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2021 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - Understanding the Messiah Through the Old Testament

Rabbi Schneider - Understanding the Messiah Through the Old Testament


Rabbi Schneider - Understanding the Messiah Through the Old Testament
Rabbi Schneider - Understanding the Messiah Through the Old Testament
TOPICS: Messianic Prophecy

Now I'm really drilling down on the nature of Messianic prophecy and I've really endeavored to help you understand that many people's view of Messianic prophecy is that there's all these predictions in the Old Testament or the Tanakh, of what Jesus would do. And I've really gone a long way to help show you that when the New Testament writers use the Hebrew Bible in such a way that they say, "Jesus fulfilled it". They're not always talking about Jesus fulfilling future predictions.

The New Testament writers' view of Messianic prophecy is much broader than that. The New Testament writers use Messianic prophecy not just to show how Yeshua fulfilled predictive prophecies, meaning prophecies that were very specifically about how the Messiah in the future would fulfill this particular scenario or event. But the New Testament writers often used the Old Testament or Tanakh in a way that they say Yeshua fulfilled it, in the sense that Yeshua filled it full with meaning. And so on last week's broadcast I talked about Moses and how Moses talked about the fact that the Lord was gonna raise up from amongst Israel a prophet like himself. And anybody that did not listen to this prophet would be cut off.

Now that's predictive That's very, very predictive. Moses said, "The Lord's gonna raise up from among Israel a prophet like me". That's predictive. It's something that's gonna happen in the future. And the Lord said, "And he that does not listen to this prophet will be cut off". Very scientific, that could be mathematically and scientifically measured. And Jesus fulfilled that prophecy. In fact, in the book of Acts Peter actually quotes the scripture that I just referred to from the book of Devarim or the book of Deuteronomy and saying, "This Yeshua, this Jesus fulfilled this prophecy that Moses spoke of". Predictive prophecy, scientifically measured. Yeshua came, He lived, and He did exactly what Moses said He would do. But much of the way the New Testament writers used prophecy is in a more general sense.

And I talked for example, on last week's broadcast, I gave an example from the book of Hosea. Hosea chapter 11 verse 1 is quoted by Matthew. Matthew said, "Jesus fulfilled Hosea chapter 11 verse 1". Hosea chapter 11 verse 1 says, "Out of Egypt did I call My son". But when the Lord gave that word to Hosea 11:1, it wasn't a prediction. In fact, what God was doing, was talking through Hosea about what He already did. God had already called His people, Israel, out of Egypt hundreds of years before Hosea spoke that. So that was not a predictive prophecy. In fact, it doesn't even appear on the surface that it was a prophecy at all. Now some of you may be tuning in for the first time today. I don't want to lose you. In Hosea chapter 11 verse 1, Hosea's speaking. He records for us the Lord saying, "Out of Egypt did I call My son".

Now when you hear a prophecy, once again, many of you think of a future prediction. But Hosea chapter 11 verse 1, even in the original historical context in Hosea, was not a prediction of the future; rather God was simply saying to Hosea, "I called Israel out of Egypt hundreds of years ago. Out of Egypt I called My son". Yet Matthew quotes that scripture and says Jesus fulfilled it. Well what's going on? First of all it doesn't even look like a prophecy in the sense of most people's understanding of prophecy, because most people when they think of a prophecy, they're thinking of a future prediction. So first of all when we read it, it doesn't even look like a future prediction. So most people would think it's not even a prophecy. And then secondly, not only is it not predictive in nature, but even beyond that, Hosea was recording something that already happened. And yet Matthew quotes it and says Jesus fulfilled it.

What's going on there? How can that be? Well what is happening, beloved ones, is that the New Testament writers under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, understand that the entire Tanakh, the entire Hebrew Bible, is ultimately about Yeshua. Yeshua is the aim of all the scriptures. This is why the Bible tells us in the book of Luke that Yeshua took His disciples on a journey through the Prophets, the Law of Moses and He showed them all the things contained in those scriptures that ultimately pointed to them, to Him rather. At first reading, when the disciples read the Law of Moses and the Prophets, they didn't even realize that much of it was prophetic. But then Yeshua showed them, listen, "The story about Joseph, it ultimately pointed to Me. The story about Moses, it ultimately pointed to Me". The entire Hebrew Bible finds its end in Yeshua.

I'm going now to the book of Isaiah chapter number 6. Let me read for you here, verse 8 and 9. I did refer to this in series number one, but it's important to point this out to you again. You may ask yourself, "Rabbi why do you keep on going over the same thing"? Let me tell you why I'm so sensitive to this, myself as a Jewish person, most of you know I'm Jewish, born Jewish, raised Jewish, bar mitzvahed in a conservative synagogue. I'm a Jewish believer in Yeshua. I'm a Jewish believer in Jesus. And as a Jew I am by and large rejected by the Jewish world. Did you know, beloved ones, that in general the Jewish world says to me, "You're not even Jewish any more. You're not Jewish anymore, because you switched to another religion". It's just a biased mindset that says within Judaism, "You can't stay a Jew and believe in Jesus".

To show you how serious this is as a Jewish person, born Jewish, raised Jewish, 100% Ashkenazi Jew. My ancestors are from Europe. I cannot even become a citizen in Israel because I believe in Jesus. So I'm very sensitive to this, because of all of the blow back and push back I get from the Jewish world. They tell me that you can't be a Jew and believe in Jesus, because they say, "Jesus is not," they say, "the Jewish Messiah". I stake my life on the fact that Yeshua is the Messiah of Israel, that Yeshua is Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world, that He was raised from the dead and He is God's only means to salvation.

In fact the Apostle Paul said this, who was one of the leading Jews of his day; educated under the leading Jewish sage of his day, Gamaliel. Paul said this, "If Yeshua has not been raised from the dead, then you and I are the biggest fools in the earth for believing something and giving our life to something that isn't even true". And Paul said, "Beyond that, if Yeshua hasn't been raised from the dead, not only are we fools for following a fairy tale," but he said, "even worse that, we're liars, because we're telling people in the world that God did something that He didn't do if in fact God has not raised Yeshua up from the dead". But God has raised Jesus from the dead and He is the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world. And yet my message is rejected by the Jewish people by and large, just like Yeshua was rejected by His people by and large when He came.

The Bible says of Yeshua in the Gospel of John, "He came unto His own," meaning Israel, "and His own received Him not, but as many has received Him to them He gave the right to become the children of God". So, here's the point. The point is, as a Jewish person, when I begin to talk about Jesus to my Jewish brethren, especially to rabbis, immediately they just want to slam me down to the ground. They tell me that, "You're using these scriptures and these prophecies out of context, that you're saying that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. Look you're saying that Jesus fulfilled Hosea 11:1, that isn't even a prophecy. How can you say that Jesus fulfilled it? It was never even a prophecy to begin with". So what traditional rabbis say, is that the way the New Testament writers used the Hebrew Bible in the way they say Jesus fulfilled it, they say, listen now, "Is a misuse of scripture".

What they say we're doing, is we're taking the scripture out of context and we're giving it a whole new meaning, which was never intended by the original author in the Hebrew Bible. Let me give you an example of what I mean by this. I'm going now to the book of Isaiah chapter number 6, verse 8 and 9. Hear the Word of God. Isaiah's speaking. "Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for US?' Then I said, 'Here am I. Send me!' He said, 'Go, and tell this people: "Keep on listening, but do not perceive; Keep on looking, but do not understand"'". So what is going on here is that Isaiah is receiving his call from ministry to the Lord. The Lord says to Isaiah, "Who shall I send"? And Isaiah says, "Send me". And the Lord says, "Go". He says, "I'm gonna send you and they're gonna keep on listening, but they're not gonna perceive. They're gonna look, but they're not gonna understand".

So what happens? This scripture that was originally just simply a word that was given to Isaiah by the Lord, when God called Isaiah Yeshua now uses that same scripture from Isaiah and He applies it to Himself, And He says that in Himself, listen, Jesus said, "It's been fulfilled". So hear me now, when people see the New Testament writers say, "Jesus fulfilled it". They're thinking, "Oh, He must have fulfilled some type of prediction from the Old Testament". But that's not the way the New Testament writers often times use prophecy. They don't mean it that Jesus fulfilled a future prediction, but that Jesus filled it up with meaning.

And the next question we need to ask our self is, "Did then the New Testament writers misuse the scriptures"? Here's what Jesus did. Listen. Hear the Word of God. Stay with me now. We're gonna make sense of all this. We're going now to Jesus' use of this same scripture in Matthew 13 verse 13. Yeshua says, "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. In their case the prophecy," get that, "in their case," Yeshua said, "the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive". So what is Yeshua doing? Yeshua is taking the prophetic word that the Lord gave to Isaiah, concerning what would happen in Isaiah's ministry and Yeshua now says, "Now it's being fulfilled in My ministry as well".

And so once again, beloved, I want you to just get the big picture, because you may at some point in your life quote a Messianic prophecy to a Jewish person and they would say to you, "Well you know your New Testament says that Jesus fulfilled that, but if you look at that scripture in the Hebrew Bible, that's not what it was talking about at all. It wasn't talking about a Messiah, it was just talking about Isaiah". But if you understand the playing field and the types of issues that we deal with, it's called apologetics, in our endeavor to defend the faith, then you'll be much better prepared to know an objection that you might end up getting. Of course the question at this point now becomes, when the New Testament writers took scriptures from the Old Testament and applied them to Yeshua in a way that was never understood by the original writer in the Hebrew Bible.

In other words, when Isaiah recorded this verse about himself, he probably had no understanding that this scripture would ultimately be applied to Himself by Yeshua. In other words, when Isaiah originally wrote this down, he didn't realize that Yeshua was gonna be quoting that scripture and applying it to Himself. And so somebody might say, "Well you're taking the scripture that had one meaning to the original author and now you're taking it and you're turning it and giving it a completely different meaning, you're pulling it out of context and now applying it to Yeshua. That is not a honest use," someone might say, "of prophecy". But beloved, first of all, it is a totally honest use of prophecy, because the writers of the New Testament were under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. And if Yeshua is the Messiah, which He absolutely is, then the New Testament writers have the right to take any scripture and apply it to Him, because the entire aim of the Hebrew Bible finds its climatic fulfillment in the Messiah.

But let me go a step further. When I, for example, as a Jewish person encounter a traditional rabbi that says to me, "You are misusing scripture, because you're taking scriptures from the Hebrew Bible out of context and applying them to Yeshua". For example, we're gonna be looking here in the weeks ahead at the book of Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14, where Isaiah receives a prophetic word. "The virgin will conceive and bring forth a child and you shall call His name Emmanuel, meaning God is with us". Of course we use that in a big way in the New Testament. What a traditional rabbi would say, is that you are totally misusing that scripture, because that scripture that was given to Isaiah, "Behold the virgin will conceive and bring forth the child," or they would say the word that we translate in the New Testament as virgin, which is in the Hebrew Alma, does not necessarily mean a virgin, but it means a young woman of child bearing age. They would say, "You're totally twisting that". Because number one, they would say it doesn't necessarily mean a virgin. And they would say number two that, that scripture was not about the Messiah. It was about Isaiah's wife going to have a child.

Some people feel it was about the king Ahaz having a child. They say, "It wasn't a Messianic prophecy. You guys are taking it and applying it out of context". But here's what I need you to understand, that is a totally, unfounded accusation, because of the fact when we study Judaism, Judaism does the same exact thing and they have done the same exact thing for two thousand years; where they take a scripture that's given in the original context and was understood by the original hearers one way and then they take the scripture within Rabbinic Judaism and they give it a totally different meaning then what was originally intended or understood by the original audience. This is done in the Talmud, which is the major source that rabbis study as they're preparing for the rabbinic, where they'll take a verse in the Talmud.

Again, it's a long, you'll have to get some of my other teachings. I don't want to get to side tracked on that right now. But it's just a source of Rabbinic Judaism today. They'll look at a verse in the Talmud and they'll actually study with someone. Each person has a partner they'll study with. And the goal of the study is to give that verse as many creative interpretations as possible. And so you read all types of Rabbinic literature where they're taking a verse out of the Talmud or out of the Torah and they're giving a spin on it that's totally separated and divorced from its original meaning and intent.

The same thing is true in Mystical Judaism. The primary book of Mystical Judaism, which is studied by the Hasidim today, the ultra orthodox Jews, a huge movement within Judaism. The main source of Mystical Judaism is called the Zohar and when you study the Zohar, what does the Zohar do? It takes a verse out of the Torah and it gives that verse a meaning that was never understood by the original writers or the original audience.

So to accuse me or us of taking a verse out of context and applying it to Jesus, holds no weight at all, because Judaism has done this for thousands of years. In fact, it is the Jewish way. But ultimately, again at the end of the day in terms of accuracy, if Jesus is the Messiah, which I stake my life on the fact that He is and so have most of you, then we can use the scriptures that point to Him and feel 100% confident and 100% convinced that we're using the scriptures accurately; because the point of the scriptures is to point, beloved, and to bring us to Him. Well this is Rabbi Schneider saying, thank you for tuning in today.

I hope you find this study as fascinating as I do. We're gonna move forward in next week's broadcast. I'm gonna cover some brand new material. But I just wanted to continue to lay that foundation today, because again, many of God's people did not really understand what the New Testament means when when the New Testament writers used the words, "Jesus fulfilled the prophecy". They thought it was scientific prediction, but not all prophecy is scientific prediction that foretells the future. It's rather taking Israel's history, showing how Jesus took Israel's history, lived it out, embodied it in His own life and thus filled it full of meaning or fulfilled it.
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