THIS IS A DIGITAL (PDF) FILE – paperback edition available here
Chapter One: The Messiah Was Promised … page 1
Chapter Two: The Exact Time Was Foretold … page 7
Chapter Three: The Six Signs Were Fulfilled … page 21
Chapter Four: The New 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
The Messiah Prophecy in the ninth chapter of the Book of Daniel provides Jews and Christians with the most accurate information about how to identify the Messiah that can be found anywhere in the Tanakh. This book will explain how to correctly interpret that prophecy.
Messiah is an English word that comes from the Hebrew word “mashiyach” (Strong’s OT: 4899). It also appears in many English Bibles as the phrase “anointed one.” 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 of God. The concept of a savior Messiah goes back to Abraham, to whom God promised a descendant who would be a blessing to all nations.
Today, the hope for a coming Messiah—an Anointed One who will usher in an age of peace—is shared by Jews and Christians alike, with one important difference: Judaism believes that the Messiah is yet to come to reign over a future kingdom of Israel. Christianity believes that Jesus came to Israel during his first advent as a Redeemer Messiah whose sacrifice 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.
Questions about the appearance and identity of the Messiah are nothing new among Jews and Christians. 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 Redeemer of Israel, but later revealed his own confusionthe messiahship of Jesus when he sent two of his disciples 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 in the Tanakh 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 Jews and Christians 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 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.
The reason that Jewish leaders did not recognize Jesus as Messiah is given in the Tanakh. It was a consequence of their spiritual blindness, that is, the inability to understand what the Tanakh said about how to identify the Messiah when he arrived. The source of that spiritual blindness is no mystery, either. The prophet Isaiah had revealed God’s judgement of spiritual blindness on the leaders of Israel that prevented them from understanding the Messiah Prophecy, which would later be revealed in the prophet Daniel’s visions.
Isaiah said: “For the Lord hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the about 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 sealed book prophesied by Isaiah was the subsequent Book of Daniel, as revealed in Daniel 12:4, when God through his angel 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 for us today, knowledge has been increased as was promised. Events that occurred in modern Israel in 1967 were the instrument God used to break the seal on the Book of Daniel and end Judaism’s two-millennia-long sleep, i.e., “closed eyes” 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 time of Messiah’s coming and his identity. Both can now be clearly understood from Daniel, chapter 9, verses 24-27 … the Messiah Prophecy.
—Dan Bruce, Author