My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECIES ON THE COMING OF THE MESSIAH
By Bishop Alexander (Mileant)
The Old Testament Prophets
[There are sixteen books in the Holy Bible called by the names of the Prophets although not necessarily written by their hands. A prophet is one who speaks by the direct inspiration of God; only secondarily does the word mean one who foretells the future. Four of the prophetic books are those of the so-called major prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.]
The central theme of the Old Testament Holy Books is the coming of the Messiah and the establishment of the Kingdom of God among people. We gathered herein the main Old Testament prophecies about the Messiah, the Savior of the Logos/Word, with the aim of discussing their contents and to show how they were fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ and in the New Testament Church.
Despite their great antiquity, the Old Testament prophecies have in no way lost their actuality. They help the believing person to understand their faith more deeply and fully. To the unbelieving person, they serve as proof of the existence of God and His participation in human life. Just the fact that the Prophets could prophesy the occurrences of the future, with such accuracy and with such detail, hundreds and thousands of years in advance, gives witness that God spoke through them. For the Jews who acknowledge God and seek the Truth, we hope this will help them to understand more clearly the Holy Writings of their great ancestors and to see Who, in accordance with the Prophets, is their long-awaited King and Savior.
Besides that, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies in the Lord Jesus Christ, as we shall see, precludes any possibility of another messiah. There could only be one true Messiah "He Who has already come." All other pretenders to this title, in the past and in the future, are impostors, frauds and "wolves in sheep's clothing." The last false-Messiah, who will come prior to the end of the world, will be the Antichrist. In accordance with the prophecies of the ancient Prophets and Apostles, many people will come to believe in him, as an ingenious leader and a "Savior" of mankind. But he will bring only grief and destruction to the world.
Survey of the Messianic Prophecies
The Old Testament books, as we shall see, are filled with prophecies about the Messiah and His Blessed Kingdom. The goal of the Old Testament prophecies was to prepare the Jews, and through them all of mankind, for the coming of the Savior of the world, so that when He came He could be recognized and they would believe in Him. Yet, the task of the Prophets was difficult for several reasons. First of all, the Messiah was to be not only a great person, but at the same time God, or--the God-person. For this reason, the Prophets were faced with the task of revealing the Godly nature of the Messiah, but in such a way, that it did not give rise to polytheism, to which ancient people were so prone, Jews included.
Secondly, the Prophets had to show that the work of the Messiah would consist not only of the external improvements of living conditions: in the abolition of illness, death, poverty, social inequality, crime and so forth. The goal of His coming into the world in the first place was to help people rid themselves of inner evils--sin and passions--and to show the way to God. Truly, physical evil is only the result of moral evil--sinful deprivation. Why even a wound cannot be healed by applying grafted skin to it, before the infection is cleaned out. For this reason the Messiah would have to begin the act of salvation of people by destroying evil at the very root--in the soul of the person. Without this no external, artificial or compulsory changes in living conditions could bring happiness to humility.
However, spiritual rebirth is impossible without the free will and active participation of the person himself. From this stem all the difficulties of the Messiah's task: a person must be saved through his own voluntary participation! Since the person is presented with the freedom to choose between good and evil, then it follows that universal happiness is not feasible, as long as the righteous and sinners coexist. In the end there must come a selection between one or the other. Only after God's interference in the fate of humanity by universal judgment and selection, can a new life begin for the spiritually reborn, in which happiness, peace, eternal life and other blessings will reign. The Old Testament prophecies encompass all the facets of this long and complex spiritual-physical process associated with the coming of the Messiah...
In the Old Testament books, several hundred prophecies about the Messiah and His Blessed Kingdom can be found. They are scattered throughout almost all the books of the Old Testament, beginning with the Five Books of Moses and ending with the last Prophets Zechariah and Malachi. The Prophet Moses, King David, the Prophets Isaiah, Daniel and Zechariah wrote the most about the Messiah. We will mention only the most important prophecies, and along the way will stress those main thoughts which are touched upon them. Seeing these prophecies, for the most part, in chronological order, we shall see how they gradually revealed to the Jews newer and newer facts about the coming Messiah: about His God-person nature, about His character and course of action, about many details of His life. Sometimes, the messianic prophecies consisted of symbols and allegories...
The word "messiah" (messiah)--is from the Hebrew and means "anointed," i.e., anointed by the Holy Spirit. In the Greek translation it is written "Christos" ("Christ"). In ancient times, the anointed were called kings, prophets, and high priests, because during their ordination to these positions holy oil was poured on their heads, as the symbol of the grace of the Holy Spirit, which they received in order to successfully execute the responsibility place on them. In the capacity of a proper name, the Prophets always related the word "Messiah" to the certain Anointed of God, the Savior of the world. We will use the name Messiah, Christ and Savior alternately, having in view One and the same Being.
(To be continued)
MY BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
Glory Be To GOD For All Things!
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God