If you are well acquainted with many Jewish people you already know what intelligent, loving, and thoughtful people they are. If you have heard that Jews are "tight with money," you have learned that while they have sharp business acumen, they also are some of the most generous and tender-hearted people on the face of the earth when it comes to helping those in need.
The story of what the Jews went through in order to gain the statehood of Israel in May, 1948, is enough to break your heart, but it is the fulfillment of the Word of God that the Jews would be scattered, having no homeland for a long time, be persecuted, and after a long, hard struggle gain possession of the Land.
Because of the unusual and trying historical circumstances the Jewish nation has been through, if you, as a soulwinner, will adhere to the following suggestions as you witness to the Jewish people, you will perhaps be able to establish more rapport and be more effective in your presentation of their Messiah to them.
1. Somewhere in your conversation you might mention that if you were Jewish, you would be proud of it. A statement like this will help him realize you are not "anti-Semitic." It might evoke a question from him such as "Why would you be proud of being a Jew?" The Jews have been persecuted so much that sometimes they are a little suspicious of someone who says he loves the Jew . . . so you must be prepared to answer his question honestly and without hesitation. You might say that one reason you would be proud to be Jewish is that the Messiah was Jewish. Since God chose to take on Jewish flesh when He dwelt on earth, you would consider it an honor to be Jewish also. Another reason you would be proud to be Jewish can be expressed this way: "You see, nearly everything I know about God I've learned from the Jews, therefore, I owe them a great deal."
2. If you know they are Jewish, let them know you know it. Don't get nervous. This can be sensed right away. Just calmly present the gospel just as you would to anyone else, perhaps using more Old Testament verses than you ordinarily would.
3. It is usually beneficial to explain the difference between a Jew, a Gentile, and a Christian. Many people wrongly equate anyone who is a Gentile with Christian.
A Jew is a Jew from birth. It is his ancestry. A person who is Jewish can never stop being Jewish. If he later in life becomes a Catholic, a Baptist, or a Methodist, etc., this might affect his theological outlook, but he is still a Jew. His beliefs cannot change his physical birth.
A Gentile originally was anyone who was not a Jew. Thus, it would refer to any nationality other than Hebrew. Today, in a broader sense, it has come to refer to those who name the "Christian religion" as their own. However, we know from the Word of God that not every one who admires Jesus Christ really has accepted Him as Saviour, and this, perhaps, would be the case of many Gentiles.
A Christian is a Christian from birth . . . not from his physical birth into his physical family . . . but from his "second" birth (John 3:3; I Peter 1:23) into God's family (John 1:12, 13).
4. The good Christian loves the Jew. The true Christian knows the Messiah was a Jew and wants the Jews to accept their Messiah.
This does not mean that every Jewish person you meet will be a "lovely" person. Every Gentile is not a lovely person. No matter where you go, no matter what race of people you come across, you will always find those people you like and those people you do not like. But the dedicated Christian looks beyond an individual's personal characteristics, whether he be handsome and popular, or ugly and a social outcast, and sees instead a soul for whom Christ died, and who needs to have his sins forgiven by receiving Christ as his Saviour.
5. A good question to ask the Jewish person, as early in the conversation as you think would be wise, is: "Do you believe YOUR Bible?" Usually he will say "yes," and you will be able to use this later in the conversation as a reason why he should really put his faith in the Messiah . . . HIS Bible, the Old Testament, tells all about Him.
6. Be sure to mention that there is only one God and that you believe in only one God . . . the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
An interesting passage is Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one Lord." In the Hebrew language and according to the Hebrew book of tradition, the Zoa, the words in this verse actually say that although God is one, God is also a trinity.
7. The Jewish person may fear that you are trying to "convert" him. Reassure him that if he accepts Christ as his Messiah, as his Saviour, he will still be a Jew, but a Jew who has his sins paid for.
8. All that we know about God and the Bible we owe to the Jews. Express your appreciation to them for the great part their nation had in giving us the Bible.
9. Abraham was a Gentile.
10. Israel is the chosen race. God chose Israel as the nation through which the Messiah would come.
11. Make it clear that the Jews were not the "Christ killers." Christ died voluntarily for all mankind. He gave His life for me. I am guilty in His death. Jesus said of His life, "No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father" (John 10:18).
12. Praise the Old Testament prophets. Let them know you hold them in high esteem.
13. You might mention that all first Christians were Jewish. These early believers were surprised that Gentiles could be saved.
14. Percentage-wise there are more Jews who have accepted Christ as their Saviour than Gentiles. Most Jewish people do not realize this, and it is a good thing to point out.
15. David Ben-Gurion, the great Jewish statesman, said, "Surely, these are the days of the Messiah, and if you listen closely, you can hear His footsteps."
16. Point out that the Scriptures speak of TWO comings of the Messiah. The first would be one of suffering and death. "Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST, and the glory that should follow" (I Peter 1:10, 11).
Christ knew He would be rejected, "For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven: so shall also the Son of man be in His day. BUT FIRST must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation" (Luke 17:24, 25).
In some parts of the country there are very few Orthodox Jews. In these same areas Orthodox young people will also be extremely rare. Orthodox Judaism, though it has added a great deal of tradition to its beliefs, approaches the Bible more literally than other Jews. They have a long history of looking for the Messiah, and as far as they are concerned, He has not yet come. Centuries have passed, and they are still waiting. It's only natural for doubts and disappointments to creep in, and this disappointment often turns to discouragement. As a result, Conservative and Reformed Judaism (with their spiritualizing of Scripture) have come upon the scene.
My heart is really sorrowful for the Orthodox Jews who don't accept Christ as their Messiah. They believe the Old Testament is the Word of God, and they are trying to keep God's law as best they can - and yet they don't find favor in God's eyes because they reject God's Son.
The Apostle Paul said, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record, that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" (Romans 10:1 - 4).
A person can become so wrapped up in religious ceremony, tradition of his family, and the habit patterns formed during his childhood, that he continues in his religious observances without really considering the reasons (or considering if there BE reasons) behind these practices.
Jesus told the Pharisees (those very devout Jews) that this was their problem. "He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men . . . Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition" (Mark 7:6 - 9).
It is inconceivable to me that an Orthodox rabbi could be as unfamiliar with Messianic prophecy as some of them are. You would think it would be their main concern. Some Orthodox rabbis I have spoken to actually admitted they had never read the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah before! This lack of knowing the Scriptures is a terrible situation, because how can they teach the people in their Temple what they do not even know themselves? No wonder so many have left the Orthodox synagogue! The prophet Jeremiah commented on this: "For the pastors are become brutish, and have NOT SOUGHT THE LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered" (Jeremiah 10:21 ).
I wouldn't want to be in the position of leading a group of people if my leadership was contrary to the Word of God and caused the people to go astray. "WOE be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture! saith the Lord" (Jeremiah 23:1 ).
The Orthodox Jews have been following their traditions for so long and remained true to their heritage at such a cost, that sometimes it is very difficult to lead them to the Lord even when they see the truths (academically) in the Bible.
Their emotions play a great part in their thinking about religion. Their love and respect for their parents and loving concern for their children enter considerably into their feelings of not wanting to "convert" from Judaism to Christianity.
If you are very careful, you can often take this love for their family and use it in such a way that they will WANT to trust Christ.
For instance, take an Orthodox Jew who has already had a parent die. When he understands from the Bible that in order to go to heaven a person must believe in Jesus, he may refuse Christ as his Saviour simply because he doesn't want to go to heaven if his loved one isn't going to be there.
Here is how you can take this objection and turn it into the very reason he SHOULD trust Christ as his Saviour.... You might present it to him this way: If his loved one is in heaven, surely that loved one wants him to go to heaven also . . . but if that loved one is in hell, he or she CERTAINLY doesn't want him to go to hell. The loved one wouldn't be that selfish!
An example from Scripture of a man in hell and how he wants his family on earth to be witnessed to and warned of the torment is found in Luke 16:27, 28, "Then he said, I pray thee therefore, Father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment."
An approach like this has been successful in many cases. One thing that should definitely help you as you witness to the Orthodox Jew is that he claims to believe the Old Testament, and you can bear down heavily on Old Testament prophetic and salvation verses and lovingly and firmly insist that if he believes his Bible, he must believe what these verses are saying.
CONSERVATIVE and REFORMED JUDAISM
Conservative Judaism is very similar to many Protestant churches today in that it has slipped away from the Orthodox theological position while still trying to retain much of its tradition.
While claiming to consider the Old Testament as their guide, Conservative Jews do not necessarily accept the teaching therein as directly from God and do not take the Scriptures literally. Therefore, you have the same problem in witnessing to them as you would in witnessing to many Protestants in that they do not really believe what the Bible is saying. You will probably need to explain why we know the Bible is the Word of God.
Often the people who attend a Conservative synagogue do so more to keep up their family traditions than as an actual expression of any deep religious convictions. They are usually very uninformed about Judaism itself and are grossly ignorant of the Word of God.
The Reformed Jewish Synagogue is the most radical of the Jewish groups. Most Orthodox Jews wish the Reformed Jews wouldn't even use the word "Jew" since they deny the very basic fundamentals of Jewish theology.
The EXTENT of their departure from orthodoxy was brought home to me three years ago during an interview I had with the rabbi of a well-known Reformed Temple in Coral Gables. Below is an almost verbatim copy of our conversation . . . you may be shocked.
1. When asked if he believed in God, he said, "To put it bluntly, no!" He could offer no definition of God.
2. When asked what he thought would happen to him when he died, he said, "I do not know. I do not think it will make any difference."
3. In answer to my question, "Don't you CARE what happens to you when you die?" he replied, "No, not at all."
4. I said, "But this is so very important. Isn't it important to you to know the truth about God?" He said, "No. There are many important things I know nothing about. Why should I worry about it?"
5. He said he does not believe in heaven or hell, but that he thinks there is probably something after death, though he does not have any idea what it is.
6. He said he does not believe in anything "that is not experienced today. If it doesn't happen today, it is not true. Since people do not walk through an ocean today, no one walked through the Red Sea in times past."
7. He said, "My children learn about the myth of Achilles' heel in school. I do not expect them to believe it is true. They learn about the Bible, too, and I do not expect them to believe it is true either. While both stories have some truth somewhere, neither can be taken literally as truth."
8. He said, "The Bible says God created the heavens and earth in six days. This is absurd. It cannot be done in six days!" I asked, "Don't you believe God can do anything He wants to?" He replied, "l do not believe in God. I believe in evolution."
9. When I asked him, "Do you believe God has made any direct statements to people, so we could know Him?" he said, "I do not believe God ever 'said' anything to any one."
10. I asked, "Don't you believe Moses received his writings from God?" He answered, "I do not believe any of the characters in the Bible wrote what 'God said.'" "When they claimed inspiration," I asked, "do you think they were Iying?" "Yes," he replied, "they were deceived by their own ideas. Many books claim they wrote a message straight from God, and I do not believe any of them, including the Bible."
11. When I asked him why he didn't believe the Bible, he said, "It is full of contradictions, scientific and medical errors, and historical inaccuracies. The Bible just does not measure up to today's knowledge." When I asked him to show me just ONE of any of these errors, he said, "I do not have time. It would involve too much technical study."
12. He suggested that if I went to "college or even a 'Christian' seminary," I would not believe the Bible when I got out. He said even Christian ministers today don't believe the Bible! (This certainly is a sad commentary coming from a Jewish rabbi.)
13. When I brought up the subject of the Messiah, he said, "None of the Old Testament people looked for any 'Messiah.' You are reading into the Scriptures. Only recently has anyone looked for a 'Messiah'."
14. I said I would be glad to buy any book he would recommend that would support his position of the Bible being inaccurate, etc. He said, "I do not care to recommend any. ASK YOUR MINISTER FOR ONE. If your beliefs leave you comfortable, you are O.K." I pressed him to show me any error of any kind in the Bible and he just would not (or could not).
15. When I offered to leave him some literature, free of charge, proving the Bible is the Word of God, he said, "I don't want it, and I won't read it." He said our conversation was unfruitful because I had a mental block of wanting to believe the Bible, and he did not want to talk any further with such a bigoted person!
Isaiah 7:14, "Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call His Name Immanuel."
Jewish people say they will expect a "sign" from God when the Messiah comes, so they will know that He is truly the Messiah. God has already given them their "sign" at the birth of Jesus. Mary was a virgin and yet had conceived. This was the sign God promised. Mary was the mother of the flesh God took upon Himself when He came to earth. Jesus had no earthly father because the Holy Spirit gave Mary conception, not a man.
Notice the fulfillment in Matthew 1:20 - 25, "But while he (Joseph) thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is OF THE HOLY GHOST.
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His Name JESUS: for He shall save His people from their sins.
"Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of THE LORD by the prophet, saying, "Behold, a VIRGIN shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, GOD WITH US.
"Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
"And KNEW HER NOT TILL she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called His Name JESUS."
Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Notice, the Son of God wasn't born - the Son of God always has been. But "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son...." The flesh the Son of God took upon Himself was born. And who is this Son of God? He is the mighty God. He is the everlasting Father. Jesus was not "another" God. Jesus is God Himself who came to earth in the form of a human being so He could pay for our sins.
At the birth of Christ, Luke records, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He (the Lord God) hath visited and redeemed His people." "And the angel of the Lord said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord" (Luke 1:68; 2:10, 11).
Micah 5:2, "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of 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."
There were two Bethlehems at that time, one being Bethlehem Ephratah and the other Bethlehem Zebulon. Notice that God is specific in His prophecies. Who was this that would come out of Bethlehem Ephratah? Someone who has been alive forever previously, "from everlasting." This is a characteristic belonging only to God.
Isaiah Chaper Fifty-Three
v. 1, "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?" This is a prophecy that the nation Israel, as a whole, would reject the Messiah. Its fulfillment is recorded in John 12:37, 38, "But though He had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on Him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, when he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
v. 2, "For He shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him." Contrary to some artists' conceptions of the beauty of Jesus, according to this verse He was not handsome. It is better that people should love Him for WHO He is, than for appearance.
v. 3, "He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised; and we esteemed Him not." Jesus was despised then, and He is despised now. How heartbreaking it must be! "He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not" (John 1:10, 11). God came to earth IN PERSON, and the world didn't recognize Him. What an oversight!
v. 4, "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted." Jesus understands all the sorrow and trouble the Jewish nation has gone through, and He loves them with an everlasting love and wants them to find rest in Him. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and YE would not!" (Matt. 23:37) Instead of the Jews realizing their Messiah had come, they thought the crucifixion was God's judgment upon a false prophet, a blasphemer (John 10:33).
v. 5, "But He was wounded for OUR transgressions, He was bruised for OUR iniquities: the chastisement of OUR peace was upon Him; and with His stripes WE are healed." Notice that four times in this one verse alone, the substitutionary death of Christ is referred to.
The New Testament says, "Who His own self bare OUR sins in His own body on the tree, that WE being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes YE were healed" (I Peter 2:24).
WE are guilty. WE are sinners. Christ was not. WE deserve to pay for our sins. Christ didn't deserve that cruel death on the cross. But because He loves us, He paid the price of our sins.
v. 6, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on HIM the iniquity of us all." THIS IS THE MAIN SALVATION VERSE YOU WILL PROBABLY USE IN LEADING A JEWISH PERSON TO THE LORD. (The hand gesture, illustrated in Chapter 23, was used with this verse by R. A. Torrey. He mentions this in his book, Personal Work. ) We recommend that you practice this hand gesture and USE IT . . . especially with verses like Isaiah 53:6.
The New Testament complement to Isaiah 53:6 is II Cor. 5:21. "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." The hand gesture is also effectively used with this verse, demonstrating the fact that WE are the sinners, but CHRIST made the payment for our sin. The Jewish person today has no payment for his sin. The sacrifices described in the Old Testament as a covering for sin until the Messiah would come were halted by the destruction of Herod's Temple in 70 A.D. by Titus. (The REAL reason, of course, that there are no more sacrifices is that Christ made the SACRIFICE OF HIMSELF, once and for all, to be the sacrifice God would accept for all sin, for all people, for all time. See the 9th and 10th chapters of Hebrews.)
Hosea 3:4 prophesies of the time when the Jews would no longer have a sacrifice. "For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king (they have none), and without a prince (they have none), and without a sacrifice (they have none)."
v. 8, "He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare His generation? For He was CUT OFF out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was He stricken." Many Jewish people do not realize there were to be TWO comings of the Messiah. Verses like this will show them that at Christ's first coming He was to be CUT OFF (rather than to set up the Davidic Kingdom ) . The first coming of Christ was humble. The second coming shall be glorious! (Matt. 24:30)
v. 10, "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an OFFERING FOR SIN, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand." Jesus would die - His soul would be an OFFERING FOR SIN, and yet His days would be prolonged.... He would come back from the dead!
v. 11, "He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for He shall BEAR THEIR INIQUITIES." God will be satisfied with the payment Christ will make for sin. Today we know He was satisfied, because if sin had not been fully paid for, Christ could not have come back from the dead (Rom. 6:23; 4:25). Christ bore our iniquities and many have been made righteous by receiving this payment He made for them.
Daniel 9:26, "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be CUT OFF, but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the sanctuary (the Temple); and the end thereof shall be with a flood and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."
This is one of the strongest verses proving that the Messiah God spoke about has already been here . . . because this verse says the Messiah will be CUT OFF, and that AFTER HE is cut off, Jerusalem and the Temple will be destroyed. It is common knowledge that Titus, in 70 A.D., had Jerusalem and the Temple destroyed, and today the Mosque of Omar stands where the Temple once stood.
Zechariah 12:10, "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon ME WHOM THEY HAVE PIERCED, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son...."
This whole chapter is "The burden of the Word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD . . ." (v. 1), and the Lord is speaking throughout. God is saying that in the latter times people will look upon HIM whom they have pierced. This can only be referring to God the Son at the crucifixion.
Proverbs 30:4, "Who hath ascended up into heaven or descended? Who hath gathered the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is His Name, and what is His SON'S Name, if thou canst tell?"
God has a Son! His Name is Immanuel, which, as we have seen, means "God dwelling with us." His Name is Jesus, which means "God who saves, and keeps," etc. Psalm 2:7, 8 also speak of God's Son. And yet this Son is the everlasting Father!
PRESENTING THE GOSPEL
Throughout your witnessing bear in mind the suggestions given at the beginning of this chapter, inserting comments here and there as you witness that are appropriate in the conversation.
After you have established rapport, a good starting place is the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah. (Using the term the "Messiah" instead of always saying "Christ" might be more easily taken by the Jewish person, although you need not shy away from saying "Christ" or "Jesus" when you want to.)
Below is a sample conversation with a Jewish person. If the things you are saying are well received, you can proceed right along. When there are questions or objections you will need to stop and answer them, being careful not to get off too far from the gospel, so you can easily get back into it again.
Before going into the Messianic prophecy, briefly summarize the plan of salvation, and then go over the Scriptures.
WITNESS: "God loves you so much that He came to earth to make a complete payment for your sins so you could go to heaven and live with Him forever.
"I would like you to see some verses in your Bible, the Old Testament, that tell us how to recognize the true Messiah. God gave many specific requirements the Messiah would have to fulfill, and it is because Jesus has met these specifications that I know the Messiah has already come. Some of these are . . ." (Turn to them and let him read them. )
1. The Messiah had to be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14). (The amount of detail you go into on each verse will depend upon the leading of the Holy Spirit in each case.)
2. Messiah had to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).
3. Messiah would be God Himself (Isa. 9:6).
4. Messiah would pay for sin (Isa. 53:6). (Use the hand gesture and explain the plan of salvation clearly.)
5. Messiah would come back from the dead (Isa. 53:10).
6. Jerusalem and the Temple would be destroyed AFTER the Messiah had come and given His life (Dan. 9:26).
7. The Messiah gave His life as a sacrifice for your sins. You need a blood sacrifice, and you have none now (Lev. 17:11).
"Since Jesus has met all the requirements of the Messiah, and since the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., doesn't it make sense to you that Jesus really was the Messiah?
"Wouldn't you like to accept Jesus as your Messiah, believing He made the payment for your sins on the cross, so you could go to heaven when you die? Remember, you will still be a Jew, but a Jew who has his sins paid for."
If you lovingly present the Messiah and His salvation to Jewish people, you will find many who will respond and accept Christ as their Saviour.
There are SO MANY Scriptures you can use with a Jewish person. It is best to use the more basic ones presented above. They will usually be sufficient.
ADDITIONAL PROPHECIES ABOUT CHRIST AND THEIR FULFILLMENTS
1. Sold for 30 pieces of silver. Zech. 11:12; Matt. 26:15
2. Betrayed by a friend. Psalm 41:9; John 13:18
3. Silent before His accusers. Isa. 53:7; Mark 15:3 - 5
4. Hands and feet pierced. Psalm 22:16; the crucifixion
5. Garments divided by gambling. Psalm 22:18; John 19:24
6. Mocked. Psalm 22:7; Matt. 27:41
7. Gall and vinegar to drink. Psalm 69:21; Matt. 27:34
8. Prayed for His murderers. Isa. 53:12; Luke 23:34
9. Not a bone broken. Psalm 34:20; John 19:36
10. Crucified with thieves. Isa. 53:12; Mark 15:27, 28
11. His forsaken cry. Psalm 22:1; Mark 15:34
12. His side pierced. Zech. 12:10; John 19:34 - 37
13. Buried with rich man. Isa. 53:9; Matt. 27:57 - 60
14. Looked on Him whom they pierced. Zech. 12:10; John19:37
15. People esteemed and received Him not. Isa. 53:3; John 1:11
A question frequently asked by Jew and Gentile alike is: "How were people saved BEFORE Christ came and paid for sin?"
People living before Christ were saved when they by faith looked forward to the coming Messiah, believing He would come and pay for their sin - just like we today by faith look back to the time of Christ, believing He was the true Messiah and that He has paid for our sin.
For 1500 years the Jews had a distinct advantage over the Gentiles because God gave the Scriptures to the Jewish nation.
Romans 3:1, 2 says, "What advantage then hath the Jew? Or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly because that UNTO THEM WERE COMMlTTED THE ORACLES OF GOD."
However, many Jews have not taken advantage of their advantage! Having the Scriptures doesn't do them any good if they do not BELIEVE them.
Why has God blessed Gentiles and allowed them to be saved? Some Gentiles have received salvation while many Jews have not received it because of those Jews not seeking salvation BY FAITH.
Romans 9:30 - 32, "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is OF FAITH. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. WHEREFORE? Because they SOUGHT IT NOT BY FAITH, but as it were by the works of the law, for they stumbled at that stumblingstone."
Salvation is by faith now. Salvation has always been by faith. Salvation always will be by faith. Look up and study these references showing that salvation by faith was known to the Old Testament people.
|Galatians 3:8||Romans 3:21|
|Habakkuk 2:4||Hebrews 4:2|
|I Corinthians 10:1 - 4||Romans 1:1, 2|
|Romans 4:6||I Corinthians 15:3, 4|
|II Timothy 3:15||Acts 3:18|
|Acts 15:11||Hebrews, chapter eleven|
The Apostle Paul said, "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews . . . I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake" (I Cor. 9:19, 20, 22, 23).