)
A stumbling block to some people accepting Jesus as the Messiah is the fact that He did not immediately usher in peace on earth. However, note the prophecy concerning the Messiah’s coming in the Book of Daniel. It states that the Messiah would die, the Temple would be destroyed, and there would be wars, not peace, until the end. Daniel 9:26 says, “Messiah be cut off…and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary…and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” There will be desolations until the end of which war?
The last war before the Messiah returns will be when all nations come against Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:9 states, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced…” The inhabitants of Jerusalem will mourn when they see Jesus the Messiah, who was pierced for our sins on the cross 2000 years ago, then He will set up His kingdom on earth and establish peace.
On the Day of Atonement a sacrifice had to be made to cover the sins of the people. The Torah states in Acharei Mot, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”
Since the Second Temple was destroyed almost 2000 years ago, atonement according to the Torah has been impossible. We have been told that our prayers, good works, etc, can take the place of temple sacrifices. However, God said that we are cursed if we do not obey all the words of the covenant, which includes atonement for sin by temple sacrifices. Yet, God didn’t leave us as cursed and hopeless sinners. In His love, God graciously informed us through the Prophet Jeremiah that there would be a New Covenant about 600 years before the Messiah came.
To illustrate: Two brothers had a rental contract on an apartment and fulfilled their obligations to the landlord. The landlord informed them well in advance that the apartment building was scheduled for demolition, and gave them the exact date they needed to move. The kind landlord built a beautiful new house for the brothers to move into and included free maintenance in their new contract. The younger brother happily moved into the new house under the new contract while the elder brother refused the new contract and was expelled from the building as it was demolished. He wandered around in disbelief at the landlord’s word, resentful toward his younger brother, yet because of his tradition, he continues to do what he can to honour the old contract.
God made it very clear through the Prophets that the Messiah was to be our New Atonement. Jesus died as our sacrifice just before the Second Temple was destroyed thus introducing a better covenant with eternal forgiveness.
You may want to care fully consider this, study the passages in the Bible and read the New Testament. But your decision determines your eternal destination, whether your name remains written in God’s Book or blotted out. (Daniel 12:1-3)
When a young man proposes marriage to a woman, the relationship has no future unless she accepts his proposal and responds accordingly. In like manner, in order for us to be justified from our sins before God, we must respond personally to the Messiah in accepting His provision for our atonement and receiving Him as our Saviour.
It is important to count the cost; the cost of not receiving God’s provision of forgiveness, which is eternal separation from God in everlasting fire (Isaiah 33:14) and the cost of rejection by some of your friends and family. “Hear the word of the LORD, ye that tremble at his word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” Isaiah 66:5
In approaching God, consider the following:
• Acknowledge that you have transgressed and sinned against God
• Confess your personal sins to God and cast your sins on Jesus the Messiah
• Accept the death and blood sacrifice of Jesus the Messiah on behalf of your sin
• Believe that Jesus the Messiah rose from the dead according to the Scriptures
• Call on Jesus to be your personal Lord and Saviour
• Thank God for your salvation
• This is a good time to dedicate your life to serve Him
“Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” Isaiah 55:6-7
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:13
Refutation: Those who have not learned the New Testament have associated the Catholic church with Christianity. This is preposterous because the New Testament condemns idolatry and the many abominable practices of the Catholic church (1 Corinthians 6:9- 10). During the Inquisition, countless true Christians and Jews were tortured and murdered. The clear connection the New Testament has to the Catholic church is the prophecy of their coming destruction in Revelation chapter 17. The Catholic church teaches catechisms of their religion rather than encouraging their followers to read the Scriptures themselves and believe what God has said.