Friday, November 21, 2014

Who Has Believed Our Message?

A recent blog post on the MDI site takes issue with viewing Isaiah 53 as a prophecy of the person and work of the Messiah, particularly His vicarious sacrifice and triumphant resurrection. According to the unnamed author, since the apostles did not expect Jesus to die and rise again before the events came to pass, they did not understand Isaiah 53 in the way Christians do today. Moreover, as the author further points out, no one else prior to the crucifixion understood from this passage what Christians understand it to teach.

However, far from being an insuperable objection to the Christian interpretation, an interpretation the disciples heard from Jesus and later came to understand and believe consequent upon Jesus rising from the dead, the MDI author’s observations unknowingly confirm that the passage was completely fulfilled, not only what it says about the Messiah dying and rising again, but even what it says about the fact that the generality of people would not recognize that the crucified one was the promised Messiah who came to die for the sins of His people and rise again for their justification. Indeed, the passage begins with a rhetorical question, which points up the incredulity of Israel to the prophetic word spoken by Isaiah, and continues to strike the same cord about Israel’s spiritual blindness to the reality of what God’s Servant, the Messiah, was going to do.

And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, WHO CONSIDERED
FOR THE TRANSGRESSION OF MY PEOPLE, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

It might be an understatement to say this MDI author missed the obvious, but certainly we can’t say anything less than that. Interestingly enough, this shows that someone can miss something even if it is clear in itself. This is because an objective source of light is only of benefit to subjects that have eyes to see. Prior to the resurrection, the dying and rising of the Messiah was hidden from the eyes of the disciples just like it is still hidden from the eyes of Muslims. Only a supernatural work of divine grace can overcome the blindness of the natural man. Let us pray that this writer for MDI and that Muslims the world over will be recipients of this grace and that God will cause the light of the Gospel of Christ to shine in their hearts.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:3-6)


David Ford said...

A Different Take on the "Trinity"

?: Are Jesus and YHWH separate entities?
?: Does Jesus = YHWH?
?: What do you make of passages where Jesus seems to be speaking to another person, as here?:

John 11:41-42
And they took away that stone and Yeshua lifted his eyes upwards and said,
"Abba, I thank you that you have heard me.
And I know that you always hear me,
but because of this crowd that stands (here) I say these things,
that they might believe that you have sent me."

Some key passages, per Roth:

Exodus 23:20-22 (NIV)
"See, I am sending an angel [poor word choice; the word is actually "messenger," which is usually, *but not always,* an angelic messenger, e.g. John the Baptizer was a human messenger] ahead of you
to guard you along the way
and to bring you to the place I have prepared.
Pay attention to him
and listen to what he says.
Do not rebel against him;
he will not forgive your rebellion [implying that he has the power to forgive, which implies that he is God],
since my Name is in him.['Yeshua' means 'Yah is salvation,' and has YHWH's name in him. The angelic messengers Michael and Gabriel and the human messenger Samuel merely had God's title in their name: El, short for Elohim/Eloah]
If you listen carefully to what he says
and do all that I say,
I will be an enemy to your enemies
and will oppose those who oppose you.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,[so this son is somehow God]
Everlasting Father,[so this son is somehow the Father, i.e. this son is in some way YHWH]
Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 11:1-2
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.[so this child will be a human descendant of Jesse, Jesse being King David's father]
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him….

Zechariah 12:10
"And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit [or: the Spirit] of grace and supplication. They will look on [or: to] me, the one they have pierced,[so inhabitants of Jerusalem somehow pierced YHWH]
and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child,
and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

Isaiah 53:1
Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of YHWH been revealed?

Roth, 1007, comments about this verse,
"This is the only acceptable form of 'Godhead' in Scripture. Clearly not a Trinity of three separate beings (or persons), because the arm is not a separate entity from the rest of the body and has no independent will. The 'arm' moves only with the power and control from the mind. In the same way YHWH's nature is manifest as an occurrence within the Son that is separate but side-by-side with his human nature. These two natures then communicate with one another; thus explaining why Y'shua is not talking to himself when he prays to his Father. This fact is also why sometimes Y'shua says things like, 'My teaching is not my own' and 'I can do nothing without my Father' on the one hand but on the other he says, 'If you have seen me, you have seen the Father' and 'I and my Father are one of the same.' This indicates a 100 percent divine nature that exists in a 100 percent human soul and flesh, where one or the other talks through Y'shua. But the human is subject to the divine (again, 'Not my will...') which is the only way the Scripture cannot be broken. It is not Trinity but neither does this deny the divine aspects in Y'shua himself. It is also the real meaning behind, 'No one comes to the Father but by me.' See also John 5:26."

Roth, Andrew Gabriel. 2012. _Aramaic English New Testament_, 5th ed. (USA: Netzari Press), 1069pp.

Anthony Rogers said...


This post is not about the Trinity or the heresy of modalism or some permutation thereof.

Nojmul Huda said...

“But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,” Isaiah 53:

Muslim prophet Muhammad failed to understand Isaiah’s prophetic words in Chapter 53 about our savior Jesus Christ. What has been said about Jesus in Isaiah chapter 53 exactly same thing happen to Jesus when He was crucified, about 2 thousands years after Isaiah’s prophetic words. But ironically Muhammad fooled Muslims to impress his own name as prophet saying because God is omnipotent; God removed Jesus from the crowed replacing replica of Jesus in the crowed, who they crucified. But interestingly Muhammad could not explain to Muslims why was he not saved from dying by poison? What good did Muhammad bring to mankind by his death by poison???

Muslims throw away LOVE and KINDNESS of our beloved God the father given to us to forgive our sins and embraced us as His children. God is Holy, we were lost by our sins but now God found us by His beloved Son our savior Jesus Christ, paying price for our sins thru crucifixion, as Isaiah 53 described. What a fool Muhammad and his followers Muslims who believe Muhammad’s black magic!

Samuel Green said...

Great post. Thanks.

Granpa said...

I believe Jesus informed the disciples of that Scripture because of a significant truth.
He taught out of the jewish Writings!
I am always amazed how the importance of every jot, every tittle, seems lost on detractors of who it was revealed to us in the flesh!
The Messiah!
That would suggest that John 5:20, John 5:30, and John 5:36 are not true or are an inaccurate accounting.
Having said that, there was no New Testament when the Lord walked the shores of Galilee.
All that was available for the Lord and the disciples, as well the pharisees, lawyers, and scribes, were the Jewish writings.
Even the Samaritan woman at the well was informed by them while as yet a samaritan hated of the Jews.