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The Bridge that God Built. How God Introduced Messiah to His People, and How We Can Introduce Him to them Today . God Built a Prophetic Bridge that spanned 400 years.

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the bridge that god built

The Bridge that God Built

How God Introduced Messiah to His People, and How We Can Introduce Him to them Today

god built a prophetic bridge that spanned 400 years
God Built a Prophetic Bridge that spanned 400 years

That bridge joined the end of the Old to the beginning of the New. (Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1, 4:5; Luke 1:17)

The Gospels identify John the Baptist as Isaiah’s Voice and Malachi’s Messenger. (Mark 1:2,3; John 1:23)

John came in “the spirit of Elijah” but was not Elijah himself.(Matthew 11:7-14; John 1:19-34)

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Christians read the Bible from a New Testament viewpoint, seeing Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s promises. But Jews will not cross the boundary of their Bible (our Old Testament). What if we were to show them that God built a bridge between the Old and the New, that Malachi’s Messenger is Matthew’s John the Baptist? John introduced Jesus to the Jews as their Messiah. If we were to reintroduce this prophetic connection, might not many Jews today accept him as their Messiah?
slide4

Large numbers of Jews responded to John’s witness of “the Coming One” by preparing a “highway” for Messiah in their hearts through repentance and water baptism. The leaders of the Jews asked John if he was the Elijah who was to come. (Malachi 4:5). They could not prevent him from preaching to his countrymen, who came from all over to swell the numbers of those who were pressing into the kingdom. (Luke 16:16)

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How can we who have accepted Jesus convince the Jews, long persecuted by Christian nations, that he was Messiah?

Perhaps by using the bridge that God built, in the person of John the Baptist, who introduced Jesus as the Promised One.

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The imprisoned John questioned whether or not Jesus was Messiah, despite God having clearly revealed that to him, at Jesus’ baptism. John was the New Testament pillar of a prophetic bridge that spanned the gap between Old and New. He saw the beginning of the New, but belonged to the Old. God’s Malachi-to-Matthew bridge spanned a great gulf that still separates Jews from Christians. It is a bridge we can use.
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The acceptance of John’s ministry by his people lent much credibility to his introduction of Jesus as the Jews’ long- awaited Messiah. However they crucified Jesus because he did not meet their expectation, which was that Messiah would deliver them from bondage, as Moses had delivered their ancestors from Egypt. They wanted a Davidic Lion of Judah, not a Lamb from a small town in the Galilean hills!
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Unaware that they were fulfilling the prophecies read every Sabbath, they shed the blood of “the Lamb of God.” (Acts 13:27) Jesus’ prediction of his imminent death had clearly offended them – as it had even his passionate disciple Peter (Matthew 16:21-23).
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John the Baptist’s ministry is a credible bridge for Jews to cross from Malachi to Matthew, a gospel written especially for Jewish readers. (Keyword: “fulfilled”)

The Old is seen clearly from the New, as through John’s preaching the light of the Gospel falls on the words of the prophets. Jesus matches the Isaiah 53 description. He has seen his descendents for almost 2000 years – ever since God prolonged his days by raising him from the dead. (Isaiah 53:10) Jesus the Messiah fits the Isaiah 53 Messianic prophecy perfectly!

how jews view christians
How Jews View Christians

Most Christians view Mormons as clean-living religious people who read the same Bible, but who add to it the Book of Mormon. The Mormon’s view of the Bible is coloured by the Book of Mormon. This is why we do not accept their religion as a valid branch of the Christian faith.

Jews view Christians in much the same way. We read their Bible but add to it the New Testament, which Jews believe reinterprets and contradicts it.

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The title ‘Eternal Son’ presupposes not only fatherhood but also motherhood and birth. Moreover, it presupposes a beginning. But an Eternal Son who had a beginning – however ethereal and mysterious – is a contradiction in terms. The Son of God was born in Time. Those who are quick to defend the Doctrine of the Trinity are unable to offer a credible scriptural explanation for it, yet make its inexplicable mystery the requirement for acceptance into orthodox Christianity.
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Jews regard as totally unacceptable the application by Christians of Isaiah 7:14 to the conception and virgin birth of Jesus in Matthew 1:23.Isaiah uses the Hebrew word almah whenreferring to a virgin-maid who would bear a sign-child. Jews regard this prophecy as historically fulfilled, and reject its application to the conception and virgin birth of Jesus. Christians interpret this Old Testament prophecy empirically, i.e. as fulfilled in the virgin Mary’s conception experience.
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The sign in Isaiah 7:14 was not merely the virgin, but rather that before her child would know right from wrong, Syria would cease to oppress Israel. Three years later Syria was conquered by Assyria (the first World Power), and its oppression of Israel then ceased. The prophecy was fulfilled!

Or was it? Matthew was inspired to apply Isaiah’s prophecy to Mary, 700 years later, and to use the Greek word parthenos, which specifies a virgin.

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Isaiah did not use bethuwlah, a Hebrew word that refers specifically to a virgin, but almah, a word used for a maid who is a virgin (as maids then were). Almah (“hidden from sight”) is also found in Song of Songs 1:3 and 6:8. Asking why Isaiah used almah is like asking why we use either “solitary” or “alone” when the words are both so similar. Matthew, who interpreted almah(maid) as parthenos(virgin) was a Greek-speaking Jew who well knew the meaning of both words.
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The sign that was fulfilled historically was later fulfilled spiritually when Mary received Gabriel’s word, conceived, and later gave birth to Jesus. Christians attribute Matthew’s application of Isaiah’s prophecy to Divine inspiration. But Jews limit such inspiration to their own Bible. They stand on the far side of a gulf they will not cross without a bridge that upholds the faith of their forefather Abraham – a bridge they would not even think exists.
god built a bridge to messiah for his people to use 2000 years ago that bridge is still open today
God Built a Bridge to Messiah for His people to use 2000 years ago. That bridge is still open today.

Crossed by a “holy generation” then, it is open to all who seek the Messiah.