In a time where there were no Gospels, let alone any of the letters that make up the New Testament, how did the early believers prove that Yeshua (Jesus’ true name) was indeed the promised Messiah? What did Peter, Paul and all the other apostles and believers use to proclaim the Salvation that God had gifted to men?
In a previous study, we found out that Yeshua and all His disciples including Paul, referred “the Old Testament” as “Scripture”. As the 1st Century Church did not have a New Testament (which came into being more than 3 centuries after Christ), they would have used the “Scriptures” (Old Testament as it is known today) to prove that He is the promised Messiah.
Today, we will study one of the main Prophecies used by the 1st Century Church to testify of Yeshua as the promised Messiah. This prophecy was given to the people of Israel by Moses, who proclaimed that YHVH (Our Heavenly Father’s name) will raise up a prophet like unto Moses in the future.
Deu 18:15-19 The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken; According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.
It is evident that the 1st Century believers understood that the Prophet spoken in the above verse was none other than Messiah Yeshua.
Act 3:22,23 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.
Act 7:37 This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.
Joh 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
While the statement done by Moses in Deut 18:15-19, is not clear on who the Prophet is exactly (as there have been many Prophets between Moses and Yeshua), we see a few significant key characteristics of the “Prophet” in the said passage which is quoted again in Act 3:22,23.
The key characteristics mentioned in Deut 18:18-19 are
1. God will raise up unto you(Israel) a Prophet
2. From your(Israel’s) midst, out of your(Israel’s) brethren
3. Like unto me(Moses)
4. God will put His words in this Prophet’s Mouth and he will speak everything that God commands
5. Whoever that does not listen to God’s Words that which this prophet will speak, will have to give account to God
Did Yeshua fit the above 5 characteristics? let’s see what the Bible reveals:
1. Yeshua referred to Himself as a Prophet. Even the people of His day, understood Yeshua was “The Prophet” prophesied by Moses in Deut 18:15-19
Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
Luk 13:33 Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
Joh 6:14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.
Joh 7:40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the prophet.
2. Yeshua was born amongst Jews (the tribe of Judah) which was the tribe, King David belonged to
Luk 1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
Joh 7:42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
Heb 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
Rom 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
2Ti 2:8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:
Rev 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.
3. Yeshua had the characteristics of Moses
A Mediator between God & Man – just like Moses
Deu 5:5 (I stood between the LORD and you at that time, to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Rejected by men, but exalted by God – just like Moses
Act 7:35 This Moses whom they refused, saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge? the same did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel which appeared to him in the bush.
Act 5:30,31 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.
Faithful to God – just like Moses
Heb 3:5,6 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Worked mighty miracles – just like Moses
Deu 34:10,11 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land,
Act 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know.
Turned God’s wrath away from destroying His people – just like Moses
Psa 106:23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.
1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Sealed the Covenant with Blood – just like Moses
Exo 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
People were baptized unto Him – just like Moses
1Co 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
(*The words translated as unto and into in the above passages are the same – G1519 – εἰς – eis)
4. Yeshua spoke nothing of Himself, but only God’s Word and His commandments
Joh 8:26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.
Joh 8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.
Joh 12:49,50 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
Joh 14:23,24 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.
Joh 17:8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
Mat 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
5. Whoever that does not listen to God’s Words that which Yeshua has spoken, will have to give an account to God
Heb 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Heb 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 10:28,29 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Moses was one of the greatest prophets known in the Scriptures. The ten plagues, parting of the Red Sea, Water from a rock, were but a few of the miracles of God, done through him. But undoubtedly, the one thing that “Moses” is known for, is the bringing forth of God’s Commandments(Torah or Law) and teaching it to the people. And similarly, much of Yeshua’s ministry was spent teaching the true meaning of God’s Commandments given through Moses. Nowhere did Yeshua say that any of God’s Words given through Moses were done away(Luk 16:17, Mat 5:18). He was truly a Prophet like unto Moses, teaching and establishing God’s Word and its true meaning. Yeshua did not replace Moses, but fully taught what God had revealed through Moses.
In an age when Christianity does not want anything to do with Moses or God’s Law given through him, we must remember that Messiah himself was said to be a “Prophet like unto Moses” as quoted by Peter (Act 7:37) and taught by Paul (Act 26:22,23).