126 – MOSES AND THE MESSIAH 3
The baptism of Moses was a picture. “And all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea” (1 Cor.10:2). And in verse six we read: “Now these things happened as examples for us” (1 Cor.10:6). We can conclude that Moses himself was a great figure. Moses foretold that Jehovah god was going to raise a prophet superior to him. “Jehovah your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen, you shall listen to him” (Deut.18:15; John 1:41-45).
Being a picture, we can trace an exact profile of the Messiah of Israel through Moses.
1. Moses was the great deliverer of Israel’s captivity. “And now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them (the sons of Israel)” (Ex.3:9-10). The promised Messiah would come to restore Israel and submit the nations. “‘Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming’ says Jehovah of hosts. BUT WHO CAN ENDURE THE DAY OF HIS COMING? AND WHO CAN STAND WHEN HE APPEARS? FOR HE IS LIKE A REFINER’S FIRE AND LIKE FULLERS’ SOAP. AND HE WILL SIT AS A SMELTER AND A PURIFIER OF SILVER, AND HE WILL PURIFY THE SONS OF LEVI” (Mal.3:1-3). This text of Malachi is directed to the Jews and not to the Church. The prophet Haggai agrees with Malachi. “For thus says Jehovah of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. AND I WILL SHAKE ALL THE NATIONS; AND THEY WILL COME WITH THE WEALTH OF ALL NATIONS; AND I WILL FILL THIS HOUSE WITH MY GLORY,’ SAYS JEHOVAH OF HOSTS” (Hag.2:6-7). The restoration of Israel implies that the nations will be demoted. “‘For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds,’ declares Jehovah, ‘because they have called you an outcast, saying: “IT IS ZION; no one cares for her.”’ Thus says Jehovah, ‘Behold, I will restore the fortunes of the tents of Jacob and have compassion on his dwelling places; and the city shall be rebuilt on its ruin, and the place shall stand on its rightful place. And from them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; and I will multiply them and they shall not be diminished; I will also honor them, and they shall not be insignificant. Their children also shall be as formerly, and their congregation shall be established before Me; AND I WILL PUNISH THEIR OPPRESSORS” (Jer.30:17-20). In verse 16 Jeremiah says, “AND ALL YOUR ADVERSARIES, EVERY ONE OF THEM, SHALL GO INTO CAPTIVITY; AND THOSE WHO PLUNDER YOU SHALL BE FOR PLUNDER, AND ALL WHO PREY UPON YOU I WILL GIVE FOR PREY” (Jer. 3:16).
2. The angel Gabriel announced to Mary the birth of Jesus as the one who would sit on the throne of David to restore Israel and submit the nations, according to the prophecies of Jehovah (Luke 1:31-33). In chapter number 2, Luke states that Jesus is the Messiah by saying to the shepherds, “For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). But Jesus did not accept the throne of David, saying that his kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). In place of submitting the nations under Israel, Jesus told the disciples, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt.28:18-20). Moses was a picture of a carnal and earthly messiah that would deliver Israel from a political yoke, and would make it the most powerful nation of this world. Jesus was and is the spiritual and heavenly Messiah, which delivers all men from a satanic and dark yoke in order to make them citizens of the kingdom of God the Father, in heaven, not on earth, and for this reason he preached, saying, “THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND” (Matt.4:17).
3. Jesus is the Messiah, the only Messiah, but not the tribal messiah and the exclusive one of Israel, announced by Jehovah, but the Savior of all men condemned by the same Jehovah to extinction; not the private god of an evil and sinful people, but the God full of love towards all men and the Savior of all (Rom.3:29; John 3:16-17; 2 Tim.4:18; 1 Pet.1:3-5). Jesus did not say that Jehovah is not the Father; he simply did not reveal through his life and through his works the messiah that Jehovah publicly proclaimed, and firmly affirmed: “The works that I do in My Father’s name, these bear witness of Me” (John 10:25). At another time, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9). “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38). Jesus, with his life, his character, and his works destroyed the prophecies of Jehovah about a warrior messiah, king of the nations and protector of Israel, and for this his people crucified him. The Jews believed in the messiah of the Old Testament, of Jehovah, who did not come, and will not come. The Church believes that Jesus accumulates two functions, that is, he is the Savior of all men, revealing the love of the Father in the dispensation of grace, but will return, changed, to restore Israel and rule over the nations with a rod of iron (Ps.2:8-9; Rev.2:26-27). If Jesus, when he was born in the flesh was meek and humble, servant of all (Matt.11:29; Mark 10:44-45) and when he returns will reveal another facet of his character, then Jesus changes as Jehovah changed, but we read in the letter to the Hebrews: “JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY AND TODAY, YES AND FOREVER” (Heb.13:8).
4. The second characteristic that identifies Moses with the messiah of Jehovah is the rod. When Jehovah called Moses to the great work of the deliverance of Israel, Moses feared to be rejected by the people. Jehovah told him, “‘What is that in your hand?’ And he said, ‘A staff’” (Ex.4:2). But that rod was not a common rod, but the rod of Jehovah, with which Moses was going to destroy the Egyptians, a people that the Father loves and wants to save (1 Tim.2:3-4). “So Moses took his wife and his sons and mounted them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. MOSES ALSO TOOK THE STAFF OF GOD IN IS HAND” (Ex.17:9).
5. Moses delivered the people of Israel from their captivity with a rod of iron, for the armies and the power of Pharaoh succumbed before the power of the rod of Jehovah, which is a picture of the rod of the awaited Messiah who would rule the nations through it. “Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, Thou shalt shatter them like earthenware” (Ps.2:8-9). Luckily the plans of the true God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are other, that is, to remove from this dark and evil world those who believe, a world worse than hell itself, for while living here men think that they are in heaven, until death comes by a stroke, cancer, through AIDS, through a crime, or through old age, etc. But Jesus, in obedience to the Father, delivers the captives to the satanic power, to vices, to evil, to death, healing the sicknesses of the body and of the soul, filling them with love and peace, making them his disciples, and giving them an ideal for life, with plenty of gifts and virtues, so that men may enjoy, in the present, the glories of the future resurrection.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira