WHO IS THE MESSIAH?
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Messiah is the English transliteration of Mashiach, the Hebrew word meaning "Anointed One." The Greek form of this meaning is Xristos, from where we get the English word Christ.

In the original Hebrew "Jesus Christ" is Yeshua haMashiach and is interpreted as "Yah who is Salvation, the Anointed One." Yah is short for the Holy Name of YHVH, which itself means "He who was, who is, who is to come", thus "the Eternally Existent One." So, the full title of the Mashiach is "The Eternally Existent Saving and Anointed One."

To be "anointed" in ancient Hebrew culture meant to be chosen as the rightful heir to authority, either as a priest or king or both. It was a rite of special consecration to have oil poured upon one's head from a ram's horn by a previously chosen servant of G-d. Several kings and priests of Israel received this rite, most notably King David, who was himself called "mashiach," an anointed one. It was prophesied that a son of his would one day come to rule perpetually. This son came to be known as the promised Mashiach, who would rule the world from the throne of David.

The prophets said David's son would be more than a mere man (Micah 5:1,2) since He would rule forever. The record also shows that G-d Himself promised to come and rule the world from Israel (Zechariah 14), and that He alone was to be Israel's King. Thus, the prophets foretold that Mashiach must be a kind of being that was unknown on the earth, both a son of David and G-d Himself. Many foreign cultures and pagan religions adopted their own version of this, and through fables and folklore they speculated on His being, albeit in error.

The prophets also declare that Mashiach had two great missions. First, He had to provide deliverance from sin on the earth. Second, He had to take up His royal throne on the earth.

In the first mission Mashiach would have to be most notably a perfect man, since He would have to die as the sinless (spotless) sacrifice in substitution for the sins of the world (Isaiah 53). In the second mission Mashiach would have to be most notably G-d Himself, since he would have to put all enemies of rigtheousness under His authority. Because of this duality of purpose many have stumbled over the concept of Mashiach, and some have surmised that there must be two mashiachs. They did not consider the event of the resurrection. The prophets tell us that Mashiach would not remain dead, but would somehow rise again. It is after this resurrection that Mashiach would rule.

The record shows that Yeshua of Natzeret Israel (cir. 6 BCE - 27 CE) fulfilled the first mission perfectly by dying as the spotless Lamb of G-d and then rising from the dead, as the feasts and prophets of Israel foretold He would. He did not come to start a new religion, but to bring all who would trust Him into personal covenant with G-d. There is a real experiencial new creation of the human spirit when one trusts with the whole heart that He is the Mashiach and has taken our sins on Himself and has risen from the dead! This new creation of the human spirit works toward the eradication of sin in our lives, thus the fulfillment of the first mission.

After His resurrection Yeshua ascended back to Heaven, but before He did He promised to return in power and great glory to defend Israel against all the aggressing nations of the world. In that day He will again raise up the throne of His father, David. He will fulfill His second mission as Mashiach. Then, He will be revealed as the Eternally Existent One, G-d, YHVH Himself. All who trust Him and try to follow His Teaching (Torah) now will be saved; all who deny Him will be in danger of destruction at that time, since they have no blood covering their sins. However, He is the only judge and arbiter of who will be preserved. The judge of the earth will do rightly.

Messianics are followers of Yeshua the Messiah and they expect His return from heaven. Messianic Jews lead the Messianic movement of trust in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua. Messianic non-Jews are welcome as they walk in faithfulness to Torah. But no longer will Jewish followers of Yeshua accept the leadership of Gentiles who resist the eternal truth of Torah, who profane the seventh day Sabbath and eat swine's flesh.

Let all who are called, chosen and faithful keep the testimony of Yeshua and the commandments of YHVH.

Even so, come quickly Adonai Yeshua.

Copyright 1996. David M. Hargis. All rights reserved.