CHAPTER XVI

THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF JESUS CAST IN THE PROPHETIC MOLD
OF MOSES AND THE PROPHETS


IN THE present section, Chapter X, is found the prophetic mold as set forth by Moses and the Prophets, in which the life of King Messiah was to be cast. It is now proper and fitting to look at this mold again and at the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth to determine whether or not He and His activities were cast, figuratively speaking, in this mold. Everyone may know the shape of this mold and its measurements, so to speak, by the data which is presented in Chapter X. One may measure accurately the mold that Moses and the Prophets present and then measure the person, life, and labors of Jesus of Nazareth. If they are of the exact measurements, it is conclusive proof that He, figuratively speaking, was cast in the mold of Moses and the Prophets. The inevitable conclusion drawn from these facts is that He was and is the Hebrew Messiah of ancient expectation, and that He, who fills out the mold up to the present time, will carry out the program of the Messiah yet to be fulfilled.

In preparation for the study of the Scriptures giving the mold in which Messiah's life was to be cast, one should first note Israel's great confession found in Deuteronomy 6:4, which grammatically and literally rendered is "Hear, 0 Israel, Jehovah our Gods is Jehovah a unity." In this marvelous statement Moses calls attention to the fact that the Eternal, the self-existing One, "the uncaused cause of all things," is Israel's God. In the original text the Hebrew word here translated "our Gods" is in the plural number and should be thus rendered and understood. In this word is reflected a plurality of divine personalities. Although there is this plurality of persons, they constitute a unity, as is indicated by the word 'echad, which, unfortunately, in the average English version, is rendered one. Deuteronomy 6:4 is a declaration by Moses that Israel's Gods are a unity—one in essence, nature, and being. At the same time they are a Trinity,¹ as is seen in a number of passages by Moses and the Prophets. When these vital facts are borne in mind, many passages of Scripture become intelligible that, to one not knowing these facts, are enigmatic. This literal translation of this most important passage is in harmony with the entire revelation of God, both in the Old and in the New Testament.

A second factor that must be clearly understood and borne in mind is that Moses and the Prophets held up to Israel the coming of a personal Messiah who would be a descendant of David. A beautiful picture of King Messiah and His reign over the world is seen in II Samuel 23:3-5:

    3 The God of Israel said, The Rock of Israel spake to me:
    One that ruleth over men righteously,
    That ruleth in the fear of God,
    4 He shall be as the light of the morning,
    when the sun riseth, A morning without clouds,
    When the tender grass springeth out of the earth,
    Through clear shining after rain.
    5 Verily my house is not so with God;
    Yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant,
    Ordered in all things, and sure:
    For it is all my salvation, and all my desire,
    Although he maketh it not to grow.

A third great truth that must be kept in mind is that Moses and the Prophets foretold the time that God himself would come to earth. David claimed that he would have given up because of life's burdens if he had not believed to see Jehovah in the land of the living: "I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of Jehovah in the land of the living. 14 Wait for Jehovah: Be strong, and let thy heart take courage; Yea, wait thou for Jehovah" (Ps. 27:13,14). King Hezekiah, also, when informed that he would die shortly, declared that he would not see Jehovah in the land of the living. The Prophet Hosea urged Israel to turn and to "wait for thy God continually" (Hos. 12:6), that is, to wait for the personal coming of God to earth.

From these and many other Scriptures it is clear that God held out the hope to Israel that Messiah would come in the flesh and would bring the desired blessings. Many passages of Scripture, moreover, foretell that God will come and will reign over Israel. These two groups of promises meet in the person of Messiah, who is God in human form, entering the world by miraculous conception and virgin birth. Twelve different groups of prophecy in the Old Testament, with the fulfillment in the New, constitute the mold in which the life of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, was cast. On the left side of the page are the Old Testament predictions; on the right, the New Testament² fulfillments.

I. PRE-EXISTENCE OF MESSIAH

OLD TESTAMENT

NEW TESTAMENT

But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.
(Micah 5:2)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in the darkness; and the darkness apprehended it not. There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for witness, that he might bear witness of the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came that he might bear witness of the light. There was the true light, even the light which lighteth every man, coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and they that were his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become children of God, even to them that believe on his name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth. John beareth witness of him, and crieth, saying, This was he of whom I said, He that cometh after me is become before me: for he was before me. For of his fulness we all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
(John 1:1-18)

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was born, I am.
(John 8:58)

Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:5-11)

God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds; who being the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had made purification of sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become by so much better than the angels, as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, This day have I begotten thee? and again, I will be to him a Father, And he shall be to me a Son? And when he again bringeth in the firstborn into the world he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels winds, And his ministers a flame a fire: but of the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; And the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee With the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of thy hands: They shall perish; but thou continuest: And they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a mantle shalt thou roll them up, As a garment, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, And thy years shall not fail. But of which of the angels hath he said at any time, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet?
(Hebrews 1:1-13)

II. BIRTH OF MESSIAH

One may see how the purpose of God in coming to earth makes His entering it by miraculous conception and virgin birth the most reasonable way of His coming in fulfillment of His promise. Let a person, for example, think of himself as having the power of creating a universe. He creates a world and peoples it with creatures upon whom he bestows the power of free choice. He wants to communicate with them in a manner whereby he may respect their personality and freedom of choice. What is the best way of his doing so? The logical and intelligible way is for him to assume the form of his creatures and to speak to them in their own language and approach them in like manner. Such a hypothetical case shows the reasonableness of the scriptural teaching concerning God's coming to earth and entering it by miraculous conception and virgin birth. A philosophical explanation on this point is given in Book Four of this volume, chapter XXXIV.

OLD TESTAMENT

NEW TESTAMENT

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
(Isaiah 7:14)

Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, And they shall call his name Immanuel; which is, being interpreted, God with us.
(Matthew 1:23)

III. TWOFOLD NATURE OF MESSIAH

According to Isaiah 7:14 one of the persons of the Trinity comes to earth, entering it by miraculous conception and virgin birth. Such a position is summed up by Ezekiel in chapter 34. In verse 11 of this chapter one sees the analogy drawn between a shepherd who is in the midst of his distressed flock, and who saves them, and God who is here in person in the midst of and delivering His flock Israel, that has been persecuted through the centuries. According to Zechariah 13:7, the sword, or possibly the one who wields it, is commanded to smite the shepherd of God, whom God declares to be His equal. His fellow. He is both human and divine.

OLD TESTAMENT

NEW TESTAMENT

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
(Isaiah 7:14)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.
(Ezekiel 34:11)

Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith Jehovah of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn my hand upon the little ones.
(Zechariah 13:7)

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God.
(Luke 1:30-35)

IV. GENEALOGY OF MESSIAH

According to the quotations below, the Messiah is the Son of God and a descendant of man, descendant of Abraham, of Jacob, and of the Tribe of Judah

OLD TESTAMENT

NEW TESTAMENT

A. Descendant of God*

I will tell of the decree: Jehovah said unto me, Thou art my son; This day have I begotten thee.
(Psalms 2:7)

Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou knowest?
(Proverbs 30:4)

And lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
(Matthew 3:17)

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared
him.
(John 1:18)

And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.
(John 1:34)

B. Descendant of Man

Jehovah thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
(Deuteronomy 18:15)


For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

And Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, the son of Jesus, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Symeon, the son of Judas, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon, the son of Amminadab, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.
(Luke 3:23-38)


C. Descendant of Abraham

And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
(Genesis 12:3)

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
(Matthew 1:1)

D. Descendant of Jacob

I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite through the corners of Moab, And break down all the sons of tumult.
(Numbers 24:17)

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
(Luke 1:33)

E. Descendant of Tribe of Judah

But thou, Beth-lehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.
(Micah 5:2)

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judah and his brethren;
(Matthew 1:1-2)

And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not; behold, the Lion that is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath overcome to open the book and the seven seals thereof.
(Revelation 5:5)

F. Descendant of David

Behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called: Jehovah our righteousness.
(Jeremiah 23:5-6)

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
(Matthew 1:1)

And the multitudes that went before him, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed
is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
(Matthew 21:9)

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright, the morning star.
(Revelation 22:16)

Note: Descendant of David through the line of Nathan (Luke 3:23-39).
Note:
Descendant of David through the line of Solomon (Matt. 1:1-17).

Footnotes:

¹ For full discussion of the triune nature of the God of the universe, see my volume The God of Israel.

² In a number of instances, it is impossible to quote all the passages to which references are given, because of limited space. It is hoped that the reader will take the time to examine these passages in his own Bible. The American Standard Version (1901 edition) is, in my judgment, the most nearly accurate English translation available.

³ The Hebrew word translated sign has two connotations. In many instances it refers to an ordinary event or is the name of some object; for instance, the Sabbath is a sign between the Lord and Israel. On the other hand, in certain connections, this word refers to a supernatural act or event. In answer to Pharaoh's demand that Moses and Aaron perform some wonder, Aaron cast his rod on the ground, and it became a living serpent. This act is also designated as a sign. Clearly, therefore, in this case, as in a number of others, sign designates a miracle. The fact of each context in which this word occurs indicates its significance. In the context of Isaiah 7:14 the word sign connotes a miracle.

*The expression "descendant of God" in this case is used anthropomorphically in order to show, humanly speaking, the genealogy of the God-man.



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