|YESHUA AND THE MESSIANIC PROPHECIES
Part 2, THE HIDDEN MESSIAH
The people of Judah knew many prophecies of the Messiah, but did not believe that Yeshua fulfilled
those prophecies. This also is according to prophecy. For example, as the word of God came to Isaiah, he
was told: "Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive
not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with
their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." (Is. 6:
Additionally, in Part 1, I discussed a messianic prophecy which showed Christ would be hidden. "Listen, O
isles, unto Me; and hearken, ye people, from far; The Lord hath called Me from the womb; from the bowels
of My mother hath He made mention of My name. And He hath made My mouth like a sharp sword (God put
His Words in Christ's mouth); in the shadow of His hand hath He hid Me..." (Is. 49:1,2). (For a full
explanation, see No. 91, "Yeshua And The Messianic Prophecies.")
There are many instances of hidden prophecies and misunderstood prophecies that caused the Jews to
turn away from Yeshua. For example, His miracles were not seen as a sign of the Kingdom because the
fact that He would do miracles was hidden in prophecy. Here is an extremely obscure reference to
"Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows..." (Is. 53:4). Christ lifted the grief of the
survivors of the three people that He resurrected: the father of a beloved daughter (Mark 5:35-43), a
widow who lost her only son (Luke 7:12-15), and His friends Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus (John
11:1-44). Christ lifted the sorrows of countless others when He cured them of sickness and affliction. The
New Testament is full of incidents of healing by Christ and His disciples.
These miracles are hidden in the Old Testament scriptures. If they had been overt, the priests would
have accepted Christ. So Christ's miracles are almost hidden in prophecy and are only suggested in the
signs that God gave Moses to prove that God sent him to deliver Israel from bondage.
The leprous hand was the second sign that God gave to Moses so that Moses could prove that God sent
him. "And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand
into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine
hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom,
and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee,
neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign." (Ex. 4:6-8).
That the leprous hand was a gift of healing was only shown when God smote Miriam with leprosy and
Moses prayed and God healed her. Here is a short version of the story.
"And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for
he had married an Ethiopian woman. And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath He
not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and
stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. And the anger
of the Lord was kindled against them; and He departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle;
and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was
leprous. And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we
have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half
consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb. And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her
now, O God, I beseech thee. And the Lord said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should
she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be
received in again." (Num. 12:1,2,5,9-14). Miriam could only have returned to the camp if she were healed,
lepers were ostracized.
Obviously, if God meant that the miracles which Christ performed should be a sign of the Messiah to His
contemporaries, He would not have taken such pains to hide them in prophecy.
The priests and the scribes understood many prophecies of the Messiah. For example, they knew He
would come forth from the seed of biblical king David.
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall
reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved,
and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our
Righteousness." (Jer. 23:5,6).
"And there shall come forth a rod (David) out of the stem of Jesse (David's father), and a Branch (Messiah)
shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and
understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord..." (Is.
The rulers of Judah also knew that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. "But thou, Bethlehem
Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of (towns in) Judah, yet out of thee shall He come
forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
Because of these prophecies, the leaders of the people expected the Messiah to be born and raised in
Judah. Christ was indeed born in Bethlehem, the city of David, but He lived there for only a few weeks.
Here is the story of His birth.
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world
should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from
Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;
(because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being
great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should
be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid
him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:1,3-7).
Forty days after His birth, Joseph and Mary took Christ to the temple in Jerusalem to present Him to the
Lord. "And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they
brought Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord..." (Luke 2:2). Two prophets, Simon and Anna, came
into the temple and recognised Christ as the promised Messiah.
"And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and
devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto
him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came
by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the
custom of the law, then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest thou thy
servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which thou hast
prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel."
Anna spoke of seeing the infant Messiah to those who came into the temple. "And there was one Anna, a
prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an
husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which
departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in
that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him (Christ) to all them that looked for
redemption in Jerusalem." (Luke 2:36-38).
When Herod heard (from three wise men and from men of the temple) that a child born in Bethlehem had
been proclaimed the Messiah, he sought to kill the child. An angel warned Joseph.
"And when they (the wise men) were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a
dream, saying, Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until
I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him. When he arose, he took the young
Child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt: and was there until the death of Herod: that it
might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called My Son.
(See Hosea 11:1.) Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men (who never reported
back to him), was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and
in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently
enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, in
Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her
children, and would not be comforted, because they are not (see Jer. 31:15)." (Matt. 2:13-18).
After Herod's death Joseph and his family returned to Nazareth and Christ was raised in the Jewish
community there, a fact that obscured His birthplace and lineage. This was another reason for the learned
men of Judah to call Him an impostor, but again it fulfilled a messianic prophecy.
"Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of
Josedech, the high priest; and speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold
the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple
of the Lord: even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule
upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between
them both." (Zech. 6:11-13).
This scripture is to be fully realized in the end time, however it applied to Christ in His day, "He shall grow
up out of His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord..." Christ should have grown up in Judah,
but instead grew up in Nazareth. The temple that He built was composed of people, living stones like Him.
Here are two stone prophecies of Christ which show that He would be rejected. "The stone which the
builders refused is become the head stone of the corner (of the spiritual temple)." (Ps. 118:22). "And He
shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of
Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem." (Is. 8:14).
And here is a stone prophecy that shows that Christ would prevail over those who rejected Him.
"Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious
corner stone, a sure foundation (for the spiritual temple): he that believeth shall not make haste (Christ's
first ministry to Judah was forty years, from His baptism to the destruction of Jerusalem)." (Is. 28:16).
The prophecies of Christ's crucifixion were also obscure. Psalms 22, which is a prophecy of Christ's
death, seems on the surface to be an exaggeration of the troubles of King David, who wrote it. Isaiah 53,
while specifying that Christ would die, does not explain the manner of His death (crucifixion) nor exactly
who would kill Him. That the men of Judah would kill Christ is only hinted at in Isaiah 5. Here is the
"Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a
vineyard in a very fruitful hill: and he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with
the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked
that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes." (Is. 5:1,2).
As Verse 5 explains, "the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His
pleasant plant." The Lord took the seed of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Judah and planted them as vines in
the Holy Land that He had given them for their inheritance. He chose for them a goodly land, hilly but
fruitful, perfect for growing grapes. The specific "very fruitful hill" was Jerusalem where the temple of
God was and where many saints dwelt.
The vineyard is fenced, which means it is defended. Also this vineyard has had its stones removed.
Stones mar cultivated land, they make plowing difficult or impossible. When God instructed Israel to
punish Moab, He told them: "And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell
every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones." (2 Kings 3:
19). God removed the stones from the Holy Land by instructing Israel to destroy the possessors of the
land when they came up from the wilderness of Egypt. Thus God removed all impediments to the peaceful
cultivation of the Holy Land by His people Israel.
A tower is a place of refuge and safety. It is also a prophet. As God said to Jeremiah, "I have set thee for a
tower and a fortress among My people, that thou mayest know and try their way." (Jer. 6:27). In Jeremiah's
time he was the salvation of the flock; they followed God's instructions (which Jeremiah prophesied to
them), accepted the Babylonian captivity and lived. A tower then is a prophetic message, the only safety
in troubled times. "And by a prophet the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he
preserved." (Hosea 12:13).
A winepress is an instrument of judgment. Here is God's judgment on the sinners among His people. "I
have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me: for I will tread them in
Mine anger, and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will
stain all My raiment." (Is. 63:3).
Finally, in describing His vineyard, the Lord says that "He looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it
brought forth wild grapes." (Is. 5:2). Wild grapes produce a bitter and unsatisfactory wine, so the Lord was
greatly displeased with His people.
"And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt Me and My vineyard.
What could have been done more to My vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked
that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?" (Is. 5:3,4). God invites those about to be
judged to admit the fault is theirs, He has done all He could for them. They have refused to walk in His
"And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall
be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: and I will lay it waste: it shall
not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that
they rain no rain upon it." (Is. 5:5,6). This is God's judgment on Jerusalem and Judah. They are to be left
undefended, their substance will be taken by others, they will be destroyed and the land laid waste. They
shall be replaced in their land by briers and thorns (the heathen). Further, the living water, the life giving
rain of the prophetic message will be taken from them.
Note that God has done nothing to the tower, the prophet. The men of Judah have torn the tower down
(crucified Christ, a prophet like unto Moses, see Deut. 18:18). As the next verse shows, that is the reason
for the judgment on Judah and Jerusalem.
"For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant: and
He looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry." (Is. 5:7). This is the
reason that the judgment of God falls on the city Jerusalem and the land of Judah. They oppressed
Christ's ministry, then crucified Him.
Next week, God willing, there will be more on the messianic prophecies. That article will be about Isaiah 7,
showing how it legitimizes (contains a prophecy of) the New Testament.
Amo Paul Bishop Roden