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Challenging: Jewish Messiah - The Criteria...

Jews for Judaism, an "anti-missionary" group, has a website that exists solely to debunk Yeshua (Jesus), and to make Christianity and Messianic Judaism sound like evil cults that force Jews to convert. While we are not defending Christianity's "Jesus" or their paganism nor looking to "convert Jews", we will fight till the end of days for YHWH's TRUTH - which includes His Messiah, Yeshua! Jews for Judaism has gone out on that proverbial limb to disprove Yeshua in any way possible, including offering as "proof" New Testament scriptures taken completely out of context. Among the hateful rhetoric on their site is "The Jewish Messiah: The Criteria" designed to show that Yeshua couldn't possibly have been the Messiah....

Jews for Judaism's Assertions:

The Jewish tradition of "The Messiah" has its foundation in numerous biblical references, and understands "The Messiah" to be a human being - without any overtone of deity or divinity - who will bring about certain changes in the world and fulfill certain criteria before he can be acknowledged as "The Messiah".

The Netzarim Response:

The Netzarim tradition of "The Messiah" has its foundation in numerous biblical references, and understands "The Messiah" to be a human with a divine qnoma/nature - who presented Himself in the form of a human being called Yeshua (which means "YHWH is Salvation"). Yeshua has already, and will bring more changes in the world upon His promised return, whereby He will fulfill the remainder of the hundreds of prophesies outlined in both the Tanach and Brit Chadasha.

Yeshua brought about HUGE changes in the world! As the Final Sacrifice, He is the reason we have eternal life! He was foreshadowed throughout the Tanach and fulfilled hundreds of prophecies. He was revealed in Isaiah 53, which Jewish rabbis consistently seem to overlook. God, speaking through Moses predicted:

Deuteronomy 18:18-19: I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen, like you (Moses), and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak all that I command him. And it shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him.

The Jewish Bible teaches that God will make a New Covenant with the Jewish people, different from the one He made with us at Mount Sinai.

Jeremiah 31:31-34: Behold days are coming declares the Lord, when I will make a New Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them declares the Lord. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days declares the Lord. I will put My Torah within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

YESHUA was that Torah, and He fulfilled that promise!

And by the way: Yes, God DOES have a Son:

Proverbs 30:4 - Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Who has cupped the wind in the palms of his hands? Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak? Who established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name? Surely you know!

And yes, God appeared in the form of a man:

Genesis 18:1-2;17 - 1 Adonai appeared to Avraham by the oaks of Mamre as he sat at the entrance to the tent during the heat of the day. 2 He raised his eyes and looked, and there in front of him stood three men. On seeing them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, prostrated himself on the ground....17 Adonai said, "Should I hide from Avraham what I am about to do....

And yes, God IS a plurality:

Isaiah 48:12,16 - 12 "Listen to me Ya'akov; Israe'el whom I have called: I am he who is first; I am also the last."....16 "Come close to me and listen to this: since the beginning I have not spoken in secret, since the time things began to be, I have been there; and now Adonai Elohim has sent me and his Spirit."

Jews for Judaism's Assertions:

First of all, he must be Jewish - "...you may appoint a king over you, whom the L-rd your G-d shall choose: one from among your brethren shall you set as king over you." (Deuteronomy 17:15)

He must be a member of the tribe of Judah - "The staff shall not depart from Judah, nor the sceptre from between his feet..." (Genesis 49:10)

He must be a direct male descendant of King David and King Solomon, his son - "And when your days (David) are fulfilled, and you shall sleep with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who shall issue from your bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will make firm the throne of his kingdom forever..." (2 Samuel 7:12 - 13)

The Netzarim Response:

The Tanach says that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham through Isaac through Jacob through Judah, of the house of David. He was born of an extremely rare bloodline that includes many of the fathers of Israel. (See geneology from Abraham to David in Matthew 1.) He was born in Bethlehem; a descendant of David, traced back to Abraham. (Matthew 1; Matthew 2:6; Micah 5:2.) (Also, please see Qualifications of Messiah in a Nutshell.)

Jews for Judaism's Assertions:

He must gather the Jewish people from exile and return them to Israel - "And he shall set up a banner for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." (Isaiah 11:12)

The Netzarim Response:

This is happening today. The Bible predicted that just before the Messiah's Second Coming, the Jewish people would be regathered and established as a nation in our ancient homeland, which has miraculously occurred within the past fifty years (see Isaiah 49:8-13, Isaiah 43:1-8, Isaiah 11:11-12, Zechariah 10:8-12, Ezekiel 36:24-32).

The Bible predicted that right before Messiah's Second Coming, the entire world would turn against the regathered state of Israel, and a united nations task force would invade (see Zechariah 12:2-3, Jeremiah 30:7). It isn't too hard to see how this prophecy could easily come to pass in the current political climate.

The Bible predicted that prior to Messiah's Second Coming, God would begin to revive us spiritually and the Jewish people would start turning to Yeshua. We believe that the Messianic Jewish movement is the beginning of the fulfillment of this prophecy (see Jeremiah 32:36-44, Isaiah 59:18-21, Ezekiel 37:1-29, Joel 2:28-32).

Jews for Judaism's Assertions:

He must rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem - "...and I will set my sanctuary in their midst forever and my tabernacle shall be with them.." (Ezekiel 37:26 - 27)

The Netzarim Response:

We have to question this: While the Bible tells us there will be a third Temple, does Ezekiel 37 actually say that the Temple will be rebuilt by the Messiah?

Jews for Judaism's Assertions:

All of these criteria are best stated in the book of Ezekiel Chapter 37 verses 24-28:

And David my servant shall be king over them; and they shall all have one shepherd. they shall also fallow My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given to Yaakov my servant, in which your fathers have dwelt and they shall dwell there, they and their children, and their children's children forever; and my servant David shall be their prince forever. Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, which I will give them; and I will multiply them and I will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore. And my tabernacle shall be with them: and I will be their G-d and they will be my people. Then the nations shall know that I am the L-rd who sanctifies Israel, when My sanctuary will be in the midst of them forevermore.

If an individual fails to fulfill even one of these conditions, then he cannot be "The Messiah." A careful analysis of these criteria shows us that to date, no one has fulfilled every condition.

The Netzarim Response:

Yeshua did exactly what the Old Testament Scriptures predicted. What more could be asked of Him? Isaiah (chapter 53) and Daniel (chapter 9) both predict the death of Messiah and His resurrection. And Zechariah tells us something very interesting about the Messiah's return:

Zechariah 12:10 - "And I (God) will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a firstborn."

The Tanach tells us that the Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham through Isaac through Jacob through Judah, of the house of David, that he would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) in the town of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), that he would be preceded by a forerunner (Malachi 3:1), and it even predicts that he would arrive before the destruction of the Temple - which occurred in the year 70 C.E. (Daniel 9:24-26).

Furthermore, the Messiah would be a prophet like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:18-19), rejected by his own people (Isaiah 53:3), betrayed by a friend (Psalm 41:9), sold for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12), smitten, spat upon and mocked (Psalm 22:7-8), crucified (Psalm 22), but would be raised from the dead in three days (Psalm 16:10, Jonah 1:17).

Isaiah prophesied that Messiah will be a light to the nations so that God's salvation may reach to the end of the earth (Isaiah 49:6). Yeshua has been that light to the Gentiles. Yeshua has become the most popular, the most studied, the most influential figure in the history of mankind. He is the most famous Jew who ever lived: more famous than Abraham, more famous than Moses, more famous than king David, more famous than Freud or Einstein.

If people throughout the world know about Israel, or pray to the God of Israel, or read the Holy Scriptures of Israel, it is because of Yeshua. He put Israel on the map. No Jewish person should be indifferent to the fact that this Jew should have had such a tremendous part in the religious history of mankind. The love He has inspired, the comfort He has given, the good He has engendered, the hope and joy He has kindled are unequalled in human history. He truly has become the light of the world - which is one of the major accomplishments that the Messiah of Israel had to fulfill.

There are more than 300 prophecies in the Tanach which all find their fulfillment in one particular man....Yeshua of Nazareth!