Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Messiah and the Return of YEHOVAH God Foretold in Extra-Biblical Sources
Amazing evidence from non-canonical documents written 100-200 years before Yeshua the Messiah provide incredible proof that he is the promised Jewish Messiah and that his Father -- YEHOVAH God -- will return at the end of this age. Here is the intriguing, fascinating story -- and the mind-boggling evidence!
by HOIM Staff
Amazing as it may seem, numerous Jewish documents written long before the time of Yeshua the Messiah foretold of his coming, his ministry, his death and resurrection, and many incredible elements of his life while on earth. Also, there are many references to the impending return of YEHOVAH God Himself to Jerusalem to rule over the nations of the world with the Messiah by His side as High Priest and King over Israel. These documents, dating at least 100-200 years before the Messiah, predict the coming of the Messiah. The most astonishing thing is, however, that some of these documents may well be derived from ancient oral stories and testaments passed down from generation to generation, and the original prophecies therefore very likely -- when all the evidence is assimilated and evaluated -- originated with notable Biblical patriarchs, prophets, and other figures.
The question is -- since these particular documents contain detailed and incredible prophecies of a coming, future "Messiah" -- prophecies which in many cases were only fulfilled in later history by Yeshua the Messiah -- how did these Biblical figures, or even the later transcribers of these documents, KNOW THESE THINGS HUNDREDS, OR EVEN THOUSANDS, OF YEARS IN ADVANCE unless they were inspired by Almighty God?
One of the greatest proofs of YEHOVAH God, and His existence, and one of the greatest proofs of the Bible, as His inspired word, is fulfilled prophecy. In the Bible we read that YEHOVAH says:
"I am the LORD [YHVH -- YEHOVAH]: that is my name; and my glory will I not give unto another...Behold, the former things are come to pass, and NEW THINGS do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them" (Isaiah 42:8-9).
"Thus said the LORD, Israel's Holy One and Maker: Will you question Me on the destiny of My children, will you instruct Me about the work of My hands? It was I [YEHOVAH God] who made the earth and created man upon it; My own hands stretched out the heavens, and I marshaled all their host" (Isaiah 45:11-12, the Tanakh).
"Who announced this aforetime, foretold it of old? Was it not I the LORD? Then there is no god beside Me, no God exists beside Me...For I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:21, the Tanakh).
Almighty God is the only one who can predict the future, thousands of years in advance, and then has the power to bring it to pass, just as He said it would happen! Such power is in itself PROOF of divinity and divine inspiration! And the prophecies in the Bible attest to the power of that Supreme God, and His Word. But also, similar prophecies, and prophetic statements, found in extra-Biblical literature written hundreds of years before the Messiah, also bear witness both to their divine original source, and to the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy! They are WITNESSES TO THE MESSIAHSHIP OF YESHUA and the return of YEHOVAH God, written hundreds of years before the Messiah's time -- prophecies which, because of their precision and accuracy, must be divinely inspired themselves.
First, let us look at some of these profound prophetic statements which are found in four early Jewish documents in the so-called Pseudopigrapha -- early Jewish extra-canonical writings written about 100-200 years B.C. They belong to the Pseudopigrapha because scholars say that no one really knows who the original authors are, although they purport to be the writings of famous Biblical figures. Nevertheless, these documents corroborate Biblical prophecies of the Messiah and of the return of YEHOVAH God, and in some cases add to what the Biblical record attests. They are interesting in their own right, and are evidence of strong Messianic beliefs and longings long before Yeshua.
Messianic Prophecies in Four Early Jewish Writings: The Psalms of Solomon
First, in chronological order, is the apocryphal Psalms of Solomon, preserved in eleven Greek and four Syriac manuscripts dating from the tenth to the sixteenth centuries A.D. Psalms 17 contains an extended Messianic hymn describing the future reign of the Messiah, son of David, who will rule over Jerusalem, Israel, and all the people in righteousness. In a prophecy of the end of the age, the author predicts widespread suffering and sinfulness and oppression. He writes:
 "For the heavens withheld the rain from dropping upon the earth, Springs were stopped (that sprang) perennial(ly) out of the deeps, (that ran down) from lofty mountains. For there was none among them that wrought righteousness and justice;  From the chief of them to the least (of them) all were sinful;  The king was a transgressor, and the judge disobedient, and the people sinful" (Psalms of Solomon 17:18-20).
At this point, the author, possibly Solomon, says:
 "Behold, O LORD [YEHOVAH God], and raise up unto them [Israel] their king, the son of David, At the time in the which Thou seest, O God, that he [the Messiah] may reign over Israel Thy servant  And gird him with strength, that he may shatter unrighteous rulers,  And that he may purge Jerusalem from nations that trample (her) down to destruction.  Wisely, righteously he shall thrust out sinners from (the) inheritance, He shall destroy the pride of the sinner as a potter's vessel.  With a rod of iron he shall break in pieces all their substance,  He shall destroy the godless nations with the word of his mouth;  At his rebuke nations shall flee before him, And he shall reprove sinners for the thoughts of their heart.
 "And he shall gather together a holy people [from Israel], whom he [the Messiah] shall lead in righteousness, And he shall judge the tribes of the people that has been sanctified by the LORD his God [Israel].  And he shall not suffer unrighteousness to lodge any more in their midst, Nor shall there dwell with them any man that knoweth wickedness,  For he [the Messiah] shall know them [Israel], that they are all sons of their God. And he shaIl divide them [Israel] according to their tribes upon the land,  And neither sojourner nor alien shall sojourn with them any more. He shall judge peoples and nations in the wisdom of his righteousness. Selah.
 "And he shall have the heathen nations to serve him under his yoke; And he shall glorify the LORD in a place to be seen of (the Temple? ) all the earth;  And he shall purge Jerusalem, making it holy as of old:  So that nations shall come from the ends of the earth to see his glory, Bringing as gifts her sons who had fainted,  And to see the glory of the LORD [YEHOVAH God], wherewith God hath glorified her. And he (shall be) a righteous king, taught of [YEHOVAH] God, over them,  And there shall be no unrighteousness in his days in their midst, For all shall be holy and their king the anointed of the LORD" (Psalms of Solomon 17:21-36).
Notice how this apocryphal prophecy, written long before the first appearance of the Messiah, predicts the very same things that the Old Testament prophecies do, such as Isaiah 2:1-4, Micah 4:1-4, Isaiah 66, and many New Testament prophecies concerning the works the Messiah will do at his future coming, when he is foretold to return to rule over the nations of Israel (Matthew 24:30-31; Revelation 11:15-18; II Thessalonians .1:7-10, and many other passages. This passage also points out that YEHOVAH God the Father will also be residing in Jerusalem at this time.
Notice, too, that this prophecy states the Messiah would be descended from David. The Messiah himself, the New Testament shows, was the descendant of king David (Matthew 1:1, 9:27, 12:23, 15:22, etc.).
Look, now, at the rest of chapter 17. Here we see the powerful work that the Messiah will do when he appears at the end of the age:
 "The LORD Himself [YEHOVAH God] is his [the Messiah's] king, the hope of him that is mighty through (his) hope in God. All nations (shall be) in fear before him,  For he will smite the earth with the word of his mouth for ever.  He [the Messiah] will bless the people of the LORD with wisdom and gladness,  And he himself (will be) pure from sin, so that he may rule a great people. He will rebuke rulers, and remove sinners by the might of his word;  And (relying) upon his God, throughout his days he will not stumble; For [YEHOVAH] God will make him [the Messiah] mighty by means of (His) holy spirit, And wise by means of the spirit of understanding, with strength and righteousness.
 "And the blessing of the LORD (will be) with him: he will be strong and stumble not;  His hope (will be) in the LORD: who then can prevail against him? (He will be) mighty in his works, and strong in the fear of [YEHOVAH] God,  (He will be) shepherding the flock of the LORD faithfully and righteously, And will suffer none among them to stumble in their pasture.  He will lead them all aright, And there will be no pride among them that any among them should be oppressed.
 "This (will be) the majesty of the king of Israel [the Messiah] whom God knoweth; He [YEHOVAH God] will raise him [the Messiah] up over the house of Israel to correct him [Israel].  His words (shall be) more refined than costly gold, the choicest; In the assemblies he will judge the peoples, the tribes of the sanctified [Israel].  His words (shall be) like the words of the holy ones in the midst of sanctified peoples [Israel].  Blessed be they that shall be in those days, In that they shall see the good fortune of Israel which [YEHOVAH] God shall bring to pass in the gathering together of the tribes [of Israel].  May the LORD hasten His mercy upon Israel! May He deliver us from the uncleanness of unholy enemies! The LORD Himself [YEHOVAH God] is our king for ever and ever. (Psalms of Solomon 17:38-51).
The phrase "And he himself (will be) pure from sin" clearly indicates that the Messiah is not some part God, part human split personality that pre-existed as a second "God" before coming to earth to die as a perfect sacrifice for the people of Israel. If the Messiah was "God in the flesh" then the above phrase would be totally unnecessary! Notice, also, that the Messiah is to be king over ISRAEL -- NOT the entire world! That's YEHOVAH God's role when He takes up residence in Jerusalem.
The Fourth Book of Ezra
The Fourth Book of Ezra, the scribe, also depicts the future Messiah as the "son of David." The introduction of this book places its composure 30 years after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. However, scholars generally repudiate this statement, in the book itself, and claim it was likely written about 120 A.D. although they admit it is difficult to believe that a Jewish book of this kind would find its way into Christian circles after the Bar Kochba revolt in 130 A.D. The visions in the book, however, of four future kingdoms rising up in the earth, tends to date the book to the time of Daniel, regardless of the claims of scholars.
Notice the prophetic contents of this book as they relate to a promised Messiah:
"And as for the lion that you saw rousing up out of the forest and roaring and speaking to the eagle, and reproving him for his unrighteousness, and for all his words that you have heard, this is the Messiah whom the Most High [YEHOVAH God] has kept until the END OF DAYS, who will arise from the posterity of David, and will come and speak to them [posterity of David]; he will denounce them [posterity of David] for their ungodliness and for their wickedness, and will cast up before them [posterity of David] their contemptuous dealings. For first he will set them living before his judgment seat, and when he has reproved them [posterity of David], then he will utterly destroy them [posterity of David]. But he will deliver in mercy the remnant of my [YEHOVAH's] people, those who have been saved throughout my borders, and he [the Messiah] will make them joyful until the end comes, the day of judgment..." (Fourth Book of Ezra 12:31-35).
This amazing prophecy dovetails beautifully with Revelation 20:4, where the Messiah himself at his coming will judge the remnants of Israel before his throne, and then reign with those who have been saved "for a thousand years."
Ezra, or the author of this book, goes on to make another amazing prophecy which is Messianic in nature. Notice!
"And I looked, and behold, this wind made something like the figure of a man come up out of the heart of the sea [a reference to Revelation 10:1-7?]. And I looked, and behold, that man flew with the clouds of heaven; and wherever he turned his face to look, everything under his gaze trembled, and whenever his voice issued from his mouth, all who heard his voice melted as wax melts when it feels the fire.
"After this I looked, and behold, an innumerable multitude of men were gathered together from the four winds of heaven to make war against the man who came up out of the sea. And I looked, and behold, he carved out for himself a great mountain, and flew up upon it....
"After this I looked, and behold, all who had gathered together against him, to wage war with him, were much afraid, yet dared to fight. And behold, when he saw the onrush of the approaching multitude, he neither lifted his hand nor held a spear or any weapon of war; but I saw only how he sent forth from his mouth as it were a stream of fire, and from his lips a flaming breath, and from his tongue he shot forth a storm of sparks. All these were mingled together, the stream of fire and the flaming breath and the great storm, and fell on the onrushing multitude which was prepared to fight, and burned them all up, so that suddenly nothing was seen of the innumerable multitude but only the dust of ashes and the smell of smoke. When I saw it, I was amazed.
"After this, I saw the same man come down from the mountain and call to him another multitude which was peaceable. Then many people came to him, some of whom were joyful and some sorrowful; some of them were bound, and some were bringing others as offerings' (4 Ezra 13:1-13).
Again, this prophecy dovetails precisely with the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments, concerning the Messiah who is to come. In II Thessalonians, the apostle Paul also tells us that when the Messiah appears, he will "be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power" (II Thessalonians 1:7-9).
The Apocalypse of 2nd Baruch
The Apocalypse of 2nd Baruch is another ancient Jewish book, non-canonical in nature, but with profound implications concerning prophecies of the Messiah and the future. The author is purported to be Baruch, the scribe of Jeremiah the prophet. The author of the book himself implies that the dating of the book belongs to the time following the destruction of the first Temple in 586 B.C., and before the rebuilding of the Temple in 515 A.D. This was the time that Baruch, Jeremiah's scribe, lived. The author also foresaw and predicted the destruction of that second Temple, which, of course, occurred in 70 A.D. under the Romans (II Baruch 32:2-4).
Notice some of the astounding prophecies of this non-canonical book, which seem to clearly point to a Messiah who would appear twice -- just as Yeshua the Messiah is to do:
30  "And it shall come to pass after these things, when the time of the advent of the Messiah is fulfilled, that HE [THE MESSIAH] SHALL RETURN IN GLORY.  Then all who have fallen asleep in hope of him shall rise again. And it shall come to pass at that time that the treasuries will be opened in which is preserved the number of the souls of the righteous, and they shall come forth, and a multitude of souls shall be seen together in one assemblage of one thought, and the first shall rejoice and the last shall not be grieved.  For they know that the time has come of which it is said, that it is the CONSUMMATION OF THE TIMES" (2 Baruch 30:1-3).
32  "But as for you, if you prepare your hearts, so as to sow in them the fruits of the law, it shall protect you in that time in which the Mighty One [YEHOVAH God] is to SHAKE THE WHOLE CREATION.  [Because after a little time the building of Zion will be shaken in order that it may be built again.  But that building will not remain, but will again after a time be rooted out, and will remain desolate until the time.  And afterwards it must be renewed in glory, and perfected for evermore.]" (2 Baruch 32:1-4).
2 Baruch also sets forth the punishment and fate of the Antichrist or "Beast." The author declares, "The last leader of that time will be left alive, when the multitude of his hosts will be put to the sword, and he will be bound, and they will take him up to Mount Zion, and My Messiah will convict him of all his impieties, and will gather and set before him all the works of his hosts.  And afterwards he will put him to death, and protect the rest of My people which shall be found in the place which I have chosen.  And his principate will stand for ever, until the world of corruption is at an end, and until the times aforesaid are fulfilled" (2 Baruch 40:1-3).
Notice, now, another prophecy of the coming Messiah in this apocryphal Jewish book that pre-dates the time of the Messiah:
 "After the signs have come, of which you were told before, when the nations become turbulent, and the time of My [YEHOVAH's] Messiah is come, he shall both summon all the nations, and some of them he shall spare, and some of them he shall slay" (see 2 Baruch 71:1-6).
 "And it shall come to pass, when He [YEHOVAH God] has brought low everything that is in the world, And has sat down in peace for the age on the throne of His kingdom, That joy shall then be revealed, And rest shall appear.  And then healing shall descend in dew, And disease shall withdraw, And anxiety and anguish and lamentation pass from amongst men, And gladness proceed through the whole earth.  And no one shall again die untimely, Nor shall any adversity suddenly befall.  And judgments, and abusive talk, and contentions, and revenges, And blood, and passions, and envy, and hatred, And whatsoever things are like these shall go into condemnation when they are removed.
 "For it is these very things which have filled this world with evils, And on account of these the life of man has been greatly troubled.  And wild beasts shall come from the forest and minister unto men And asps and dragons shall come forth from their holes to submit themselves to a little child.  And women shall no longer then have pain when they bear, Nor shall they suffer torment when they yield the fruit of the womb" (2 Baruch 73:1-7).
This Millennial prophecy, of a utopian world, ushered in by the Messiah, parallels the prophecies of Isaiah 11 and 65, a world full of the knowledge of the LORD, full of peace and tranquility, and even peace among all the animals of the earth, with YEHOVAH God Himself ruling from His throne in Jerusalem.
The Book of Enoch
But the book of I Enoch also contains fascinating Messianic prophecies. A famous passage from this book is actually quoted in the New Testament, by the apostle Jude, who declares:
"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, 'Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him'" (Jude 14-15).
Although the Book of Enoch which has come down to us today is not perfectly preserved, nevertheless, in its original form, Jude is telling us, it was no doubt the work of the original Enoch. Since Jude wrote his words under divine inspiration, and he gives credit to this quotation to Enoch himself, and the quotation is found in the Book of Enoch, this gives credence to the inspiration at least of the original words of Enoch, which are contained in the version of the book which has come down to us.
In this apocalyptic book, the present form which was transcribed in the centuries before the Messiah, we read with fascination:
 "In that day shall the Elect One [the Messiah] sit upon a throne of glory; and shall choose their conditions and countless habitations, while their spirits within them shall be strengthened, when they behold my [YEHOVAH's] Elect One, for those who have fled for protection to my holy and glorious name.  In that day I will cause my Elect One [the Messiah] to dwell in the midst of them; will change the face of heaven; will bless it, and illuminate it for ever.
 "I will also change the face of the earth, will bless it; and cause those whom I have elected [true Christians] to dwell upon it. But those who have committed sin and iniquity shall not inhabit it, for I have marked their proceedings. My righteous ones will I [YEHOVAH] satisfy with peace, placing them before me; but the condemnation of sinners shall draw near, that I may destroy them from the face of the earth" (I Enoch 45:3-5).
Enoch continues, according to the book that bears his name:
 "There I beheld the Ancient of Days [YEHOVAH God], whose head was like white wool, and with Him another, whose countenance resembled that of man. His countenance was full of grace, like that of one of the holy angels. Then I inquired of one of the angels, who went with me, and who showed me every secret thing, concerning this Son of man; who he was; whence he was and why he accompanied the Ancient of Days.
 "He answered and said to me, This is the Son of man [the Messiah], to whom righteousness belongs; with whom righteousness has dwelt; and who will reveal all the treasures of that which is concealed: for the LORD of spirits [YEHOVAH God] has chosen him; and his portion has surpassed all before the LORD of spirits in everlasting uprightness.  This Son of man [the Messiah], whom you behold, shall raise up kings and the mighty from their dwelling places, and the powerful from their thrones; shall loosen the bridles of the powerful, and break in pieces the teeth of sinners.  He shall hurl kings from their thrones and their dominions; because they will not exalt and praise him, nor humble themselves before him, by whom their kingdoms were granted to them" (I Enoch 46:1-4).
Enoch goes on describing this Elect One, the "Son of Man," as follows:
 "In that hour was this Son of man [the Messiah] invoked before the LORD of spirits [YEHOVAH God], and his name in the presence of the Ancient of Days [YEHOVAH God].  Before the sun and the signs were created, before the stars of heaven were formed, his name was invoked [the Messiah's name -- NOT his person!] in the presence of the LORD of spirits. A support shall he be for the righteous and the holy to lean upon, without falling; and he shall be [future tense] the light of nations.
 "He shall be the hope of those whose hearts are troubled. All, who dwell on earth, shall fall down and worship before him; shall bless and glorify him, and sing praises to the name of the LORD of spirits [YEHOVAH God].  Therefore the Elect [the Messiah] and the Concealed One existed [in name only] in His [YEHOVAH's] presence, before the world was created, and for ever.
 "In his presence he existed [in name only], and has revealed to the saints and to the righteous the wisdom of the LORD of spirits [YEHOVAH God]; for he has preserved the lot of the righteous, because they have hated and rejected this world of iniquity, and have detested all its works and ways, in the name of the LORD of spirits.  For in his name shall they be preserved; and his will shall be their life" (I Enoch 48:2-7).
Enoch continues, "...the Elect One [the Messiah] stands before the LORD of spirits [YEHOVAH God]; and his glory is for ever and ever; and his power from generation to generation.  With him dwells the spirit of intellectual wisdom, the spirit of instruction and of power, and the spirit of those who sleep in righteousness; he shall judge secret things" (I Enoch 48, part 2:2-4).
The Messiah was not the Creator, but rather he was the special Son who obeyed his Father perfectly and died as the Savior, and was resurrected as "the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29). He is the "Elect One," and the "Chosen One," of YEHOVAH God. Thus Yeshua the Messiah, like no other human being, fulfills these ancient prophecies!
The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
As striking as the previous four extra-Biblical books are, in their amazing Messianic prophecies, which were written long before the Messiah, and in oral tradition may go back hundreds and even thousands of years before the Messiah, we have even more incredible evidence from the ancient writings of the Jews.
The most amazing testimony of all comes from a group of books called The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. These twelve books are biographies of the twelve sons of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. In their present form, they were written between 107 and 157 B.C., according to most scholarly opinion. Each testament purports to be the final admonition given by each of the sons of Jacob to his offspring, before he died, as was the custom in those by-gone years. The books are amazing in their intellectual understanding, and moral force. Written or transcribed by a Pharisee probably about 150 years before the Messiah, they contain evidence of divine inspiration, and therefore it is reasonable to conclude that they are exactly what they purport to be -- the transmissions of the original oral testaments of the twelve patriarchs, sons of Jacob, to their sons, sometime before the middle of the second millennium before the present era.
Says the Introduction to The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs:
"When you look beyond the unvarnished -- almost brutally frank -- passages of the text, you will discern a remarkable attestation of the expectations of the Messiah which existed a hundred years before Christ. And there is another element of rare value in this strange series. As Dr. R. H. Charles says in his scholarly work on the Pseudopigrapha: its ethical teaching 'has achieved a real immortality by influencing the thoughts and diction of the writers of the New Testament, and even those of our Lord. This ethical teaching, which is very much higher and purer than that of the Old Testament, is yet its true spiritual child, and helps to bridge the chasm that divides the ethics of the Old and New Testaments.'
"The instances of the influence of these writings on the New Testament are notable in the Sermon on the Mount which reflects the spirit and even uses phrases from these Testaments. St. Paul appears to have borrowed so freely that it seems as though he must have carried a copy of the Testaments with him on his travels.
"Thus the reader has before him, in these pages what is at once striking for its blunt primitive style and valuable as some of the actual source books of the Bible" (The Lost Books of Eden and the Forgotten Books of the Bible, p. 220).
Let's take a look at these remarkable books and the incredible message they hold for us -- even for us of this "end-time" generation!
The Testament of Reuben
The oldest son of Jacob was his firstborn son, Reuben, who lost the birthright because he slept with his father's concubine in a moment of weakness and temptation. In his testament to his children and progeny, Reuben admits his infatuation and lustful wickedness, and his contrite spirit of repentance when the gravity of his sin became apparent to him. He warns his children and offspring to beware of sexual temptation, and warns them to draw near to Levi and Judah and their descendants. Reuben ends his testimony, saying:
"Therefore I command you to hearken to Levi, because he shall know the LAW of the LORD, and shall give ordinances for judgment and shall sacrifice for all Israel until the consummation of the times, as the anointed High Priest, of whom the LORD spake. I adjure you by the God of heaven to do truth each one unto his neighbor and to entertain love each one for his brother. And draw ye near to Levi in humbleness of heart, that ye may receive a blessing from his mouth. For he shall bless Israel and Judah because him [the Messiah] hath the LORD chosen to be KING over all the nation [of Israel]. And bow down before his seed, for on OUR BEHALF it will DIE in wars visible AND invisible, and will be among you an ETERNAL KING" (chap. VI: 8-12, p. 30).
Notice in this passage, an allusion to a Messianic King who would rise up from the seed, or future offspring of Levi -- one who would "die" -- and die "on OUR behalf" -- that is, for us, for our sins! Was Yeshua the Messiah descended from Levi, and have Levitical blood flowing in his veins? Although we know he was of the tribe of Judah, we also know that there was admixture of blood through intermarriage between the tribes of Israel, particularly between Judah and Levi, who remained together down through history. Mary, the Messiah's mother, was the cousin of Elizabeth, married to Zecharias, a Levitical priest (Luke 1:5, 36). Elizabeth was of the daughters of Aaron, and Mary's cousin (v.36) -- they were related! This indicates that the Messiah was not only Jewish, in ancestry, descended from king David, as the prophecies foretold (Luke 1:32), but also was descended from Levi!
He fulfilled this prophecy of the Testament of Reuben, was chosen to be the KING OVER ALL ISRAEL (Luke 1:32), struggled and overcame Satan the devil in spiritual wars (Matthew 4:1-8), and DIED on our behalf, for our sins (II Corinthians 5:19-21), becoming an ETERNAL KING over Israel!
The Testament of Simeon
Simeon was the second son of Jacob and Leah. He was a very strong man, and was very jealous of Joseph, and became the instigator of the plot against his younger brother. In his testament, he grieved over his trespasses and sins, and the evil he had done toward Joseph, and warned his offspring to beware of the spirit of deceit and envy. He wrote, "Do ye also, my children, love each one his brother with a good heart, and the spirit of envy will withdraw from you" (p. 225).
Simeon prophesied of the future, that if his descendants would repent of their envy and stiff-necked stubbornness, they with him would flourish like a rose in Israel, and a lily in Jacob. At the end time, he said, the seed of Canaan would perish, a remnant would be left to Amalek, the Hittites would be utterly destroyed, and the people of the land of Ham (Africa) would perish. Simeon continued:
"Then shall all the earth rest from trouble, and all the world under heaven from war. Then shall a sign be glorified greatly unto Israel, FOR THE LORD GOD [YEHOVAH] APPEARING ON EARTH SHALL COME [along with the Messiah at the end of the age], AND SAVING THROUGH HIM [the Messiah] MAN. Then shall all the spirits of deceit be given to be trodden under foot, and men shall rule over wicked spirits. Then will I arise in joy, and will bless the Most High [YEHOVAH God] because of His marvelous works (VI: 4-7).
And now, my children, obey Levi and Judah, and be not lifted up against these two tribes, for FROM THEM SHALL ARISE UNTO YOU THE SALVATION OF [YEHOVAH] GOD. For the LORD [YEHOVAH] shall raise up from LEVI as it were a HIGH PRIEST [the Messiah], and from Judah, as it were a KING [the Messiah]. He [the Messiah] shall save all the race of Israel" (VII: 1-2, p. 34).
Notice these ASTOUNDING prophecies! This passage points out that YEHOVAH GOD HIMSELF will return to earth at the end of the age and, through the Messiah, will do just what Simeon prophesied -- the Messiah was chosen and anointed by YEHOVAH God to "save" men. He had both Levi and Judah as his ancestors, and will be both HIGH PRIEST AND KING in the Messianic world (Hebrews 5:5-6; Revelation 19:11-15). And he will save Israel through his salvation (Romans 11:25-26).
What a prophecy!
The Testament of Levi
Levi, the third son of Leah and Jacob, was called of YEHOVAH God to be a priest, and the ancestor of the priestly tribe in Israel. He saw the wickedness of men around him, and the world corrupting the LORD's way, and grieved for it, and prayed that he might be saved. YEHOVAH chose him to declare His mysteries to men, and to teach mankind YEHOVAH's laws, commandments, and statutes (see Malachi 2:5-7). Levi was told in a vision by an angel of YEHOVAH God, "And by thee and Judah shall the LORD [YEHOVAH GOD] appear among men" (chap. II:11).
Further on we read: "And thereupon the angel opened to me the gates of heaven, and I saw the holy temple, and upon a throne of glory the Most High [YEHOVAH God]. And He [YEHOVAH God] said to me: Levi, I have given thee the blessings of the priesthood UNTIL I COME AND SOJOURN IN THE MIDST OF ISRAEL" (V, 1-2). Once again we see that YEHOVAH God the Father is going to RETURN to this earth to dwell in Jerusalem amongst His people Israel. Zechariah 14 details His return.
In the Testament of Levi, we read,
"And they said to me, Levi, thy seed shall be divided into three offices, for a sign of the glory of the LORD [YEHOVAH] who is to come. And the first portion shall be great; yea, greater than it shall none be. The second shall be in the priesthood. And the third shall be called by a new name, because a king shall arise in Judah, and shall establish a NEW PRIESTHOOD, after the fashion of the Gentiles. And his presence is beloved, as a prophet of the Most High [YEHOVAH God], of the seed of Abraham our father" (chap. VIII: 11-15).
Not only does this refer to YEHOVAH God returning to this earth, but is also a direct prophecy of the Messiah, who inaugurated a new Priesthood, that of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:5-6, 9-10; 7:14-17)? He is the promised beloved "prophet" of whom Moses spoke, when YEHOVAH said to him: "The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me: unto him shall ye hearken" (Deuteronomy 18:15).
Levi foretold that his own descendants would go astray, fall into sexual license and wickedness, and commit ungodliness, as certainly was true in the days of the Messiah. Even the Jewish historian Josephus remarks about the wickedness and greed of the priesthood during that day, and their spiritual fornication under king Herod. Levi then made a most astonishing, incredible prophetic prediction. He declared:
"And behold, I am clear from your ungodliness and transgression, which ye [Levi's posterity] shall commit in the end of the ages DECEIVING ISRAEL, and stirring up against it great evils from the LORD [YEHOVAH God]. And ye [Levi's posterity] shall deal lawlessly together with Israel, so He [YEHOVAH] shall not bear with Jerusalem because of your wickedness; but the VEIL OF THE TEMPLE SHALL BE RENT, so as not to cover your shame. And ye shall be scattered as captives among the Gentiles, and shall be for a reproach and a curse there" (chap. X: 2-4, p. 42).
Remember, the Pharisee of the tribe of Levi who transcribed this Testament of Levi did so about 150 years before the Messiah, and about 220 years before the destruction of the Temple by the Roman generals Titus and Vespasian in 70 A.D.! Everything he predicted came to pass! This was no doubt a prophecy inspired by the spirit of YEHOVAH God (II Peter 1:19-20) -- and since YEHOVAH does not lie, this "testament" cannot be a fraud or a forgery, or an imitation -- but the prophecies it contains bear witness that it must be THE AUTHENTIC TESTAMENT OF LEVI HIMSELF! No man can make such prophecies, and then bring them to pass over 100-150 years after his own death!
Levi goes on, in chapter 4, attesting to the evil that his priestly descendants will do:
"Therefore, my children, I have learnt that at the end of the ages ye will transgress against the LORD [YEHOVAH], stretching out hands to wickedness; and to all the Gentiles shall ye become a scorn. [Isn't this the REAL reason for so much "Anti-Semitism" in the world today???!!!] For our father Israel is pure from the transgressions of the chief priests....Yea, ye shall bring a CURSE upon our RACE, because the light of the law which was given for to lighten every man this ye desire to DESTROY by teaching commandments contrary to the ordinances of [YEHOVAH] God....And ye shall be puffed up because of your priesthood, lifting yourselves up against men, and not only so, but also against the commandments of [YEHOVAH] God. For ye shall contemn the holy things with jests and laughter (XIV: 1-2, 4, 7).
Therefore the temple, which the LORD [YEHOVAH] shall choose, shall be LAID WASTE through your uncleanness, and ye shall be captive throughout all nations....(XV: 1).
"And ye shall make void the law, and set at nought the words of the prophets by evil perverseness. And ye shall persecute righteous men [the apostles and early church -- see Acts 3-5, 11], and hate the godly: the words of the faithful shall ye abhor....And your holy places shall be laid waste even to the ground because of him [just as the Messiah foretold himself -- see Matthew 24:1-2; 23:37-39; Luke 21:5-6]. And ye shall have no place that is clean, but ye shall be among the Gentiles a curse and a dispersion until HE [YEHOVAH GOD] SHALL AGAIN VISIT YOU, and in pity shall receive you" (XVI: 2, 4-5).
Remember, these prophecies were written down at least 100 years before the Messiah! Therefore, since he died on the tree in 31 A.D., these prophetic writings were put down on scrolls from 130 to 187 years before the Messiah actually lived -- and a further forty years before the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans and the Judeans dispersed in exile. Also, we see again, another prophecy of YEHOVAH God's future return. Fulfilled prophecy is not only a proof of divine inspiration, but a further proof that Yeshua, who fulfilled most of these amazing prophecies, is the true MESSIAH of ISRAEL!
Levi also prophesied of the first appearance of the Messiah, when he, as a man, would be signaled out and set apart for his mission in life. Levi was inspired to predict:
"Then shall the LORD [YEHOVAH God] raise up a new priest and to him all the words of the LORD shall be revealed; and he [the new priest -- the Messiah] shall execute a righteous judgment upon the earth for a multitude of days...And he shall be magnified in the world...and shall remove all darkness from under heaven, and there shall be peace in all the earth....And the angels of the glory of the presence of the LORD shall be glad in him (XVIII: 2, 3, 5).
"The heavens shall be opened, and from the temple of glory shall come upon him [the Messiah] sanctification, with the Father's voice as from Abraham to Isaac. And the glory of the Most High shall be uttered over him, and the spirit of understanding and sanctification shall rest upon him [the Messiah] in the water. For he shall give the majesty of the LORD to his sons in truth for evermore; and there shall none succeed him for all generations for ever. And in his priesthood the Gentiles shall be multiplied in knowledge upon the earth, and enlightened through the grace of the LORD [YEHOVAH]. In his [the Messiah's] priesthood shall sin come to an end, and the lawless shall cease to do evil. And he shall open the GATES OF PARADISE, and shall remove the threatening sword against Adam, and he shall give to the saints to eat from the tree of life, and the spirit of holiness shall be on them. And Beliar [Belial, or Satan the Devil] shall be bound [compare Revelation 20:1-2] by him, and he shall give power to his children to tread upon the evil spirits" (XVIII: 5-12, p. 46-47).
How precisely this prophecy was fulfilled! Matthew's gospel records a striking event, pictured in the language and prophecy of Levi:
"And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17).
The first part of this prophecy (as does the last part) projects forward to the Millennium when "there shall be peace in all the earth" due to the appearance of YEHOVAH God and the Messiah "and Beliar shall be bound." Not only were hundreds of Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the first appearance of Yeshua the Messiah but many more will be fulfilled when he arrives at the end of the age -- but also these amazing prophecies found in the Testaments of the Patriarchs!
The Testament of Judah
Judah was the fourth son of Jacob and Leah. He was quite the warrior, as a youth and as a man, but he became very aware of his faults -- drinking to excess, and sexual promiscuity. As he came to see himself, and repented of his wickedness, seeing how it affected his own life, and the foolish decisions he had made, is his final testament to his children and descendants, he warned them to beware of the sins of fornication and greed for wealth, in particular. His entire book is fascinating, as he admits his "love for money" and lust for the "beauty of women" (chap. XIII-XVIII). He knew that these two things would entwine and entangle his posterity. He knew his descendants would be kings, and that they would rule a kingdom among men. He foretold that they would become lewd, consort with witchcraft, and idolatries, and suffer plagues from YEHOVAH God as a result -- famine and pestilence, slaughter and rape, plundering and destruction, and enslavement among the Gentiles.
After all these things, however, Judah foretold:
"And after these things shall a STAR arise to you from Jacob in peace. And a MAN [not a half-God, half-man hybrid!] shall arise, like the sun of righteousness. Walking with the sons of men in meekness and righteousness; and NO SIN shall be found in him [the Messiah]. And the heavens shall be opened unto him, to pour out the spirit, even the blessing of the Holy Father [compare Acts 2:1-5]; and He [YEHOVAH God] shall pour out the spirit of grace upon you.
"And ye shall be unto Him [YEHOVAH God] sons in truth, and ye shall walk in His [YEHOVAH's] commandments first and last. Then shall the scepter of my kingdom [Judah was the royal line that provided kings over Israel] shine forth; and from your root shall arise a stem; and from it shall grow a rod of righteousness [the Messiah] to the Gentiles, to judge and to save all that call upon the LORD [YEHOVAH] (XXIV: 1-6).
"And after these things shall Abraham and Isaac and Jacob arise unto LIFE, and I and my brethren shall be CHIEFS of the tribes of Israel....(chap. XXV: 1).
"Observe, therefore, my children, ALL the LAW of the LORD [YEHOVAH], for there is HOPE for all them who hold fast unto His ways" (XXVI: 1, pp. 59-60).
What a testimony! What a Testament! May YEHOVAH God give us all the wisdom and understanding to listen, and to heed, diligently, to these wise words!
The Testament of Issachar
Issachar, the fifth son of Jacob and Leah, was a good and obedient son, and was not a busybody in other people's affairs. He was not envious of others, did not slander others, nor did he censure others but walked in "singleness of eye." On the poor and oppressed he bestowed the good things of the earth which YEHOVAH blessed him with, in the singleness of his heart. He instructed his sons, "Keep, therefore, my children, the law of God, and get singleness..." (chap. V: 1).
Issachar warns his sons that "in the last times" their descendants would stray from the right path, and cleave to insatiable desires, leave guilelessness, and draw near to malice; forsaking YEHOVAH God's commandments, they would "cleave unto Beliar" the devil. As a result, they would be dispersed among the Gentiles, and serve their enemies. In his final words, he said to them:
"Except my wife, I have not known any woman. I never committed fornication by the uplifting of my eyes. I drank not wine, to be led astray thereby; I coveted not any desirable thing that was my neighbor's. Guile arose not in my heart; a lie passed not through my lips. If any man were in distress, I joined my sighs with his, and I shared my bread with the poor. I wrought godliness, all my days I kept truth. I loved the LORD [YEHOVAH]; likewise also every man with all my heart" (chap. VII: 2-6).
Although Issachar's Testament does not itself contain prophecies of the Messiah, he does foretell of his descendants in the end-times forsaking the way of YEHOVAH God. And he tells us his own example, giving us all valuable admonitions to adhere to as we seek the way of YEHOVAH God.
The Testament of Zebulon
Zebulon, the sixth son of Jacob and Leah, was an inventor and philanthropist. He wept many days because of the plot his other brothers hatched against Joseph, and was an unwilling but fearful participant in the conspiracy. Whereas YEHOVAH God punished the other brothers for their part in the betrayal of Joseph, and they all became sick unto death, Zebulon escaped the plague, for the LORD knew he was not a willing participant in the evil deed (chap. 2:1-4). He was a man of compassion.
Zebulon also prophesied of the last days of this present age on the earth and of the return of YEHOVAH God the Father to Jerusalem:
"And after these things shall there arise unto you the LORD [YEHOVAH] Himself, the light of righteousness, and ye shall return unto your land. And ye shall SEE HIM [YEHOVAH God] IN JERUSALEM, for His name's sake. And again through the wickedness of your works shall you provoke Him to anger. And ye shall be cast away by Him unto the TIME OF CONSUMMATION (IX: 8-9, p. 70).
"And now, my children, grieve not that I am dying, nor be cast down in that I am coming to my end. For I shall rise again in the midst of you, as a ruler in the midst of his sons; and I shall rejoice in the midst of my tribe, as many as shall keep the law of the LORD [YEHOVAH], and the commandments of Zebulon their father. But upon the ungodly, shall the LORD bring eternal fire, and destroy them throughout all generations" (chap. X: 1-3, p. 71).
The Testament of Dan
Dan, the seventh son, was the son of Jacob and Bilhah. He was the jealous son, notable for his anger and wrath. His testament is a very valuable thesis on the subject of "Anger." He declares, "For anger is blindness, and does not suffer one to see the face of any man with truth." As he lay dying, he warns his children, saying, "I tell you of a truth, unless ye keep yourselves from the spirit of lying and of anger, and love truth and longsuffering, ye shall perish."
Dan warns his descendants that they will also turn aside from the truth, and that their prince would be Satan, and that they would sin with the sons of Levi, while the sons of Judah would be covetous, plundering other men's goods like "lions." For these sins, they will receive "all the plagues of Egypt, and all the evils of the Gentiles" (chap. V). But after they repent, and return to the LORD, they will obtain mercy and peace.
Says Dan, in conclusion:
"And there shall arise unto you from the tribe of Levi the salvation of the LORD; and HE shall make war against Beliar [Satan], and execute an everlasting vengeance on our enemies...And no longer shall Jerusalem endure desolation, nor Israel be led captive; for the LORD [YEHOVAH God] shall be in the midst of it, and the Holy One of Israel [YEHOVAH God] shall reign over it....(V: 10-13).
"Draw near unto [YEHOVAH] God and unto the angel [messenger] that intercedes for you, for he is a mediator between [YEHOVAH] God and man, and for the peace of Israel he shall stand up against the kingdom of the enemy....(VI: 2).
"And it shall be in the time of the lawlessness of Israel, that the LORD [YEHOVAH God] will not depart from them, but will TRANSFORM them into a nation that doeth His will, for none of the angels will be equal unto him. And His name shall be in every place in Israel (VI: 6-7).
"Keep, therefore, yourselves my children, from every evil work, and cast away wrath and all lying, and love truth and long-suffering. And the things which ye have heard from your father, do ye impart to your children" (chap. VI: 8-9, pp. 74-75).
Once again we see that YEHOVAH God Himself is going to return at the end of the age and reside in the midst of Jerusalem (the Temple) and reign over it and the entire world while the Messiah reigns over Israel, as we have previously seen.
The Testament of Naphtali
Naphtali was the eighth son, born of Jacob and Bilhah. He was a very athletic, swift runner, and ran like a deer, so Jacob appointed him to be the message-bearer in the family (chap. 1:15). Naphtali knew his progeny would also stray from YEHOVAH's commandments in the end times, and do according to all the wickedness of Sodom (chap. 1:28). He wrote:
"And the LORD [YEHOVAH God] shall scatter them upon the face of all the earth, until the compassion of the LORD shall come, A MAN [THE MESSIAH] WORKING RIGHTEOUSNESS and working mercy unto all them that are afar off, and to them that are near" (chap. IV: 5).
Naphtali went on:
"Do ye also, charge your children that they be united to Levi and to Judah; for through them shall salvation arise unto Israel, and in them shall Jacob be blessed. For THROUGH THEIR TRIBES SHALL [YEHOVAH] GOD APPEAR ON EARTH, to save the race of Israel, and to gather together the righteous from amongst the Gentiles [northern ten tribes]" (chap. VIII: 2-3, p. 81)).
Here again we see a prophecy which will be fulfilled to the letter by both the Messiah and YEHOVAH God Himself when they return to Jerusalem and rule Israel and the earth from a newly built Temple. Notice, also, that the Messiah is referred to as a MAN -- not some hybrid half-God, half-man pre-existent being!
The Testament of Gad
Gad, the ninth son, born of Jacob and Zilpah, was a shepherd and strong man, and valiant in defending the flocks. He hated Joseph in his heart, because he looked upon him as a tattle-tale and little "rat" who told Jacob, their father, about the apparent misdeeds of his older brothers. He also hated him for his dreams, and wanted to kill him, but Joseph was delivered out of their hands by being sold to the Ishmaelite trading caravan. Gad later repented of his hatred, and wrote a revealing and profound statement on the subject:
"For the spirit of hatred worketh together with Satan, through hastiness of spirits, in all things to men's death; but the spirit of love worketh together with the law of [YEHOVAH] God in long-suffering unto the salvation of men (IV: 7).
"For it [hatred] constantly mates with lying, speaking against the truth; and it makes small things to be great, and causeth the light to be darkness, and calls the sweet bitter, and teaches slander, and wrath, and war, and violence and all covetousness; it filleth the heart with evils and devilish poison (V: 1).
"These things I say to you from experience, my children, that ye may drive forth hatred, which is of the devil, and cleave to the love of [YEHOVAH] God. Righteousness casteth out hatred, humility destroyeth envy" (chap. V: 2-3).
With deep insight, Gad wrote, "For true repentance after a godly sort destroyeth ignorance, and driveth away the darkness, and enlighteneth the eyes, and giveth knowledge to the soul, and leadeth the mind to salvation" (v. 32).
The Testament of Asher
Asher, the tenth son, son of Jacob and Zilpah, was a philosophical type of person whom Ralph Waldo Emerson would have enjoyed. His testament is also filled with ethical wisdom and profound insights into human nature. Similar to Herbert Armstrong, who often spoke of the "two ways," the "way of give and the way of get," so Asher declared:
"Two ways hath [YEHOVAH] God given the sons of men, and two inclinations and issues. Therefore all things are by twos, one over against the other...Therefore if the soul take pleasure in the good inclination, all its actions are in righteousness; and if it sin, it straightway repenteth. For, having the thoughts set upon righteousness, and casting away wickedness, it straightway overthroweth the evil, and uprooteth the sin.
"But if it incline to the evil inclination, all its actions are in wickedness, and it driveth away the good, and cleaveth to the evil, and is ruled by Beliar [Satan, Belial]; even though it work what is good, he [Satan] perverteth it to evil" (chap. VI: 3-8).
Asher also told his progeny that they would sin, and be delivered into the hands of their enemies in the latter days, and be scattered upon the face of the earth. He declared this would happen, until:
"Until the Most High [YEHOVAH God] shall visit the earth, coming Himself, and breaking the head of the dragon in the water. He [YEHOVAH God] shall save Israel and ALL the Gentiles [northern ten tribes in exile]" (chap. VII: 3, p. 90).
Here Asher declares that YEHOVAH God the Father (the Most High) will visit (return) to this earth and "break the head of the dragon" -- saving Israel and the tribes scattered abroad known as "Gentiles."
Yes, the Testament of Asher clearly says that the Jews knew -- a hundred years before the Messiah, or even earlier -- going all the way back to oral tradition coming down from ancient Asher himself -- that YEHOVAH God Himself was going to return to this earth at the end of the age. Asher plainly says that "the Most High shall visit the earth"! Isn't that plain as daylight? The Old Testament (Tanakh) is merely telling the TRUTH!
The Testament of Joseph
Joseph was the firstborn of Jacob and Rachel, and was the one who inherited the "birthright" promises of great prosperity, wealth, territory, and power (Genesis 49:22-26). His two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, were adopted as Jacob's own sons, and inherited his "birthright" promises (Genesis 48:12-22). The son who was sold into slavery, and threatened with death by his brothers, the testament of Joseph is especially poignant. His temptation by the seductress wife of Potiphar is an account that all young men should read, and meditate upon. Joseph's faith and continual loyalty to YEHOVAH God, and devout obedience to His commandments, no matter what evil or darkness seemed to prevail in his life, is an example for all to strive to copy.
Joseph refused the passionate, ardent advances of Potiphar's wife, and her intrigues and plots to inveigle him in sin. He said to his own children, in his testament,
"Ye see, therefore, my children, how great things patience worketh, and prayer with fasting. So ye too, delivereth him from evil, but also exalteth him even as me. For in every way the man is lifted up, whether in deed, or in word, or in thought" (chap. X:1, 2-3, p. 96).
Joseph concludes with a stirring exhortation and challenge to his descendants, the Anglo-Saxon peoples of the world, the Unites States -- modern Manasseh -- and Great Britain and Canada -- modern Ephraim. He declares:
"Do ye, my children, honor Levi and Judah, for from them shall arise the salvation of Israel [the Messiah]" (XIX: 11, p. 101).
The Testament of Benjamin
The final Testament of the twelve sons of Jacob is that of the last born, the second son of Jacob and Rachel, Benjamin -- the baby of the family. Benjamin, who had a special relationship with his older brother Joseph, tells of Joseph coming to Jacob, to beseech him to pray for his brothers who had done evil to him, that the LORD would not impute any of the sins to them that they had done to him. Jacob, moved to tears at his son's entreaty, cried out:
"My good child, thou hast prevailed over the bowels of thy father Jacob. And he embraced him, and kissed him for two hours, saying: In thee shall be fulfilled the PROPHECY of heaven and that a BLAMELESS ONE [THE MESSIAH] SHALL BE DELIVERED UP [as Joseph himself, a blameless one, had been delivered up!] FOR LAWLESS MEN, and a SINLESS ONE [THE MESSIAH] SHALL DIE FOR UNGODLY MEN" (chap. III: 7-8, p. 103).
The Jews of the Messiah's time, and ever since that time, up to the present day, as a whole have been ignorant of the real meaning of this prophecy -- the fact that there would be TWO APPEARANCES OF THE MESSIAH --
1) the first appearance as the natural born son of Joseph and Mary, that is, One who would suffer humiliation, degradation, poverty, and indignity, and imprisonment, even as Joseph did -- this would be the SUFFERING SERVANT MESSIAH -- "Messiah ben Joseph."
2) the second appearance would be as the "son of David," the king -- when the Messiah will appear to judge the nations of Israel, and his people, to redeem Israel, and to usher in the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God (Revelation 11:14-19). At his second appearance he will come as the "LION of the tribe of JUDAH," who is the "root of DAVID" (Revelation 5:5). We must also remember that YEHOVAH God Himself will return at this time and will "strike the nations [that have assembled against Jerusalem] and He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron" (Revelation 19:11-21).
Benjamin goes into incredible detail, predicting the sufferings of the Messiah, in his first appearance. He relates:
"Nevertheless, the temple of [YEHOVAH] God shall be in your portion, and the last temple shall be more glorious than the first. And the twelve tribes shall be gathered together there, and all the Gentiles, until the Most High shall send forth His salvation [YESHUA , the Hebrew name for the Messiah, means "Salvation" in Hebrew] in the visitation of an ONLY BEGOTTEN PROPHET" (IX: 2, p. 106).
After the Messiah is sent from Heaven a new Temple will be built to house the Shekinah Glory of YEHOVAH God. This new Temple, which "shall be more glorious than the first," will contain the thrones of both YEHOVAH God and His Messiah.
Benjamin continues his discourse on the Messiah who was to come, exhorting his children to do truth to their neighbors, and to keep the commandments of YEHOVAH God and the Law of the LORD. Seeing into the future, he declares:
"...then shall ye see Enoch, Noah, and Shem, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, rising on the right hand in gladness. Then shall we also rise, each one over our tribe, worshipping the King of heaven [YEHOVAH God]. Then also all men shall rise, some unto glory and some unto shame" (X: 6-8, p. 107).
"And the LORD [YEHOVAH] shall judge Israel first, for their unrighteousness. And then shall He [YEHOVAH God] judge all the Gentiles" (X: 8-9).
"...but one beloved of the LORD [the Messiah], a doer of His [YEHOVAH's] good pleasure in His mouth...and he shall be inscribed in the holy books, both his work and his word, and he shall be a CHOSEN ONE of [YEHOVAH] God for ever" (XI: 2, 4, p. 107).
Benjamin's testimony, like that of the other eleven brothers, contains both moral and ethical exhortations to his offspring, as well as basic, fundamental prophecies pertaining to their future, their falling into wickedness and sin, and prophecies of how YEHOVAH God the Father will send a Savior, a Redeemer, the Messiah. The Messiah will save his people from their sins, and the nation of Israel. YEHOVAH God will reign over Israel as well as the Gentile nations of the world. He will reign over them, and teach all men everywhere the laws of YEHOVAH God, and His commandments and ways.
The Reign of the Messiah
The prophet Isaiah tells us, "And it shall come to pass in the LAST DAYS, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
"And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob [YEHOVAH God]; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the LAW, and the word of the LORD from [the Temple in] Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:1-3). Isaiah continues, "And He [YEHOVAH God] shall JUDGE among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more" (v. 4).
No more war colleges! No more military institutes! No more Anapolis, West Point, or Air Force Academy! No longer will there be any need for nations to have navies, armies, and air forces, to defend themselves. The YEHOVAH God Himself will defend and deliver His people. During that time, Isaiah declares, "They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9).
Do You KNOW YEHOVAH God and the Messiah?
The New Testament tells us the life story of the Messiah, when he was born on this earth from the union of Joseph and Mary and, AS A FULLY HUMAN MAN, to suffer and to die for us, paying the penalty for our sins. It describes his marvelous, holy character, his deep abiding love for YEHOVAH God and His people, and his compassion and mercy.
The Old Testament prophesies of his appearance, the first time, and of his second appearance, soon to occur. These extra-Biblical, non-canonical books, add testimony and witness to that of the Scriptures, containing prophecies made at least a hundred years or more before the Messiah appeared among us! Many of these original prophecies very likely go back to the time of the patriarchs and prophets, as "oral traditions" and "oral history" among the Jews. As such, therefore, these testimonies strike at the heart of disbelief and skepticism, and the scoffing ridicule of unbelievers, and those who refuse to face the truth.
What about you? If you are a Jew, have you studied these extra-Biblical and the Old Testament Scriptures, which describe and predict the Messiah? If you are simply an unbeliever, have you given this matter your concentrated attention? Could you be missing out on the most important matter of all human life? Think about it.
How well do you "know" YEHOVAH God and the Messiah, and their teachings? Don't you think it is about time you "check them out" -- make their acquaintance -- and learn all you can about them?
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
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