Messiah of the Nations Part 2

Written by Michael

August 31, 2022

As I write this – in an attempt to define what a Messiah is – and does, I am recalling an old movie entitled, “Kindergarten Cop”. In this movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a detective trying to find the father of one of the children, who happens to be an elusive criminal. Arnold substitutes as a kindergarten teacher to protect the child and find the dad. In one scene he gets all the children of the class together and makes up a game where he asks every 5-year-old, “Who is your daddy and what does he do?” It’s amazingly funny and the answers are hilarious – especially the one who can define God’s order of there being only two genders – but I digress. Yet, I hear this Arnold voice asking, “Who is the Messiah, and what does He do?”

The term “Messiah” comes from the Hebrew word “Moshiach”, which on the surface means “Anointed One” – Ok, but there is so much more to it than this, isn’t there?

In the Ancient Near East, being anointed with oil was a common practice of dedication and selection – this was true for many religions and the worship of many deities, not just YHWH. In Israel, individuals were anointed with oil to consecrate themselves to God for a specific role, such as the Levites. We see this in Aaron being anointed to be the first high priest of Israel in Leviticus 8:12.

We also see Kings being anointed for the purpose to lead Israel nationally. Saul was anointed and installed, and after his sin at Endor, David was anointed, both by Samuel – in 1 Samuel 10:1 and 1 Samuel 16:10 consecutively. Prophets were anointed with oil for their gifting by the Lord – as God instructed Elijah to anoint Elisha as his successor in 1 Kings 19:16. So, being anointed is not the unique characteristic of a Messiah – it cannot be the end all in describing what a Messiah is, and what he does if we see so many examples of this in Scripture.

The calling and realization of the call to the penultimate expression of anointed ones must have something to do with the Messiah. So in the previous examples, we see David becoming King yet also operating as a priest (called by God as a man after God’s own heart). We see the failings of those who are anointed – Kings, Prophets, and Priests – don’t forget it was Aaron who made the golden calf, and Balaam who took the bribe to prophesy falsely. So what is the Messiah’s calling and task(s) and where does this differ from human, failed anointed leaders in God’s Kingdom?

It is interesting to note that the word “Moshiach” is nowhere to be found in the Old Testament. Yet, there is more prophecy in Scripture written about Him than any other subject matter in the texts. Let’s lay out some thoughts.

A Messiah is one “that will come and restore the original kingdom of God” – and the Jewish people have been waiting, according to their writings for two Messiahs, the suffering messiah (son of Joseph) and the King and reigning Messiah (son of David). We know Him as One Messiah who came once and is coming again.

The first prophecy we see of this in Scripture is in Genesis 3:14-15, “So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Scholars call this the “Protoevangelium” or “first Gospel mention” of Scripture. This is where I believe the church has grasped short of the fullness of the understanding as we have focused mainly on individual salvation – and rightly so. However – a Kingdom is coming with a throne of a Messiah, and I believe we do not realize the magnitude of what this means. The Jewish people understand this and there is something to point out that our Messiah prayed for oneness in John 17, and this is not what is seen as what we are working towards. What am I talking about?

Look at Genesis 3, enmity was put between the seed of mankind and the enemy – so there should be an overwhelming unity to see the kingdom of darkness expelled – and that takes everyone working as one. The Messiah will orchestrate this, is understood He will, but the Church does not work towards this – little if at all because our ministries are individually oriented – to the individual, by the individual. Few are set to the unifying of the Body because in the church we have focused on gifts and anointings – all rightly placed and needed – but little on unity and operating as a kingdom – why – because the West does not understand the kingdom mindset.

While we have served Jesus as Savior, and “Lord” – old English terminology from the KJV, and as King – there is still missing the identity of who He really is – Messiah – in our language, our identification, and the everyday revelation in which we see Him.

Messiah, by its implied meaning, contains – complete loyalty, adherence to a code, our desires being subject to the Messiah’s, and love for Him beyond an individual’s love for anything else. A Messiah is a Savior, He is a King, but more than that He is the supreme authority, and every established kingdom and authority on earth cannot and will not be able to leverage political power – or real power against Him. We have never seen this type of rulership on earth – ever. In fact. The disciples expected what I just described –the eradication of the Roman Empire – in real time before their eyes. The problem was – He did exactly that, but had to demolish the wicked spiritual kingdom first before returning to deal with the natural kingdoms of this world. (2nd coming and revived Roman Empire) So, Daniel’s prophecy in Chapter nine reveals much about His authority, and John’s revelation seals the details.

Mike, is this really a point to be made? Great question! I have asked this of myself dozens of times and withheld from addressing this because it almost seems redundant until I remind myself of a basic understanding. Words mean things – Semantics are important. What is language, but a tool for an assigned or creative thought? If we sell ourselves short on addressing the titles Yeshua is due, do we not think we could be selling ourselves short on knowing the revealed character of our Master? In Matthew 16:13-17 we see the picture of Peter making his declaration of messiahship and it is epitomized by Yeshua’s response:

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ (Messiah), the Son of the living God – And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.”

These men had spent nearly three years with Him and now Peter realizes who He is and declares it – Christ=Messiah – “You are The Messiah…Son of the Living God”, but again the disciples’ idea of the Messiah and His work did not align with their presuppositions of Jesus’ timing and actions, yet Yeshua uses this moment to subsequently declare that His called-out Body of followers would be built upon this EXACT revelation and the authority of heaven would align by what is determined and established in His authority on earth. This is how important the idea of the Messiah is and we rarely hear it in the church. We can never understand fully what it means in context because we simply do not discuss it, and the idea of Messiah then is foreign to us and mostly relegated to Jewish thought and ideals only. Look at the words above – “…some say you’re a prophet, some say Elijah – ALL ANOINTED ONES – but not THE Anointed One!

What are the details of the Messiah? – I believe in order to see this we need to look at the disciple “whom Yeshua loved…” on the isle of Patmos. Revelation 1:7-12 says,

“… Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. I, John, who also am your brother and companion in the affliction, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the island that is called Patmos, for the Word of God and for the testimony of Yeshua Ha Mashiach. I came to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am the Alpha and Omega, the First and the Last…”

What is this language of Alpha and Omega? First of all, a Jewish Messiah speaking to one of His Talmidim (disciples) would not be speaking in Greek, although that is the language of translation we have for the New Testament. Jesus would have been speaking in Hebrew to his friend – so let’s examine the mystery of these words: Genesis 1:1 says, “Bereshit bara Elohim (alef/tav) et hashamayim ve’et ha’arets.” This is the passage exactly in Hebrew – where the English says, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” But, what is this alef/tav? These are the first and last letters in the Hebrew Alef Bet (alphabet)…the alef/tav interjection has always been a rabbinical messianic mystery because it is placed several times in the middle of a passage in Genesis where Elohim is used. Jesus declares this “Alpha and Omega” idea four times in the book of Revelation – so what we need to understand is Jesus is addressing this riddle – mystery, by basically saying – “you know the several times in Genesis where the great mystery of Alef Tav is? That is Me…that is My divinity…I Am…the Ever Living one…” The interjection of Alef/Tov in Scripture is currently debated by the rabbis and has been since the exile. Jesus is letting John know exactly WHO that is, not what it is. Think of it! The Son of God (not Jesus/Yeshua yet)  is in the very first verse of the very first chapter of the Bible! Only a Messiah could claim that and prove it by His resurrection.

In Part 3 – we will discuss what the Messiah looks like and how He demonstrates His power and authority in the future

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