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Written by Victoria Radin   

Is There Another Way?

“Who Do Men Say That I, The Son Of Man, Am?” (Matthew 16:13)

This question, posed by Jesus, is the watershed of Christianity, separating true believers from those who are Christians in name only. Peter answered that question in verse 16 saying, “You are the [Messiah]* the Son of the Living G-d.” He told Peter that only G-d could have revealed that truth to him, telling us that it is by special revelation from the Holy Spirit that we accept this truth.

That truth, Jesus said, was the Rock upon which the church was going to be built––the church, which consisted of only Jewish believers in its beginnings (see Acts 2:5, 22, 41).

“…I also say to you that you are Peter (a little stone) and on this rock (the truth of Jesus’ Messiahship) I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

When a person is certain of Jesus’ identity––that He was and is the promised Messiah––the gates of hell cannot prevail against him and that individual will have the keys (entrance) to the kingdom of heaven. Those who deny Jesus’ identity as the Messiah, the apostle John says, is a liar.

“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the [Messiah]*?”

While Jesus told His disciples not to tell everyone that He was the Messiah at the time He was ministering, He did tell the chief priest that questioned him before His crucifixion.

“…the high priest asked Him, ‘Are You the [Messiah], the Son of the Blessed?’ Jesus said, ‘I am.’” (Mark 14:61b, 62a)

“‘If You are the [Messiah], tell us.’ [Jesus] said to them, ‘If I tell you, you will by no means believe.’ …Then they all said, ‘Are You then the Son of G-d?’ So He said to them, ‘You rightly say that I am.’” (Luke 21:67, 70)

In fact, Jesus revealed His identity to many Jews; some received the news with joy and others rejected Him. For instance, the Holy Spirit came upon Simeon, a just and devout Jewish man waiting for the Consolation of Israel (i.e. the Messiah). When he came into the Temple and saw Jesus, he took the baby and blessed G-d for allowing him to see the promised Messiah before he died. The first disciples even recognized Him instantly.

“[Andrew], first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, ‘We have found the Messiah’” (John 1:41)

The Jewish leadership knew many things about the Messiah, one of which was that the Messianic ‘Age’ would be witnessed by many miracles. But they saw as a contradiction, the scriptures that described the Messiah as “the Son of Man** coming with the clouds of heaven” (Dan. 7:13) and the “king coming to you…lowly, and riding on a donkey” (Zech. 9:9). The seeming contradiction gave rise to the teaching that there would be two Messiahs, Messiah ben Joseph (the suffering servant) and Messiah ben David (the conquering king), both Messiahs pointing to Jesus’ first and second advent.

During the beginning of the First Century CE, the nation of Israel was looking for the coming of the Messiah that was predicted in Daniel 2:44, which indicated that He would come during the fourth kingdom, the kingdom that currently ruled over them––the Roman Empire. Daniel (9:24-27) also predicted the time of the Messiah’s advent to be during the period of Roman rule over Israel. But because the Romans sorely oppressed the Israelites, the Jewish leadership wanted only a conquering king. Jesus didn’t fit in with the appearance of a conqueror, so the leadership despised and rejected Him.

The leadership that kept the Jewish people ignorant of the many signs of the Messiah and those rabbis that have ‘buried’ ancient prayers and teachings that would point to Jesus will be held fully responsible for the eternal outcome of those they led and continue to lead astray. The rabbis, who have no legitimate, biblical authority of any kind, have ‘added to the scriptures’ through their many commentaries (for example the Talmud and Zohar) and taken away scriptures and altered others to make it appear that they have authority. This is in direct violation of Deuteronomy 4:2, and 12:32. An ancient Jewish prayer that was traditionally recited on Yom Kippur, for instance, has now been eliminated because it appears to refer to Jesus.

“The Messiah our Righteousness has turned away from us, we are shaken, and can find no one who can justify us. The yoke of our sins and our transgressions is a burden to us; and he was wounded for our transgressions, he suffered on his shoulders our iniquities; there is forgiveness for our sins. In his wounds we are healed; it is time to create for ever a new creation. Send him back from the circles, bring him back from Seir, so that we might hear him in Lebanon a second time through Yinnon. He is our G-d, our Father, our King, he is our Saviour and he will liberate and redeem us for a second time and let us hear of his grace a second time in everyone’s sight, as it is said: ‘I will save you at the end as at the beginning so that I will be your G-d.”   (Mahzor Rabbah for the Great Day of Atonement, Eshkol Ed. p. 330. Sephardic prayers. As appearing in The Midrash of the Messiah, by Risto Santala, p. 111-112)

The New Covenant was given specifically for the Jewish people (Jeremiah 31:31-33)––the house of Israel and the house of Judah. The reason that Gentiles can enjoy the privileges of the New Covenant is that they are ‘grafted into the cultivated olive tree’ [i.e. Israel according to Romans 11:17].

“…[Jesus] answered and said, ‘I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’” (Matthew 15:24)

While it is one thing for the Jewish leadership to mislead their own people, it is far worse for born-again, Holy Spirit filled Christians to mislead Jews into believing that the Jewish people have another covenant which allows them to be saved in a different way. To refuse to tell them the truth about Jesus being the ONLY WAY to the Father is equivalent to condemning them to eternal death and is the highest form of anti-Semitism.

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6)… “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

*The Greek word “Christ” means “Messiah” in Hebrew.

**The famous Rabbi RaSHI explains that the Son of Man, “He is the King Messiah”.

 
 
 
 
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