Full Text for Messianic Prophecy and Messianism (Text)

Images Of Black KcLigion : yLjn Historical Kaleidoscope MILTON C. SERNETT An Address To Lutherans I SIDNEY E. MEAD !Messianic Prophecy And Messianism I r ! RAYMOND F. SURBURG I !The Analysis Of Exodus 24, According To /Modern Literary, Form, And Redaction Critical Methodology I WALTER A. MAIER I j~heses On The Law And Gospel , DAVID P. SCAER ?oak Reviews Messianic Prophecy and Messianism T HE TERM "MESSIANIC PRO13HECY" is being avoided by inost recent Bible dictionaries and articles dealing wlth the subject of the Messiah in the Old Testament and the term "Messianism" is being substituted.' The Old Testament term "R4essiah" is the sinlple reproduction of the Hebrew original Mashiach, which means "anointed." The Septuagint and the Greek New Testament both trailslate the Hebrew Mashiach by the term Christos, with the same meaning. In the English translations of the Old Testaillent Adnshiach is usually rendered by the word "anointed." The English word Messiah is found only twice in the King Janies Version (Dan. 9: 25, 26); "h;lessias," the Greek form, also appears twice (John 1: 41; 4:25). In the Old Testament the reader will find "the anointed of the Lord" (Lamen. 4: 20), "His anointed," (Ps. 2: 2), "Mine anointed" ( 1 Sam. 2 : 3 5), "the Lord's anointed" ( 1 and 2 Sam.). These might have been translated as "the Aflessiah of the Lord," "His Messiah," "the Lord's Rlessiah." Our New Testament employs Christos, rather than the term "anointed." In Old Testanlent tinles the tern1 "anointed" was applied to prophets, priests and kings. Even non-Hebrews were so designated because God had chosen them for a particular task, such 'as Cyrus (Is. 45: 1). The high priest of Israel (Lev. 4 : 3, 5, 16), the messianic Prince (Daniel 9 : 25 ), and the patriarchs (Ps. 105 : 15) were also called "the anointed." G. T. Manley claims that "the h4essianic hope, which is born very early in the story of the human 'race, is represented throughout the whole Old Testament as something which had its source in God. The hope is given to man. Hence the messianic references of the Old Testament Scriptures present a very wide field of divine redeem- ing activity.""R.lessianisnl as a rule portrays the hilessianic idea as a development of the people which has its beginning no earlier than the time of David, and not as a part of God's redeinptive activity for man. The New Testament describes the origin of the conling of the Rlessiah as something that was foreordained in eternity, long before the universe and the earth were created. The death of Jesus, through whose shed blood men are cleansed, according to Peter "bvas destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of tinles for your sake" (1 Peter 1 : 19, 20). The fall of man was foreseen by the Triune God and when Eve and Adam fell, God in His mercy announced to our first parents that a person would come from Eve's offspring who would crush the Tempter's head. Roman Catholic and Protestant writers (representing many dif- ferent denominations and churches) have written books m the past dealing with Messianic prophecy and all begin their presentations with Genesis 3: 15, known as "the First Gospel."The prediction that someday a man from the seed of Eve would bruise and crush the head of the Serpent (used by thc Devil) beconles nlorc explicit as thc centuries march on. Abraham was told that through his seed (He- brew, "zerah") the nations of the earth would be blessed. According to the interpretation of Paul in Galatians 3 : 36 the word "seed" does not refer to many but to one, "and to your offspring,'' which is Christ. In Genesis 49 Jacob predicted "that out of Judah would come a ruler, unto whom the gathering of the people would be" (v. 10). Balaam, a contemporary of Moses, in his fourth oracle an- nounced the coming of a king, who would be victorious over his enemies (Num. 24 : 18 ff .). In Deuteronomy 18 : 15 Moses predicted the coming of a greater prophet than he was, to who111 the people would listen. In 1 Samuel 2 : 10 Hannah spoke about the Lord's Mashiach, the Anointed, at a time when the kingship of David was still decades away. At the end of the Song of Hannah, she exclaimed: "Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth; and exalt the power of his anointed." In 2 Samuel 7: 12-17 Yahweh gave David a remarkable prophecy about the future of the latter's dynasty, predicting the coming of David's greater Son, the Messiah. (Passages from the Davidic covenant are cited by various New Testament writers as having had Christ in mind). The writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Micah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and a number of Psalms were all rccog- nized as containing Messianic prophecies. The stay of Jonah in the great fish's stomach was a type of Christ's burial and resurrection. Luther in his writings believed that Christ was found in the Old Testament beginning with Genesis 3 : 15 and ending with prophe- cies in Malachi 1, 3 and 4. It was the conviction of the authors of the Formula of Concord that Law and Gospel were teachings that went back to the garden of Eden. Thus in Article V of the Formula of Concord it is written: Since the beginning of the world these two proclamations have continually been set forth side by side in the church of God with the proper distinction. The descendants. of the holy patri- archs, like the patriarchs constantly reminded themselves not only how man in the beginning was created righteous and holy by God and through deceit of the serpent transgressed God's 1a.c.v~) became a sinner, corrupted himself and all his descend- ants, and plunged them into death and eternal damnation, but also revived their courage and comforted then~selves, with the proclamation of the woman's seed, who would bruise the ser- pent's head; likewise, of the seed of Abraham, by whom all nations should be blessed; likevvise, of David's son, who should restore the kingdom of Israel to be a light to the nations, 'who was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniqui- ties and with his stripes we are healed.',l In this passage the confessors refer to Gen. 3 : 15 ; 22 : 18; 28 : 14; Ps. 110: 1; Is. 40: 10; 49:6 and Is. 53:5 and interpret them as 1Messianic. 1. Today an inadequate idea of the scope and enlphasis of the Messianic message of the Old Testament is generally prevalent. Pre- dictions about thc person, ~.c~rk and kingdoin of God's h,lessiah are of necessity prophetic in character. Sjncc in the estilllation of some, prophecy is restricted to the sixteen canonical books of the Major and hfinor Prophets, all predictive statenlents about the coining of the Messiah are linlited to these books, thas eliminating many impor- tant prophecies in the earlier llistorical boolis of the Old Testament. Others suppose that i\lessianic prophecy is illerely a matter of sporadic and enlotioilal utterance, without any intimate relation to the com- prchensi~le literatwc and vital thought of Israel, Already in 192 6 l'rofessor Edward hlack wrote about the dearth of literature in the twentieth centurv conceriling Messianic prophecy: In recent years the conflict of opinion over the literary and his- torical problenls of the Old Testanlent has diverted attention fro111 the real content of this most important record of ancient religioi~. Compared with the mass of this contro~rersial and mere- ly propacdcutic literature, the amount of material available for study from inodern writers is meager. The inquiring reader finds few text-books covering the field, and in his quest must glean here and there from i~ltroduction and interpretative works. Strangely enough! modern Old Testament theologies contain scant purely A4esslanic discussion." Wilbur &I. Snlith, in his introduction to Aaron II(1igcrman's A'les- sianic Prophecy in the Old Testn~nent stated: During thc nineteenth century, the Christian Church was blesscd with a nunlber of great works on the hlessianic prophe- cies of the Old Testament, by such scholars as Delitzsch, Hengs- tenberg, II(urtz, and Riehm, in Germany; and K. Payne Smith, David Baron, Edersheim, and Saphir, in Endand, the last three of ~vhieh \yere Christian Jews. In the twentieth century, how- ever, at least until the last few years, the literature on Messianic prophccy, outside strictly acaden~ic circles, has been very thin- ephemeral contributions which were but inadequate, discon- nected collections of extracts from the writers of the preceding century, with expository comments of no particular imp~rtance.~ One of the sad developnlents of twentieth century critical bibli- cal scholarship has been the surrender of the idea that in the Old Testament God the Holy Spirit made the fact of the necessity of Christ as Redeemer known to the saints of the old dispensation. Dr. Charles Augustus Briggs, who was involved in a heresy trial in the Presbyterian Church and forced to resign because of promoting higher criticism, wrote a book on lMessianic Prophecy. In the beginning of this volume he stated : messianic Prophecy is the most important of all tllemcs, for it is the ideal of redemption given by the Creator to- our race at the beginning of its history, and it ever abides as the goal of human- ity until the Divine plan has been accomplisheda7 Modern Protestant scholarship which followed the leading of Dr. Briggs in the adoption of a critical approach of the Scriptures has now reached a point where Old Testament scholars deny that there are any dear predictions of Messianic prophecy in the Old Testalnent Scriptures. The Old Testanlent teachings about the hles- siah are not presented as a matter of revelation but as a result of insights Jewish writers had throughout the prechristian centrlries which led especially to beliefs about a personal Messiah in the two centuries before the birth of Christ. The brief article by the former Professor Edwin Lewis of Drew Theological Se~ninary in Harper's Bible Dictiollary treating of the Messiah portrays this view. Genesis 12 : 3 which states that in Abraham's seed all the nations of the world should be blessecl, interpreted by Paul as a prediction of the fact that through Christ inen would be justified by faith and thus incorporated into the body of Christ (Galatians 3 : 8), is understood merely as set- ting forth an expectancy of the coming of the Kingdom of God. Thus Professor Lewis described the beginning and development of wllat is conlnlonly Itnolv~l as "Messianism": The Old Testament is the story of the growth of this expectancy, and of changes in the way it was understood. One form linlited the pronlise to the physical line of Abraham: 'the chosen people' irere 'tbc sons of Abraham.' With the emergence of Saul as the first Hebrew Icing, the national and political conception was quickened (I Sam. 8 : 1- 12: 5 5). The brilliance of the reign of David, Saul's successor, and his own personal character, set the pattern of R4essianic thought for later centuries (I1 Sam. 7: 1- 29). The conviction grew that the Kingdom of God, in which the Abrahamic covenant would be consun~mated, would be a kingdom like that of David, and its ruler would be 'a son of Ilavid,' a king like David, only greater. (Is. 9 : 2-7; Jer. 23 : 5-8; Ezek. 31:20-31; cf. Ps. 89: 3, 19-37, 132: 1-18).S After the destruction of the northern Izingdom in 722 B,C. the southern kingdom of Judah was Ieft alone to carry on the Davidic tradition and hope. The thought grew that if the Abrahamic promise was to be realized, some person would need to deliver God's people from their enemies. So Lewis states great importance was attached to the word "save" in the Old Testament, especially as used in the l'saln~s (28:9; 69:35; 72: 13f; 106:47), and in Isaiah (25:9; 33:22; 35:4; 37:20; 63: 1-5; cf. Jer. 42: 11). The Israelites IooIted for a cleliverer from their "enemies, threatening worldly powers. Sonletinlcs God is represented as effecting this deliverance; someti~nes it will bc God's anointed, a veritable Messiah" (Ps. 72)." According to Lewis with the prophets there grew up the idea that God is not merely the God of Israel but of all peoples. Jahweh's concern was for all people. After the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. and the virtual destruction of the Jewish state, the idea arose, sponsored already by Jeremiah, that the Abrahamic hope wo~~ld be fillfilled in a religious community and not in a political organization. God was going to establish a brotherhood in which the "new cove- nant" rvould be written on the hearts of every man (Jer. 3 1 : 3 1-34). This idea was further fostered by the Exile in Babylonia onder priestly influence. During the exilic period two Messianic concepts developed side by side. One looked for a restoration of the Israelite nation, which found its chief mark in the observance of the "Holiness Code'' (Lev. 17-28), a product allegedly of the Exile. In this con- Messiunic PI-ophccy And Messicrnism -. -- - .- 2 1 ception there was practically no place for a personal Messiah; the closest approach to the idea of a Messiah was the "prince" in Ezek. (44:3; 45:7; 46:2-18; 48:21f). Ezra and Nehemiai~ tried to pro- mote the thought of a i\/lcssianic ritrialistic people of God, who ad- hered and were loyal to the "Law."1o According to Lewis during the Exile a more spiritual concept was also fostered; a nuplber of the psalms emphasize the necessity of spiritual cleliverance. Thc prophet known by critics as the Second Isaiah gave his fellow religionists glowing descriptions of a return fro111 captivity but also ~vrotc four fanlous servant passages (42: 1-4; 49: 1-6; 50:4-9; 52: 13-53: 12). In these "the Servant" is described as a sufferer. Modern critical scholarship does not identify the Suffer- ing Servant with Jesus Christ, but with a "purified Israel" or with the idea of "a relnnant of Israel." This Israel will be a con~munity not after the flesh but after the spirit, and would extend the benefits of the true Israel to all manlroinisc gh7en to Davicl in the Davitlic covenant, 2 Samuel 7 : 12-1 7. Zacharias in the Benedictus asserted that "the Lord God of Israel has raised up a horn of salvation in the house of his servant David as he spolte by the nloutll of his holy prophets from of old, that we sl~o~ild be saved fro111 our enell~ies . . . to perform the mercy proinised to our fathers and to remenlber his holy oath which he swore to our father Abraham" (Luke 1 : 69-73). Here Zacharias is rcferring to Genesis 12 : 3 : "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed," and not as the RSV and other lnodern translations have it: "In thy seed shall all the nations bless themselves." In Luke 3: 15 the reader is apprised of the fact that sollie people believed that John the Baptist was the Rqessiah. When Andreiv founcl his brother Peter he said to him "V7e lzave found the A!lcssiah" (which illeans Christ). Philip finds Nathaniel and says to him: "TVe have found him of whom R4oses in the law and also the prophcts wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." In John 4 thc Samaritan nwnlan is reportecl as saying: "I know that the Messiah is cominq (1le who is called the Christ), when he comes he will sho~v us all tnings." The Sanlaritans it should be remembered only accepted the Torah of Moses as tlleir Scril?tures, and yet on the basis of the Pentateuch these people found the 34cssiah foretold. After having accepted the Rlessiah, the Samaritan 1.c.oman <( returned to her village and said to the people: Con~e see n man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?" (4: 29) TIIE NEW TESTAMENT VIEW OF MESSIANIC PKOPE-IECY 'The conviction held by thc Early Christian Church, thc Mccli- eval Ch~~rch, thc Church of the Reformation and post-Reformation periods that numerous prophecies in the Old Tcstament Scrip- tures regarding the birth, coming, nature, ministry of Jesus of Nazareth were based upon the clear light thrown upon ancient prophecies by the New Testament. It will be instructive to exanline the attitude of the preachers and writers of the New Testament toward the fiffcssianic passages in the New Testament. Thus Profcssor Mack contended about this interpretative procedurc: "The Christian student with his confidence in the authority and accuracy of the New Testament, has thc right to begin his argunlent with it; and more than this, it is his bounden duty to do so."" Thc New Testament provides a good guide for a study of Old Testament prophecy for the following reasons: 1. The New Testament writings come out of an epoch that was close to 0. T. days, by men, all of who111 with the possible exception of Luke were Jews. As members of the Jewish faith thcy should have possessed a good knowledge of its traditions and an understanding of the hopes and aspirations of their nation. 2. Like a telescope, the New Testament brings the promises of the Old Testament closer to us, it makes their outline clear and real. 3. The New Testament claims to be the true interpretation of the Old Testament. MJhen the Samaritan \\loman shifted the topic of conversa- tion about the nature of Old Testanlent hope to thc subject of the Messiah, Jesus said to her: "I that speak to thee am He." Ih7he11 John the Baptist asked rvhether Jesus was the proillised Messiah of the Old Testament, Jesus sent back the answer: "I am He who is fulfilling the Messianic promises of Isaiah" (i\4att. 11). Paul, in describing the problenl of the Jew in his clay, claimed that in Jesus "the veil is done a.cvayn (I1 Cor. 3). Christ and His apostles had a great reverence and respect for the Old Testament Scriptures. To them the twenty-four books of the Hebrew Old Testaillent canon were "The Scriptures." 1. The Method of John the Apostle In Hevclation 19: 10 we read: "the witness of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." The witncss to Jesus by angels, apostles, ancl martyrs fo~ii~d in Revelation is the saillc witness as the witness of prophecy. In comment on this versc Dr. Lenski wrote: "Some restrict this ('The prophecy') to the prophecy contained in these visions of evel la ti on, but thc substance is that of all scripture^."'^" 2. The Method of Philip the Evangelist No passage of the Xew Testament is lllore helpful in showing us how New Testalncnt Christians interpreted the OIri Testament than the episode involving Philip, who was sent by the Holy Spirit to convert the Prime Minlster of Canclace, Queen of Abyssinia. He had attended one of the great festivals of Judaisnl in Jerusalem. The festival visitor had procured a copy of the Prophets, which he was reading on his way lln~lle to Africa. Philip the Evangelist, led by the Spirit of God, cnine near to Gaza, as he was reading the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. TVhen Philil? had joined him and heard him reading the Isaian passage, askecl thc African Prillle hlinister if he understood what he read? They the11 read the chapter together; coming to verses 7 and 8, PlliJip was asked: "Of .ivhom syeaketh the prophet this?" These were the'verses of the Great Servant passage that spoke of the atoning cleath of Jesus Clirist. Luke reports Philip's answer as follows: "Startii~g fro111 this \:cry passage, he told hiin the Good News about Jesus" (v. 35). If this was not truly speaking of the suffering, death, resurrectiolz of Gocl's hlessiah, then Philip was guilty of reading a nlcaning into the chapter it w7as 110t intcnded to have. 3. The ~\lIetlrorl of I'nul l'aul 11ad a great: influence on the New Testanlent Scriptures, Fifteen out of twenty-seven writings shows his influence. This in- cludes the two boolts by his friend and companion, Luke thc phy- sician. Paul nladc liberal use of the Old Testament. His epistles are saturated with the Old Testament, with its doctrines, its ideals, and its phrases. As one Old Testament scllolar has written: "His letters inigl~t be called interpretations of the Old Testaillent in terins of Jesus Christ, even thoug11 he wrote chiefly to Gentiles." Frequently Paul apl~ealecl to R4essianic prophecies in order to present Christ as tllc Savior of mankind. He believed in the inspiration of the entire Old Testament. "For all Scripture is inspired by God and is useful for te;lching, the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instruction tor right living, so that the man \.\rho serves God may be Mcssia~zic Prophecy And Messianism 2 7 fully cjualified ancl equipped to do every kind of good work" (Good News for Modern Man). In describing the religious training Timothy had receivecl from Lois and Eunice, Paul wrote to Timothy: "For you know ~vho your teachers were, and you know that ever since you were a chiId you have 1;non~n the Holy Scriptures, which are able to give you the .tvisclom that lcads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus." These words clearly enunciate the truth that the Old Testament Scrip- tures enabled the reader to conle to faith in Christ Jesus. If there are no ciircct predictions about thc Messiah, how could the Old Testament Scril3tures then lead to salvation in Christ Jcsus? In illany places Paul, ivho clairlled to be an inspired apostle of Jesus Christ, appealed to its prophecies as fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Only a few of the many passages will be cited here to support the Christological hermeneutics of: the Old Testament bv Paul. I11 Acts 13 : 13-4 1 Luke has given an epitome of a Pauline se;mon at Antioch in Pisidia. To the people in the Pisidian synagogue, Paul said: "We declare unto you good tidings, how that the prom~se ~vhich was made unto the fathers, God hat11 fulfilled the samc unto us their children, ill that he hath raiscd up Jcsus again, as it also is ~rlritten in the second psallil." 111 this sermon Paul quoted both from the Second ancl Six- teenth Psr?lms and interpreted them as containing prophecies about Christ. Yet: today nlodcrn scholarship will not recognize l'aul's interpretations. Toward the cncl of his Caesarean capitivity Paul appeared before Festus ancl King Agrippa. The latter had been raised as a Jew and was trained in the Scriptures. Since iigrippa was considered lcariled in the Law, Paul could appeal on common ground. A11d these are the remarkable worcls of Paul: "Having thercforc obtainccl help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to s111;iIl and great, and saying none other things than those which the l3rophets and 3:Ioses clicl say should conle: that Christ should suffer, anti that He should be the first that should rise from the dead, and shoulc7 show light unto the people, and to the Gentiles" (Acts 26 : 22-2 3). Another good illustration of Paul's interpretative nlethodology of finding Christ foretold in the Old 'Testament Scriptures, occurred when he came to Thessalonica on his second missionary journey. In that city, in the synagogue, Paul preached. "And Paul, as his custom was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned wit11 then1 out of the scriptures, opening and alleging that Christ must needs ha\ie sufferecl, and risen again from the dead, and that (saicl he) this Jesus, whom I preachcd unto you, is Christ" (Acts 1 7 : 2-3). Paul began his great letter to the Romans in this way: "From l'aul, a servant of Christ Jesus, and an apostle chosen and callcd by God to preach his Good News. The Good News was promised long ago by God through his prophets, and written in the Holy Scriptures. It is about his Son, our Lord Jcsus Christ: as to his humanity, he was born a descendant of David; as to his divine holiness, he was show11 with great power to be the Son of God, by being raised from the dead," (vv. 1-4). These \\lords clearly testify to Paul's belief that Christ's divinity and humanity were foretold in the Holy Scriptures (The Old Testament). The plan of salvation as set forth in the a ec to the writers cLlangellioll \\.as foreknojvn i~ecause it h;id been reve 1 1 of the Old Testanlent bool~s. 111 last &apter of Acts Paul is portrayecl as being in Rome, wllere thC \\;ere allo~p-ed to vjsit Paul. One clay a collfrontation tool; bctwcen I)aul and a large number of Jews. Lulx reports: "Fiom till ni$t he esplai~lecl (to them) and gave tlienl his message ;111olit thc 1iingdom of God. He tried to convince theill about Jesiis I:)\ quoring, froni the TAW of hloses a11d the ivritil~gs of the prol'heb" (v. 2 3 1. In set-tins forth the essentials of the Chspel that Paul had pro- claimc:d to tlne C;orint.llians, he asserted in chapter 15 of his first lettcl:: "1 passcil on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: th:lt Christ died for our sins, as is written in the Scrip- t.~,-cs: and [-hat 1.1~ ~vas 11uric~l and raised to lifc on the third clay, as is ~yritt:p~.l jri tlic Sc~.jpt.~~~cs." (I.\.. 3-41 4. The i\,fethotl of l'etcr. 111 thc ~:;11.1y ch;lptcrs of Acts, I,ul;c has provided us with sam~lcs of 1-hc ~~caching of Peter, prin~us anlong the apostles. Peter's sermon at l'cntccost, the iirst Gospel sermon, was based entirely on propllecies of tlxc Olcl rI'estailient: first, the outpouring of the Spirit, as fbxctold by Joel: then the resurl-cction of Christ, froin the sixteenth l'snli~~: and finally His esaltalioll to poi,scr at the 1:ight: 11ancl of God, ;IS ~~x~plitrsictl 11); l>a\.jcl in l'salm 11 0. In thc scconcl sermon of .l?ct.er, Acts 3, the apostle made his ~11~pc;11 in a similar \s:a);, calling upon his llearcrs to accept Jesus as thb ~~:u~r~isctl Christ of the Old Tcstamen t : "Those things which God bcfo~c 1latl s'llo\vctl b\ [.he nlouth of all his ~~ropl~ets, that the Christ sho~~ltl suffci., I-Ic h;i& so f~~llillcti." (17. 18) \I-'hen l?ctcr ant1 Jol111 \\.cl.c 111.ougllt: 11cI'ol.c [llc Sclnllctlrin for hcaling the lamc n~an, Petcl- f~lll of ihv /lol\ I;;l~i~.it, said lo tlw 1c':~cIcrs and c1del:s: "Tllen you shni~ltl a11 li110\-\.. r.ll;t t all tlic: pc'oplc of Israel should lino~\;, that this n7iln stands hcl-c bc>fo~.c you coinl~lctely ~cll 11)- tlic po~\~cl- of the namc of: IC:~LI\ C1li.i~~ 01: Yi~~;~rctIi-~\-ho~n >,~II crucified a11cl God raised 1:- fron~ c1ci1tl-1. lcscis is tl~c onc of \.c;hom the scl:ipture says, Thc stone that ),o~l b~iilclc~,s dcsj>iscd. tucncd out to bc fl~c most important stone.' S;11\-iltio11 is io bc fou~~(.l tlii.ouq11 ,. hinl alonc for there is no onc clsc 111 ;ill 11ic \i.ol.ltl ~\Jloso naliic: Goti has givc11 to ~~CII? 11); ~vholn \vc: can bc .;;I\.~oIie through our ;lncestor ]la\ id! !,our scnant, .cvl~cn 11c said: 'T\'h\. 1-c.cl-c the Gcntilcs furious, l'i711) did tbc pcoples plot in \lain) Illc kii~gs of the! cart11 prel~al-etl thenlselvcs, i1g:lillsl- ttlc: I,ot-cj al~tl his ilfcssiah'." (Act-s 3 :24-26). 111 his .['e~~tccost sermon to the Gentiles ill the ]louse of tllc ccl~~u~iol~ Cornelius, Petcr saitl: "And he culllljlanded us to l)reacll tllc gosl)cl to ~IIC peoplc, and to testify t-hat he is the olle \trllom God has apl~oilitcd Tudyc of rhc living and the deacl. All the prophets spoke about llinl, saying that everyone who believes in him will have his fol.givcn tllroupll the power of his name" (Acts 10: 42-43). In his first letter to the congregations of Asia Minor in writing tlie ir.onderfLJ salvation rvhich had been made available to the beliel~ers tllroLlgll the death and resurrection of Jcs~~s Christ, Peter states: "~t lvas about this salvation that the prophets made careful cc;lrch investigation; they were the ones who prophesied the blessillg~ that God ~vo~llcl give you. 'I'hey tried to find out when the tilllc lvould be and how it ~vould come; for the Spirit of Christ in them to this time in predicting the sufferings that Christ rrould have to endure, and the glory that should follow. God revealed to these prophets that their work was not for their own benefit, but for yours, as they spoke about tl~? truths, which you have now heard. ?.he messengers of the Good News, ~vho spoke by the power of the Holy Spirit sent from l~eaven, told you these truths," (ch. 1 : 10-12). 5. The Appeal oj Christ to l'rophccy Thc foregoing array of New Testament passages by various New .I'csta~ncnt individuals shoulcl llavc been impressive to support the contention that tile coming of the hdnshiah, the Christos, was fore- told by God centuries before God's Anointed One's appearance. There is still a Inore impressive type of evidence, and that is the use of lxopllccy l)y Christ I-limself. "The use of prophecy by Christ Him- self is the most remarkable part of the New Testament claim to be the fuIfilI~llel~t of the Old. Christ was co~ltinually quoting Old Testa- ~nen t pronlises as f~lIfilled in Himscl.f."'"'l To the leaders of thc Jewish people Jesus said one day in con- t~:o\;ersy lvith them: "You study the Scriptures because you think that in them you will find etcrnul life. And they themselves speak about 111~'' (John 5 : 39). I3or~ coulrl Jesus make such a statement if liis hcarcrs ciid not believe that the Olci Testanlent Scriptures con- t;lincd specific statements about the Messiah? And Jesus claimed to fulfill. the prophecies about the coming of the RJessiah. \:\Then Jesus visited Nazareth after his baptism, he attended the synagogue as was his custom. He read to them from the scroll of tllc prophets; 11c read thc passage from the beginning of Isaiah 61. After reading the lesson froill the Haphtorah, ~vith the eyes of the multituiles fixed on him, 1le spoke these inomentous words: "This day is the Scripture fulfilled in your ears." His hearers understood full \\:ell what Jesus was claiming by this statement, namely, that He was the mashi inch., the Anointed One, the Servant of the Lord, who was the most imposing figure of the OId Testament prophecy. ilgain when John the Baptist was in prison toward the end of his life, he sent two disciples to Jesus with the question: "Art thou uc that sl~oulcl come, or must vr7e wait for another?" The answer of Jesus was to quote words that spoke of the Christ in chapters 35 and 61 of Isaiah. Especially important are the words of Jesus, as reported by Luke in chapter 21 of his Gospel, where on Easter afternoon Jesus opened (11~ eyes of Cleophas and his friend to see the Lord but also gave them proof of His Messiahship from the Old Testament when he said: ''0 foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spolten; ought not the Rlessiall to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning with Moses, and all the prophets, he interpreted unto them in all the Scriptures, the things colzcerni~zg Himself" (v-. 26). Later that evening, conling to the Elcvcn in Jerusalem, He reininded then1 how often He hacl showcd in the Old Testanlent thc very things which had happened to Him : "Thesc are the ~vorcls which I spoke unto you whjle I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfillccl, whicll were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets and in the Psalins concenling Me. Then He openecl their understanding, that they rnig11t uncicrstand the Scril?turesn (Lultc 24 : 44). h;lessia~zic T'rophecy in Lutheralzism ilz the T~ve~ztieth Ce~ttz.rry In 1935 The Parish and Church School Boarcl of The Lutheran Cl~urch in America publishetl The Old Tcstnnze~zt-A Stz~dy, by I'rofessor Herbert C. Alleman. In discussing t1.x Old Testament, Alleman quoted Kirkpatrick to the effect: "Prophecy .trlas no prema- ture unrolling of the future. . . . But fro111 iirst to last it pointed for- ward to a great divine purpose slowly being evolved in the course of the ages, to 'some far off divine event,' towards ~vllich the history of Israel and the history of the ~vorlcl were rno~ing.""~ He claims that no reader can come to the Old Testa~nent without feeling tl-iat the his- tory is not complete. In the course of time the IIcbrews came to be- lieve in a personal klessiah. It Ivas only through a personal RIessiah that God's reign on earth could be realized. "As a cllild he was to be the gift of God 'Immanuel-God \-T7ith Us' (Is. 7: 14); of the house of David (Is. 11 : 1); one upon 1vhon1 .ivoulci rest the Spirit of Jehovah (Is. 1.1 : 2-5); a prince out of Bcthlelle~ll (Mi. 5 : 2); one to ~vhom the nations would come to learn rigl~tcousness."" Alleman seems to begin his discr~ssion of the Messiah 1tlit11 the passages in Isaiah but says uot one word about any promises prior to the eighth ceiltury B.C. He claims that the classic words of Isaiah have become the description of the n~ission of Jesus. i\'o.i.i~here docs he, however, state that thc Old Testanlent ~iritcrs forctold the Messianic days l~y direct prophecies. In 194 8 Old Testa-me~zt Col~znze~ztnry Professor Allc~nan and Professor T, W. I