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Author Topic: Messianic Prophecies  (Read 1117 times) Average Rating: 0
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carrickfergus
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« on: October 17, 2010, 03:00:58 PM »

Hi! This is my first post. I'm a bit scatter-brained so I apologize if I'm not completely clear in this post. Just let me know and I'll try to clarify what I mean.

I've been watching youtube videos of Vladika Lazar Puhalo and really gotten a great perspective on why Jesus came. Previous to finding Vladika Puhalo, I have been doing research on Messianic prophecies. I was raised in Protestant Christianity and Judaism and ended up embracing Judaism because of the blood/human atonement not being present. But when I found out that Orthodox Christianity rejects the idea, I thought that it would be best if I give Christianity one more chance.

Since I've had the blinders of "substitutionary atonement" taken away, the New Testament reads in such a much better, clearer, and fuller light. For example, by understanding that Jesus was God and brought heaven to Earth as it once had been in the Garden of Eden, Jesus fulfilled the law. But even with this, he doesn't need to be the Messiah in order to do that... does he? Because with the research I've done thus far, it appears that Jesus is more of a Jewish theolgian who came to conquer death so that we might have the opportunity to try and be perfect.

I guess I'm just looking for answers on which Messianic prophecies the Orthodox Church believes that Jesus fulfilled. I'm only familiar with the ones that Protestants use and those are usually littered with blood atonement passages that turn out to be mistranslations or pulled out of context. I tried googling but was unsuccessful but when I came across this site I thought I'd ask for help.

Like... where are the Old Testament Messianic passages that speak of re-establishing the marriage covenant? Or conquering the fear of death? Or that there should be a mediator and that man and God would be brought into a full communion again? Or that the Messiah would bring a revelation of understanding of who God is?

Maybe there are books or articles that you all could point me to to read?

Incidentally, I am exploring the possibility of conversion and I have spoken to a priest. I'd like to convert, but I'd like to have this cleared up logically before I move forward anymore.

Thank you all for your time and I hope to hear from you all soon.  Smiley
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أيها الرب يسوع المسيح ابن الله, إرحمني أنا الخاطئ
უფალო იესუ ქრისტე, ძეო ღმრთისაო, შემიწყალე მე ცოდვილი.
NicholasMyra
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 09:16:40 PM »

Hi!

I'd be glad to provide a few.

"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, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6. Here the prophecy refers to the one to come as "Prince of Peace"; he will bring peace and reconciliation. You'll notice that this passage also reveals something trinitarian in nature.

The Holy Prophet Hosea expresses a divine type of Christ's marriage to the new Israel, the restoration of communion and the abolishing of the sword:
"And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord."- Hosea 16-20

And Hosea prophecies earlier that the Lord shall Trample down Death:
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes."-Hosea 13:14

Messiah-as-Mediator:
"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." -Isaiah 53

If you're considering Orthodoxy, that means (maybe) you're considering lending an ear to the Anagignoskomena (deutero-canonical books of the Old Testament). I recently posted a moderately well-known Christ prophecy found in the Book of Wisdom here: http://nicholasmyra.blogspot.com/2010/10/blessed-art-thou-o-lord-teach-me-thy_14.html. You can clearly see the prophetic elements referring to Christ in this pre-Christian work.

« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 09:28:27 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.
carrickfergus
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2010, 01:04:43 AM »

Hi!

I'd be glad to provide a few.

"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, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." -Isaiah 9:6. Here the prophecy refers to the one to come as "Prince of Peace"; he will bring peace and reconciliation. You'll notice that this passage also reveals something trinitarian in nature.

I'm hesitant to accept that one because I think it is referring to another actual king. Nevertheless, thanks for bringing this one up.

The Holy Prophet Hosea expresses a divine type of Christ's marriage to the new Israel, the restoration of communion and the abolishing of the sword:
"And in that day, declares the Lord, you will call me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer will you call me ‘My Baal.’ For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more. And I will make for them a covenant on that day with the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the creeping things of the ground. And I will abolish the bow, the sword, and war from the land, and I will make you lie down in safety. And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord."- Hosea 16-20

This one makes sense. And I just realized just now that when you read the peace as being spiritual rather than physical (a reference to conquering death, maybe?) the whole passage becomes fulfilled in Jesus. So I definitely like this one. Thanks.  Smiley

And Hosea prophecies earlier that the Lord shall Trample down Death:
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes."-Hosea 13:14

I looked this one up, but it seems to be referring more to the punishment of the tribe of Ephraim. I think this one's a bit iffy. I'm more comfortable accepting Wisdom of Solomon 2:23-24. It confirms a strictly Jewish message that I learned reading the New Testament. This is definitely confirmation for me that Christianity is Jewish in its message... or Eastern Orthodoxy is anyway.

Messiah-as-Mediator:
"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." -Isaiah 53

If you're considering Orthodoxy, that means (maybe) you're considering lending an ear to the Anagignoskomena (deutero-canonical books of the Old Testament). I recently posted a moderately well-known Christ prophecy found in the Book of Wisdom here: http://nicholasmyra.blogspot.com/2010/10/blessed-art-thou-o-lord-teach-me-thy_14.html. You can clearly see the prophetic elements referring to Christ in this pre-Christian work.

Thank you for directing me to these. I think the majority of these are much better than the ones that I've gotten from Protestants. And seeing the mission of Jesus spelled out completely in the Wisdom of Solomon only lends more credibility, imho, to Jesus become some kind of a Savior, if not the Jewish Messiah.
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أيها الرب يسوع المسيح ابن الله, إرحمني أنا الخاطئ
უფალო იესუ ქრისტე, ძეო ღმრთისაო, შემიწყალე მე ცოდვილი.
NicholasMyra
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2010, 02:47:38 AM »

And Hosea prophecies earlier that the Lord shall Trample down Death:
"I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes."-Hosea 13:14
I looked this one up, but it seems to be referring more to the punishment of the tribe of Ephraim. I think this one's a bit iffy.
Christians believe in double-prophecy, that a prophecy may be fulfilled in part once and then in full later. I chose the above passage from Hosea because St. Paul makes the reference in the First Epistle to the Corinthians: "But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP' in victory. “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O  DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" 1st Corinthians 15:54-55. Thus I considered it a decisively "Orthodox" reference. I am not trying to "force" the prophecy interpretation on you, but I happen to believe it Wink

I'm more comfortable accepting Wisdom of Solomon 2:23-24. It confirms a strictly Jewish message that I learned reading the New Testament. This is definitely confirmation for me that Christianity is Jewish in its message... or Eastern Orthodoxy is anyway.

Thank you for directing me to these. I think the majority of these are much better than the ones that I've gotten from Protestants. And seeing the mission of Jesus spelled out completely in the Wisdom of Solomon only lends more credibility, imho, to Jesus become some kind of a Savior, if not the Jewish Messiah.

I am so glad that I was able to be of help to you. I would like to clarify a few things so as not to deceive you through silence.

1.Orthodoxy affirms that Jesus Christ (Christos being the Greek word used to denote Messiah) is the Messiah expected in the Old Testament. Prophecies that are unfulfilled for the Messiah will be fulfilled in the second coming of Jesus Christ.

2.Orthodoxy does not deny the Messiah prophecies which refer to sacrifice, "blood"-- comparison with the passover lamb-- these are true prophecies of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Penal Substitutionary Atonement is a dastardly theory propagated in the West because of theological errors and medieval barbarian and latin judicial language. The notion that the Father is bound by a human concept of justice, and thus demanded sin payment in the form of a dead/tormented innocent man is foreign to Orthodoxy. The passover lamb is viewed as a "type" that was fulfilled in Jesus Christ, and it does not shy away from language involving sacrifice or blood; in the Eastern/Orthodox view this is not a contradiction. Why?

Because the Triune God sacrificed Himself FOR the redemption of Mankind. The Triune God did not sacrifice Himself to appease His own wrath. The saving work of Christ did not change God's view of us, because God is revealed to be unchanging infinite love. Instead it healed the gap we ourselves had placed between God and Man, and redeemed mankind thus. Christ became man, thus beginning his Recapitulating Saving work; He grabbed humanity by the arm, dragged him down into Hades (Sheol), harrowed the bonds of Hades, and pulled him forth from the tomb, a new creation:

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs,
Bestowing life!

It will take a while to be able to look at these prophecies, at this language of sacrifice, and not see Penal Substitution. It will take an entire shift of one's world view. The entire purpose, significance, and result of sacrifice is different in Orthodoxy vs. Penal Substitution theory.

But it's worth it a thousand times, as you're already realizing. If you haven't already, read about the doctrine of Recapitulation. You might also be interested in the story/works of the Archpriest James Bernstein, who was raised an Orthodox Jew, became a Protestant, and then found his way to Orthodoxy. He, like you, yearned for the fulfillment of a truly Jewish understanding of sacrifice, salvation, Divine Love and worship; he found it in the Orthodox Church.

I hope that helps, my friend!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2010, 02:54:21 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 10:23:15 AM »

Wow, first let me say welcome to the Forum. We're are very glad to have you here regardless of whether you "convert" or not.

Secondly, you've asked some pretty big questions, that's good. But I'm not sure that they can be answered with just a couple of proof texts from the Hebrew Scriptures. If it was that easy, well, everyone would be a Christian, wouldn't they? Smiley

I'm not challenging your question and I do believe there are answers but this is a very big topic one very few are qualified to actually answer. That includes most priests as well who have almost no knowledge of Rabbinic Judaism or 2nd Temple Judaism at the time of Jesus. This is not a criticism just a fact. There are a few posters here who have quite a bit of knowledge on this subject. I myself was first attracted to Orthodoxy because of it's Hebraic roots, and 2nd Temple Judaism is something I've spent the last decade studying as a spiritual journey and somewhat of a hobby, though I am no scholar, I have done a lot of reading and studying on the subject.  Others on here know a LOT more than I do, and we actually a few Jewish converts to Orthodoxy, and everyone will be more than willing to help you in any questions you may have. I'm sure you'll get plenty of responses in time. One important thing is don't feel like you need to rush. God will guide you at whatever speed is best for you.

Northern Pines!

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carrickfergus
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 08:47:37 PM »

2.Orthodoxy does not deny the Messiah prophecies which refer to sacrifice, "blood"-- comparison with the passover lamb-- these are true prophecies of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Would you mind clarifying this? Are you referring to the angel of death passing over the marked houses as a comparison to Christ conquering death?
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أيها الرب يسوع المسيح ابن الله, إرحمني أنا الخاطئ
უფალო იესუ ქრისტე, ძეო ღმრთისაო, შემიწყალე მე ცოდვილი.
carrickfergus
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 08:59:29 PM »

Wow, first let me say welcome to the Forum. We're are very glad to have you here regardless of whether you "convert" or not.

Secondly, you've asked some pretty big questions, that's good. But I'm not sure that they can be answered with just a couple of proof texts from the Hebrew Scriptures. If it was that easy, well, everyone would be a Christian, wouldn't they? Smiley

I'm not challenging your question and I do believe there are answers but this is a very big topic one very few are qualified to actually answer. That includes most priests as well who have almost no knowledge of Rabbinic Judaism or 2nd Temple Judaism at the time of Jesus. This is not a criticism just a fact. There are a few posters here who have quite a bit of knowledge on this subject. I myself was first attracted to Orthodoxy because of it's Hebraic roots, and 2nd Temple Judaism is something I've spent the last decade studying as a spiritual journey and somewhat of a hobby, though I am no scholar, I have done a lot of reading and studying on the subject.  Others on here know a LOT more than I do, and we actually a few Jewish converts to Orthodoxy, and everyone will be more than willing to help you in any questions you may have. I'm sure you'll get plenty of responses in time. One important thing is don't feel like you need to rush. God will guide you at whatever speed is best for you.

Northern Pines!

Thanks for the welcome, NP. I'd definitely be interested in hearing what those members who have much more understanding would respond to any further clear passages of prophecy. Even the conceptions that aren't exactly laid out in written prophecy.

One of the reasons I've been investigating Orthodoxy is because of my discontent with rabbinic halacha. For example, around Jesus' time (the second temple period), a person was judged as being Jewish by whether their father was Jewish. It's since changed to the mother, but it makes things very complicated because someone not even raised Jewish can all of the sudden be Jewish and those raised in it but have only a Jewish father and not a Jewish mother would be considered Gentile and would have to go through the process of conversion. Then for those with only a Jewish mother and not a Jewish father, then those descendants (by implication) lose their tribal affiliation. It just seems silly and the change almost sounds like they are saying "our ancestors and the founders of Judaism didn't get it right but we have gotten it right now." I'm of the opinion that anyone can be Jewish which is what has attracted me to Orthodoxy. Both Jew and Gentile can be found in unison which speaks to me much more than any man made interpretation of a scripture. Hope that made sense. Cheesy
« Last Edit: October 21, 2010, 09:00:51 PM by carrickfergus » Logged

أيها الرب يسوع المسيح ابن الله, إرحمني أنا الخاطئ
უფალო იესუ ქრისტე, ძეო ღმრთისაო, შემიწყალე მე ცოდვილი.
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 09:42:36 PM »

Welcome carrickfergus. I did a quick Google and found this for you.  http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/messiah/
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Excellence of character, then, is a state concerned with choice, lying in a mean relative to us, this being determined by reason and in the way in which the man of practical wisdom would determine it. Now it is a mean between two vices, that which depends on excess and that which depends on defect.
NicholasMyra
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2010, 02:52:01 AM »

2.Orthodoxy does not deny the Messiah prophecies which refer to sacrifice, "blood"-- comparison with the passover lamb-- these are true prophecies of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Would you mind clarifying this? Are you referring to the angel of death passing over the marked houses as a comparison to Christ conquering death?
I was referring to the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korban_Pesach
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Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.
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