There have been many articles written regarding Messianic prophecy. In most cases, this has been done to prove that Jesus is the Messiah. There are many passages in the Tanakh (O.T.) pointing to Yeshua as the Messiah, including Isaiah 53 and Micah 5:1-2. This is all well and good. But there are also other passages that have been ignored. At this time, I would like to examine these other passages.
“You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of יְהֹוָה your God which I command you.” (Deuteronomy 4:2)
This seems to be very basic, yet it is a commandment that is often ignored by both Jews and Christians. This is seemingly easy to understand. However, when talking with Christians, I will sometimes quote a passage from the Tanakh. The response I have received is, “Well, that’s just Old Testament.” In my humble opinion, it is heresy to say something like that. Such comments effectively sever most of the Bible as being authoritative. When mentioning the Torah, Moses says, “neither shall you take away from it.”
The only Bible that people had in the First Century was the “Old Testament.” This is the Bible that Yeshua and the Apostles loved, which they quoted from. I prefer to call “Old Testament” the “Foundational Scriptures,” upon which the Newer Testament rests. The NT cannot be properly understood without the foundational “Old Testament.”
Jews are also guilty when they “add to the word which I command you.” I’m not knocking the Talmud, Midrash, or Rabbinic commentaries. I have made use of all of these things, which occasionally add light to understanding passages of Scripture. However, these other source materials are not inspired Scripture, and occasionally contradict the Scriptures. In yeshivas (Jewish religious schools) in Israel and around the world, far more time is spent studying Talmud than in studying the Tanakh.
However, Torah (the first five books of the Bible) is foundational to the rest of the Tanakh, as well as for understanding the Newer Testament. Moses wrote:
“ 5Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do so in the land where you are going in to possess it. 6Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. 7For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for? 8And what nation is there so great, that has statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law,’ which I set before you this day?” (Deut. 4:5-8)
In other words, the Gentile nations will recognize that Israel is a “wise and understanding people” because of their observance of Torah. By the way, Torah is normally translated as “Law.” However, more accurately, Torah means “Instruction.” There are certainly laws in the Torah. However, it also includes the story of Creation, as well as much history.
In other words, the prophesied Messiah must also be “pro-Torah.” The Yeshua of Scripture certainly fits this bill. Yeshua said, “17Think not that I am come to destroy the Torah or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 18For verily I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall in any wise pass from the Torah, until all be fulfilled. 19Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)
Presumably the good thing is that you can still squeak into the kingdom of heaven if you don’t obey the Torah. But you will be considered the “least in the kingdom of heaven.” This might include these antinomian (anti-Torah) Christians who are ignoring the clear teaching of Yeshua in the above passage.
Moses also talked about false prophets and false teachers. He wrote, “12:32Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to nor take away from it. 13:1If there arises among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods, which you have not known, and let us serve them,’ 3You shalt not hearken to the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4You shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear Him, and keep His command-ments, and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him, and cleave to Him. 5And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he has spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust you out of the way which the LORD your God commanded you to walk in. So shalt you put the evil away from the midst of you.”
That seems pretty easy to understand. Any prophet or teacher that tells you that the Torah is not authoritative is a false prophet or teacher. We are told to ignore this false prophet or teacher. In fact, this person should be “put to death.” I don’t recommend that you carry out the death penalty. We are also told to obey the laws of the land in which we live. However, it is passages such as this that the enemies of Yeshua used against him. Yeshua was accused of teaching against the Torah. The accusations were false, of course. But if true, they would have head every right to see that He was executed.
Passages such as these should also be added to our lexicon of Messianic passages. The Jewish Yeshua did not teach against Torah. In fact, in the Sermon on the Mount, He actually strengthened the commandments. In Matthew 5:21, Yeshua quotes the commandment against murder. However, He strengthens the commandment in verse 22 by including “anger” against a brother. In Matthew 5:27, Yeshua quotes the commandment against adultery, but adds those who “look at a woman to lust” in the following verse. There are those who would commit adultery if they had the opportunity and felt they could get away with it. They are just as guilty as those who actually did it.
However, the Jewish Yeshua has been transformed into a Greek god named Jesus who has done away with Torah. You need not obey those dietary laws. You can ignore the LORD’s appointed times of Leviticus 23, which also include Shabbat (the Sabbath), which is the Fourth Commandment that God wrote on tablets of stone with His own finger. However, if you follow this anti-Torah, Gentilized Jesus, you are following a false Messiah. Jesus was a Jew. He did not come to Planet Earth to start a new religion. He came to Planet Earth to be the Messiah of the old religion: Judaism!
There are many Jesuses out there. Rav Sha'ul recognized this when he wrote: "For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or your receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear it well." (2 Cor. 11:4)
I don't believe that another Jesus can save us. Curiously, Jesus has been adopted into many religions, including many Oriental cults as well as even in Islam, where they expect Jesus to come back, promote Islam, and destroy the churches!
The one Jesus that is not widely accepted is the Jewish Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah! However, the other “Jesuses” out there are counterfeit. Regretfully, Gentiles around the world have taken the Jewish Messiah and turned Him into something of a Greek god. He wasn't a blond, blue-eyed Swede, nor was He Chinese or African. I presume that He was a swarthy-complexioned Middle-Eastern Jew, not at all like the Hollywood version or the Jesus of European artists from earlier centuries.
I am not knocking everything taught about Jesus in the churches. Messianic Judaism and Christianity are in agreement on many fundamentals. He was born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) in Bethlehem (Micah 5:1-2). He was crucified (Psalm 22) for our transgressions (Isaiah 53), providing atonement for the sins to those who choose to follow Him. Yeshua was also resurrected from the dead, and will return to reign for a thousand years.