1 - The Promised Messiahs? 

The earthly ministry of Jesus confused the people of His day. This confusion was not only shared by the people and the religious leaders but even Jesus' own disciples along with John the Baptist were confused as to the nature of the Messiah.

The nation of Israel had long been looking for the Messiah to set them free from the oppression of the various nations that had conquered them since the days of Moses. Their religious leaders had told them that when the Messiah came He would cast off the yoke of bondage that foreign governments had put upon them. When the Jewish people proclaimed Jesus as Messiah on Palm Sunday, they expected Him to defeat the Roman government and set up His kingdom on earth at that time. Instead, the Romans crucified Jesus and the people became disheartened and rejected Him as the Messiah. The problem was that the Jewish religious leaders had not understood all of the prophecies that Old Testament revealed concerning the Messiah. Where did this confusion concerning the Messianic prophecies come from?

The Old Testament did indeed speak of the Messiah as a conquering savior for his people. It also spoke of a suffering Messiah who would be punished for the sins of his people. The late Orthodox Jewish Talmudic scholar and later a believer in Yeshua (i.e., Jesus), Rachmiel Frydland, wrote, "There are two very distinct lines of prophecy in the Scriptures concerning the Messiah. One line portrays him as a humble suffering-saviour. The other line of prophecy depicts him as a conquering king-redeemer. Talmudic and other Jewish sources recognize these two competing functions of the Messiah. One explanation invoked to resolve this dilemma was that there would be two Messiahs: one who would suffer and be humbled and one who would rule and be exalted."1

The Jewish leaders tried to explain this seeming discrepancy with various theories. One stated that if the Jewish people were living righteously before God then He would send the conquering Messiah. Conversely, if the Jewish nation was in rebellion against the laws of God then they would be sent the suffering Messiah. It seems however, the one theory they did not envision was that God would send His Messiah twice.

The first time was to save the people from their sins by suffering for them. The second time was to set up His earthly kingdom so that the people would live as God had intended for them all along.

One reason that there would be a delay between His two comings was to not only give the Jews a chance to be reconciled to God through the forgiveness of their sins but also to give the Gentiles a chance to be reconciled to a God they did not know. Jesus stated in the aforementioned Olivet Discourse, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and THEN shall the end come."2

In this chapter, I will discuss the foundational Messianic prophecy given by God in the Old Testament.

The "Prophet" Prophecy

Moses uttered an unmistakable prophecy concerning the Messiah. He declared to the Jews:

"The Lord thy God will raise up unto you a Prophet from

the midst of you, of your brethren, like unto me, unto Him

you shall listen. I will raise them up a Prophet from among

their brethren, like unto you, and will put My words in His

mouth and He shall speak unto them all that I shall

command Him."

- Deuteronomy 18:15, 18

God had ordained Moses to be His representative for the Jewish nation after the Egyptians had enslaved them. God had told him to go to the Egyptian Pharaoh and tell him to set the Jews free from the bondage of slavery so that they could serve their God. There was reluctance on Moses' part to do the Lord's bidding in this endeavor. He was concerned that he was not an eloquent man along with a few other reservations that he had regarding himself. God told Moses that He would put the words in his mouth that he was to speak and that would lead to the salvation of the Jews through their deliverance from bondage. Thus, Moses did obey the Lord and the Lord did deliver the Jewish people from bondage through His messenger.

It was after the Jews had left Egypt when Moses prophesied to them that God would raise up a Prophet like Moses and that He would speak the words of the Lord.

The Jewish people of Jesus' day were familiar with this prophecy. When John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness, they asked him, "Who are you? ...Are you Elijah? ...Are you that Prophet?"3 John's response was no but that he was preparing the way for the Prophet/Messiah.

When Jesus was teaching in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem during the Feast of Tabernacles, the Jews listening to Him were amazed at His words. So much so that they declared, "Of a truth this is the Prophet."4

Was Jesus this Prophet/Messiah spoken of by Moses? The New Testament is unequivocal in its claims that He was. Jesus said, "I am come in My Father's name and you receive Me not...Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one who accuses you, Moses, in whom you trust. For if you believed Moses you would have believed Me because he wrote of Me. But if you believe not his writings how shall you believe My words."5 Indeed Jesus was identifying Himself as the Prophet/Messiah spoken of by Moses.

This prophecy states that the Messiah would be like Moses and that God would give Him the words that He was to speak. God spoke to Moses and said, "Come now therefore and I will send you unto Pharaoh that you may bring forth My people, the children, of Israel out of Egypt."6 So the task that God gave to Moses was to deliver the people from the bondage of slavery.  Likewise, the Messiah's mission was to deliver the people from their bondage to sin by giving His life as a sacrificial offering to God. The writer of Hebrews declares that Jesus did fulfill this task: "But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death...that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man...Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same, that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."7

The other part of this prophecy was that the Messiah spoken of by Moses was to speak the words that God put in His mouth. When the Jewish religious leaders asked Jesus who He was He replied, "Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge of you, but He that sent Me is true and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of Him...When you have lifted up the Son of man, then shall you know that I am He and that I do nothing of Myself but as My Father has taught Me I speak these things."8

There are a couple of other interesting parallels between Moses and Jesus that the Bible records. The first is that the governing rulers tried to have each killed at birth.9 As we will see in later chapters, I believe that just before God initiates a major prophetic event Satan10 tries to destroy the means by which God plans to use in fulfilling His will. I believe that such an event took place within the recent past.

The second one is that Moses was reluctant to take on God's difficult mission because he did not think he would be able to see it through to the end. Jesus, while praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, also asked God if there was some other way the mission could be accomplished. Nevertheless, Jesus did submit to God's will.


In the next few chapters, I will discuss those prophecies that Jesus fulfilled with His first coming. I will show how the New Testament clearly illustrates that He indeed was the suffering Messiah that was prophesied in the Old Testament. Later I will list the prophecies that Jesus did not fulfill...yet. They pertain to those passages in the Old Testament that describe a kingly Messiah. Jesus will fulfill them with His second coming, a time which I believe His followers will recognize as approaching nearer, even at the doors.


1   "What the Rabbis Know About the Messiah", Rachmiel Frydland, p.51

     (Messianic Publishing Co. 1991, 1993)

2   Matthew 24:14

3   John 1:19, 21

4   John 7:40

5   John 5:43, 45-47

6   Exodus 3:10

7   Hebrews 2:9, 14-15

8   John 8:25-26, 28

9  Exodus 1:15-2:10; Matthew 2:1-18

10  The Bible indicates that Satan has general if not specific knowledge of

     God's prophetic plans for the future. In Chapter 9 of this book, I discuss

     the Tribulation Period in detail and point out that it will last seven years.

     In the Book of Revelation, John sees Satan cast out of heaven at the

     midpoint of the Tribulation Period. In response to this event, a voice

     from Heaven cries out:

   "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the

    inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto

    you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time."

- Revelation 12:12

     According to this passage, Satan KNOWS that the Tribulation Period is a

     short period of time and realizes his time is almost up according to God's

     prophetic plans. At the end of the Tribulation, God is going to restrain

     Satan for a thousand years and then judge him for eternity. This knowledge

     of future events has enabled Satan to try to hinder God's plan for the human

     race throughout history.

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