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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jesus the Messiah - Refuting Doubt, Part 1

UPDATE: I have removed all links to Bubalita's webpage. She has not been visibly on the internet since January 25th and her website has apparently been hacked. As it loads, it switches and goes to another site. My browser blocked going there, but I recommend you not try to go.

This post is the first part of a series in response to a comment on my post, Jesus-colored Glasses, by a blogger whose username is Bubalita. Just so you know, series may end up meaning a series of two, or it could be a yet unspecified number more than two.

God's holy Word is in brown.
All things Bubalita are in dark green.

Apparently, mine was not the only blog she visited that day. She requested input from a number of people from many different religious persuasions. I am not quite sure of her motives, but I plan to respond to her January 20th post, "Why the Jews rejected Jesus as the messiah for over 2000 years," as well as a few of the points made in the comments on that post.

I will give some commentary throughout, but mostly I want to direct readers to Scripture passages, from both the Old and New Testaments. I use Scripture because "...the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). Also, "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path" (Psalm 119"105). I encourage you to look up those passages I have cited but not quoted here. If you do not do that, you will not be getting the full picture as I am presenting it.

As I post this, I pray that the Lord will soften hearts that are hardened to His Son and open eyes that are blinded to His truth.

God's Revelation of Himself
The reason God has revealed Himself to sinful man is so that man might gain a better understanding of His majesty, His holiness, His glory. All that He does brings glory to Himself, and as the sovereign Creator and Sustainer of the universe and all contained therein, He has the right to do so. It is the duty of His creation to give Him the glory due His name, and ultimately, they will: 2 Chronicles 5:13; Psalm 22:23; 86:9, 12; Isaiah 24:15: 25:3; 43:20; 60:7; Ezekiel 39:13; Matthew 5:16; John 8:54; 12:28, 13:32; 17:1, 5; 21:19; Romans 15:5-9; 1 Corinthians 6:20; Revelation 15:4.

"The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands" (Psalm 19:1).

"For by Him all things were created, {both} in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities - all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:16-17).

God's Revelation of Man
Concerning the sinfulness of man, in case that is a point of stumbling for you:
"This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one fate for all men. Futhermore, the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil and insanity is in their hearts throughout their lives. Afterwards, they {go} to the dead" (Ecclesiastes 9:3; see also 8:11).

Read all of Psalm 14. Here is the first verse to get you going, "The fool has said in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good" (Jeremiah 17:9; see also Romans 3:10-18).

I am going to start this refutation by addressing Bubalita's 2nd heading, JESUS DID NOT FULFILL THE MESSIANIC PROPHESIES. I don't know that I will address all of her points. We will see.

Point 1 - MESSIAH AS PROPHET - "Jesus was not a prophet. Prophesy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of the world Jewry. During the time of Ezra (circa 300 BCE*), when the majority of Jews refused to move from Babylon to Israel, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets - Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. Jesus appeared on the scene approximately 350 years after prophecy had ended."

If this statement is true, what did Malachi mean by this, "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD" (Malachi 4:5)?

Actually though, Jesus was Prophet, Priest and King.

Jesus as Prophet
"The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him" (Deuteronomy 18:15).

"And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his {own} household" (Matthew 13:57; see also, Mark 6:4, Luke 24:19, John 4:44).

Jesus as Priest
"Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession" (Hebrews 3:1).

See Hebrews 5:1-10 for a discourse on His priesthood (if you are Jewish, I respectfully encourage you to read all of Hebrews).

Jesus as King (King of kings and Lord of lords; my King, by the way)

"These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him {are the} called and chosen and faithful" (Revelation 17:4; see also 1 Timothy 1:16 and Revelation 19:16).

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout {in triumph,} O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble and mounted on a donkey, Even a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9; see also, Matthew 21:5 and its context).

Point 2 - DESCENDANT OF DAVID - "According to the Christian claim that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, he had no father -- and thus could not have possibly fulfilled the messianic requirement of being descended on his father's side from King David!"

In Old and New Testament times, if a father acknowledged a son as legal heir, he became just that - the legal heir with all of the rights accorded to an heir. Consider the case of Abraham in Genesis 15..."Abram said, 'O Lord GOD, what will You give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?' And Abram said, 'Since You have given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir'" (verses 2-3, emphasis added).

Matthew 1:1-16 clearly lays out the lineage of Jesus from Abraham to David to His adopted father, Joseph. John 6:42 is set in Capernaum and the Galilean crowd took exception to Jesus saying that He was "the bread that came down out of heaven." There response was, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven'?" (emphasis added).

The fact that He is also descended through David through His mother, Mary, seems like icing on the cake.

Also, the meticulous genealogical records that Israel always maintained were completely destroyed in 70AD, making it impossible for anyone who comes after that time claiming to be the Messiah to prove his lineage.

Point 3 - TORAH OBSERVANCE - "Throughout the New Testament, Jesus contradicts the Torah and states that its commandments are no longer applicable."

"For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others {to do} the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches {them,} he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:18-19). Please note that these are Jesus' words.

This passage not only refutes the claim that Christ dismissed the Law, but if you read on in that chapter, you will find that after Jesus affirmed the Law, He clarified it. The Law was never meant to be just a set of external laws to follow; God always, always looks at the motives of the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Jesus made it clear that sin begins in the mind and the heart.

*For the record, I do not condone the use of CE and BCE. It's only purpose is to turn people away from thinking of Jesus Christ.


Bubalita said...

wow Becky, thanks so much for all the information, thanks for taking the time to answer, In my blog I answered the reason why I request comments and opinions from different religions.

God bless you and have a wonderful day!!! :)

PD. I will come back tomorrow to read everything, Its late now and in 6 hours I have to go to work.

Alicia said...

I found this blog through Bubalita. I noticed the counter on the side of this blog that says the vast number of people who die are going to hell. The new testament talks about "baptism for the dead"... I testify that there is redeption for those who have never had the chance to learn of Jesus Christ. God is a merciful God and provides a way for all to be redeemed.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Bubalita, I look forward to further discussions with you. Alicia, I have given my response in a new post today.

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Readers, DO NOT GO TO BUBALITA's SITE. See update at the beginning of this post for reason.

I don't know what has happened to her, but I pray she finds the true Messiah, Jesus Christ.