THIS IS A DIGITAL (PDF) FILE – paperback edition available here
Jewish readers may prefer our companion edition: The Messiah Prophecy
Chapter One: The Messiah Has Come … page 1
Chapter Two: The Exact Time Was Foretold … page 7
Chapter Three: The Six Signs Were Fulfilled … page 21
Chapter Four: The Covenant Was Confirmed … page 41
Chapter Five: Abraham Rejoiced to See It … page 53
Supplemental Comments … page 59
Excerpt – Chapter One: The Messiah Has Come
Messiah is an English word that comes from the Hebrew word “mashiyach” (Strong’s OT: 4899). It appears in most English Bibles as the phrase “anointed one.” In the Jewish Tanakh (Old Testament), the term is used almost exclusively to denote a king or priest who was anointed with the holy oil of office, or to describe a prophet who was anointed with the holy spirit to be the voice of God to his people.
Today, the hope for a coming Messiah—an Anointed One who will usher in an age of universal peace—is shared by many Christians and Jews alike, with one important difference: Jews believe that their long-awaited Messiah is yet to come to establish and reign over a future kingdom of Israel. Christians believe that Jesus came to Israel during his first advent as the Servant of Isaiah, a Redeemer Messiah who atoned for the sins of Israel and all mankind, and that he will one day return as the King Messiah to reign over Israel and the world.
The similar but disparate views held by Christians and Jews about the fulfillment of Israel’s Messianic hope and the identity of its Messiah are nothing new. As far back as New Testament times, the Pharisees sent emissaries to John the Baptist, asking if he was the Messiah. John told them that he was not, instead pointing to Jesus as the Lamb of God and Redeemer of Israel, but later revealed his own confusion about the two-advent messiahship of Jesus when he sent messengers to ask him, “Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?”
Since the time of Jesus’ first advent, the belief that he fulfilled the messianic requirements set forth by the prophets of Israel has been an article of faith for followers of Jesus. For Jewish leaders back then, though, the idea was anathema. That basic disagreement about the identity of the Messiah has been responsible for the tension between Christians and Jews that has continued through the centuries. In the beginning, it was the Jewish leadership that was hunting down and stoning the followers of Jesus as heretics, since all of the early Christians were also Jews. Later, as Christianity spread out from Jerusalem to the Roman Empire, becoming predominantly non-Jewish as it grew into a world religion, the situation reversed, resulting in more than sixteen-hundred years of persecution of Jews, all too often done in the name of Christianity.
The long history of Jewish persecution by both Christian and non-Christian Gentiles has made it virtually impossible for modern Jews to consider with an open mind that Jesus might have been the Anointed One expected but unrecognized by Jewish leaders in ancient times. Nowadays, the proposition that Jesus was (and is) the Messiah of Israel is probably a concept more emphatically rejected by Jews and Judaism than at any time since the first century in the Common Era.
Ironically, the reason that the ancient Jewish religious leaders did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah was because of their spiritual blindness, that is, their inability to understand what the Tanakh said about how to identify the Messiah when he arrived. Why were they so blind? Because God had decreed a judgement on the leaders of Israel that the Messiah Prophecy, which would be revealed in the prophet Daniel’s visions after the time of Isaiah, would be hidden from them. Isaiah said: “For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed” (Isaiah 29:10-11).
The book being referred to as sealed away from understanding by Isaiah is the Book of Daniel, as revealed in Daniel, chapter 12, verse 4, when God commanded: “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
Fortunately, knowledge has been increased as the Tanakh predicted. Based on prophesied events in modern Israel in 1967 that God used to unseal Daniel, and taking note of rabbinic Judaism’s two-millennia-long confusion about how to identify the Messiah, it is now possible to see that Jesus is the only person in Jewish history who fits what the Tanakh says about the Messiah. The time of Messiah’s coming and his identity can now be clearly understood from Daniel, chapter 9, verses 24-27—the Messiah Prophecy.
—Dan Bruce, Author