My daughter-in-law wrote this to a Jewish friend. I thought it good to share it:
Suzanne, just to clarify, everything I’m sharing is all Scripture-based. I’m happy you’ll be able to look things up for yourself. I’ve attached two documents along with this and hope you find them helpful. One is a chart my father-in-law put together of a bird’s eye view of the Bible (under Dispensations). The second is Law and Grace by Scofield, a great Bible scholar and teacher. He says what I was trying to in a much more eloquent way, but I encourage you not to take his word for it (which I kind of doubt you will….SMILE), but look up everything he references.
What I hope God reveals to you is that the layer is LAW and NOT Jesus. The law condemns us, but Jesus sets us free. Without looking at the entire Bible, it’s difficult to understand God’s overall plan and hard to address your comment “if the Messiah has already come then what are we still doing here?” I can’t prove to you the Bible is true any more than you can prove to an atheist that God is real. My prayer is that you will read the entire Bible and seek God’s truth.
Additionally, there is a passage in Exodus when God is about to give Moses the Ten Commandments. The Israelites actually hear God’s voice. They were so terrified that they said to Moses, “Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” The Israelites didn’t want direct access to God. God used prophets, priests, judges, and even allowed them kings at their request. They wanted layers between them and God and wanted to avoid dealing with God directly.
I would encourage you to read through Genesis chapter 3 regarding the “her seed” comment made by God to the serpent. You mentioned that a Jewish woman gets her identity from her mother, but Adam and Eve were not Jewish. Race did not happen until the Tower of Babel, and God had not set aside Israel as His chosen people at that time. Also, Adam and Eve were the only two humans, so it wouldn’t have been necessary for God to make such a distinction as Eve had no options BUT Adam as the father of her offspring. The comment references “her seed” because Jesus would be virgin born and not have a biological human father. Otherwise, God created Adam first and should have said, “I’ll put enmity between thy seed and Adam’s seed.” I think there’s only one other time in the Bible that “her seed” is used when God is speaking directly to Rebekah. Therefore, this is a very specific and unique reference by God.
Regarding the Messiah, I reviewed the website your rabbi recommended. For convenience, it says:
“The moshiach will be a great political leader descended from King David (Jeremiah 23:5). The moshiach is often referred to as “moshiach ben David” (moshiach, son of David). He will be well-versed in Jewish law, and observant of its commandments (Isaiah 11:2-5). He will be a charismatic leader, inspiring others to follow his example. He will be a great military leader, who will win battles for Israel. He will be a great judge, who makes righteous decisions (Jeremiah 33:15). But above all, he will be a human being, not a god, demi-god or other supernatural being. It has been said that in every generation, a person is born with the potential to be the moshiach. If the time is right for the messianic age within that person’s lifetime, then that person will be the moshiach. But if that person dies before he completes the mission of the moshiach, then that person is not the moshiach.” However, if you look up all three passages, you will see that “Branch” and “King” are capitalized. Capitalization in the Bible is denoting God or Deity, not man.
Then there’s Isaiah 53:4-6, “He endured the suffering that should have been ours. Because of our sins he was wounded. All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved.”
Also, Psalm 2:7, “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son (capitalized); this day have I begotten thee.”
And what are these passages talking about in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (meaning: God with us)” and
Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace” if moshiach will not be virgin born, the Son of God, or a savior? Notice the capitalization. So what are these passages talking about if the moshiach has not yet come, will be a great man returning to restore Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. It would seem the OT prophets were teaching blasphemy if moshiach will be a mere man because these passages are referring to Deity. The worship of man is idolatry and blasphemy.
There are many Bible passages that refer to God as one. Deut. 6:5, “The Lord our God, the Lord is one…” Psalm 86:10, “…you alone are God.” Isaiah 44:8, “Is there another God besides me?” Malachi 2:10, “Did not one God create us?” Mk. 12:29, “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deut. 6:5 verbatim) Mk. 12:32, “You are right in saying God is one and there is no other but him.” (Jesus speaking) Why would Jesus, who claimed to be God’s Son, say “you are right in saying God is one,” but look what he adds “and there is no other but him.” These passages, however, are not meaning God is unitarian. They’re talking about monotheism, the belief there is ONE God, only one true God, and not many gods, i.e., “and there is no other but him.”
Now go back to Isaiah 53:4-6, “He endured the suffering that should have been ours. Because of our sins he was wounded. All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved.” If God is a unitarian God, one God, why wouldn’t that passage read, “But the Lord took the punishment all of us deserved.” It’s saying the Lord made the punishment fall on him. If moshiach is not coming as a Savior, this confuses me.
This also, in my opinion, validates there is only ONE way to heaven and that’s through Jesus because heaven is where we’ll fall down and worship God, the Three in One. The Bible says our good deeds will earn us crowns that we’ll cast at Christ’s feet as gratitude for what He did for us at Calvary. The Bible does say God is one, THE One, the ONLY God, but it also very clearly references the Trinity throughout Scripture. God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent (3-in-1). He’s past, present, and future (3-in1), and God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (3-in-1). Maybe these examples might help.
God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit live in a great fortress, but because of the law and it’s condemnation of us, there is an enormous moat filled with the world’s sin which denies all of us access to God. Jesus, God’s Son, is the drawbridge. Jesus, who laid down His life for our sins, is laid down as the drawbridge allowing us to cross over the moat of sin and enter into the Holy of Holies and stand in God’s presence righteous and without blemish because of the blood of Jesus. So Jesus PROVIDES believers access to God.
When you attend Booster Club meetings, are you representing Spencer as his mom, are you representing Scott as his wife, are you representing your Mom as her daughter, are you representing the neighborhood or community in some capacity? If so, are you one person or many? Obviously, you’re one person, but one person represented in different roles at different times in different places.
The difference is that God, who is everywhere (omnipresent), knows everything (omniscient), and is all powerful (omnipotent) doesn’t make the Trinity seem too difficult to grasp. It’s just difficult for our finite minds to understand all the things of God. So God sent the Holy Spirit as the Great Comforter after Jesus left, but God’s Spirit is also talked about before Jesus’ birth. God sent Jesus to die for sin and conquer death, but Jesus is talked about throughout the Bible before His birth. God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are 3-in1, but serving in different roles at different times in different places.
Here is something else I’d like you to think about. Jews believe and have been taught that God is holy and righteous, so they write G-d out of reverence for Him and sometimes won’t even speak His name. According to the Bible, God is holy and righteous, but He’s definitely not permissive. So why would God’s penalty for sins be so much less than man’s earthly penalty? If repentance, keeping the law, and doing good deeds can atone for sin, why are murderers, thieves, child molesters, and other criminals punished? Why can’t a murderer go before a judge and say, “I’ve repented and will keep the law. I’ll do good deeds, if you set me free.” Would you feel that judge was just if the murderer had murdered your precious family and the judge set him/her free?
The Bible stresses there is an incredible price to pay for sin, and nowhere does it say that keeping the law earns you a ticket into heaven, not only because it’s impossible for anyone to keep the law going all the way back to the Garden of Eden, but more importantly, to deny any of us the ability to claim that our works make us worthy of it. David writes in Psalm 14:3, “They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” This is a recurring theme throughout the Scriptures.
Now look at Leviticus 24:11 and Matt. 12:31. These verses deal with blaspheming God. If God hates blasphemy and killed a child because of it, why wouldn’t God wipe Jesus right off the map for claiming to be “I AM”? Even though Jesus claimed to be God’s Son, the Bible says he didn’t consider himself equal with God, nor did He demand royal treatment. He was God’s humble servant and yet WAS and IS God. Do you know how many bragging rights Jesus had? Imagine if one of us were in such a role.
We humans are all about consumerism and, from the beginning have been rebellious against God. We love to customize everything to fit our needs, including God and the conditions upon which we’ll obey Him. So, as an example, let’s use a smorgasbord of food. We stroll through taking what we like and don’t like. I’ll use myself as an example. I tend to put healthy veggies on my plate because I know they’re good for me, but 99% of the time don’t eat them because I don’t like them. It makes me “feel good” having them there even though, in the end, I don’t acknowledge them.
So applying that spiritually, we want a double portion of God’s blessings, but we don’t want God’s discipline. We want forgiveness of sins, but we don’t want Christ. Maybe we put God on our plate (like my veggies) because it makes us “feel good,” but never acknowledge Him. He’s a prop. So we dictate to a holy and righteous God and give him our conditions. “God, I like your salvation. I’ll take that, but I’ll obey you when it works for me. Don’t ask me to move out of my boyfriend’s house. I know I’m living out of your will and it’s a sin, but I love Him too much. It just feels too good.” “God, I’ll do this, this, and this for you, if you do this, this, and this for me, but DON’T ask me to do THAT because I won’t. Here’s where I draw the line.” “God, I’ll obey your commandments because I want to look good in man’s eyes, and it makes me feel like a good person.” We all need to be careful and not forget that at the end of the smorgasbord, there’s a price to pay for what we’ve taken, and none of us can afford to pay the tab.
There’s only one way to get past the cashier without paying because someone, who loves us very much, came through ahead of us and paid our tab, and was God’s Son, Jesus Christ. God realized no one could afford the tab because we’re bankrupt, spiritually bankrupt, ruined by sin according to the law. A person can only get through with JESUS CHRIST and JESUS CHRIST alone. Nothing else will suffice, not Jesus PLUS something else, not good works, and not religion. You could say that Jesus is our “Get out of Hell Free” card. Jesus is God’s gift to everyone. There’s nothing we can do to earn it, deserve it, and it can’t be bought, stolen, inherited, or shared. It’s given freely to all, but it’s only good upon redemption by an individual placing their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as their Redeemer and Savior.
God told the Israelites to put an innocent lamb’s blood on their doorposts to avoid physical death when the angel of death passed over, and there will be a second “pass over” when Christ returns for His church and believers. This time, God tells Jews and Gentiles alike to put an innocent lamb’s blood on their doorposts, the doorposts of their hearts to avoid spiritual death. The innocent lamb’s blood is the blood of Jesus, the blameless Lamb of God. When the angel of death passes over, if Jesus’ blood is missing, spiritual death will occur. Those who’ve rejected Christ will suffer eternal punishment for their sins and eternal separation from God. God chose Israel as his people, but throughout the Bible they rejected God despite all He did for them. Even though they are God’s chosen nation, unless they accept Christ, just like Gentiles, they are not God’s children.
God gave us all a free will. We can reject His plan, we can reject His Son, and we can curse Him and have idols in place of Him, or we can get with God’s program. He didn’t make us robots. He allows each and every one of us to choose because He desires us to come freely. In order to realize one’s need for salvation, the Bible says we must humble ourselves and come to God in childlike faith leaving our self-righteousness, education, religion, self-sufficiency, good works, self-worthiness, and anything else on our resume and check it at the door realizing we are spiritually bankrupt due to sin.
Read the following Bible passage speaking about the Jews’ rejection of Jesus: 2 Cor. 3:12-16, “Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away
Many Jews today continue to reject God’s plan, as mentioned in the above scripture passage, but whether Jew or Gentile, atheist, Buddhist, Mormon, Islam, or any other religion, faith in Christ often comes with a price as well, but one that we can afford even though it might be difficult. We might lose a job, friends, a spouse, or family members because of our faith. Suzanne, you might have a lot to lose by becoming a believer in Christ, but the benefits are for an eternity. This earth is so temporary, but unfortunately, ignorance doesn’t trump accountability. We all have to stand before God one day and won’t have opportunity to blame anyone else or pass the buck. It amazes me that while on earth, we always want the best odds working for us, but when it comes to eternity, we’re willing to gamble with bad odds, take enormous risk and lose everything permanently.
From the perspective of an atheist, Buddhist, Jew, or any other religion, if Christianity is wrong, I really don’t have much to lose. But if Christianity is true, those who reject Christ have EVERYTHING to lose and nothing to gain in the end. I don’t know about you, but I want the best odds possible, and God made those odds to work in my favor even though I don’t deserve it.
I leave you this last passage in closing: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, RATHER than according to Messiah. For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form. And in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Messiah. Having been buried with Him in baptism (of the Spirit), in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions. Having cancelled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
God, Creator of the universe, who hung the sun, moon, and stars and spoke the planets into place, desires our fellowship, not because He needs us, but because He loves us. The same way we desire fellowship with our children and husbands because we love them. In order to make that fellowship possible, God was required to hang something else, His precious Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross and shed His blood as the LAST and FINAL sin offering. What a picture of God’s incredible love for us, the same love Abraham showed for God when he was willing to offer Isaac, his only son to God.
As you enjoy the warmth of God’s sun there in beautiful Arizona, I pray one day that you, too, will enjoy the warmth of God’s Son, Jesus, in your heart. If you sincerely seek God through the reading of Scripture, God promises to reveal His truth through the conviction of the Holy Spirit. If through your searching, God doesn’t reveal anything new, you haven’t lost much other than time. But, if through this, God does reveal truths, you have EVERYTHING TO GAIN.