Prophecies concerning Messiah
There are many prophecies concerning the Messiah to be found in the Hebrew Scriptures. The majority of them are the glorious kingly and priestly prophecies which Yeshua did not fulfill when he was on earth some two thousand years ago. Jews typically point to this fact as proof that Yeshua is not the Messiah. Those of us who believe Yeshua is alive and returning, believe that he will fulfill all of these glorious prophecies when he returns. But there are a few Messianic prophecies that are not glorious and indicate that the Messiah would suffer. Isaiah 53 is probably the most notable of them. Here are a few excerpts.
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and YHWH has laid on him the iniquity of us all. ... He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare his generation? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of My people he was stricken, and they made his grave with the wicked, but with the rich at his death, because he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Isaiah 53:5-6,8-9
This chapter from Isaiah concerning the suffering servant is best read in its entirety. It's too large to print here. On the occasions when Jewish teachers try to address this prophecy we are told that the suffering servant is Israel as a nation and not prophetic of Yeshua. We are told that Israel is suffering for its own sins in this passage. But there are several things wrong with this picture. The first is Isaiah's use of the term "cut off", which means killed or executed. This understanding is evident in that the one "cut off" was removed from "the land of the living". Israel as a nation of people has never ceased to exist and continues to live. Secondly is the idea that Israel is suffering for its own sins, when this prophecy clearly indicates that someone other than "My people" (Israel) is suffering on Israel's behalf. And thirdly, is the picture in the prophecy that this suffering person had done nothing wrong and was guiltless. How could this possibly be speaking of Israel as a nation? Are we really to believe that Israel is his own guiltless sufferer who is suffering for his own sins? The Jewish picture caves-in on itself. The interpretation simply doesn't fit the passage, and it should be apparent that Jewish teachers are desperately trying to find some interpretation other than the obvious.
Another prophecy concerning Messiah's suffering comes from the book of Daniel. The angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and gave him a prophecy concerning when the Messiah would come and what would happen to him. Before it can be interpreted, there are important details in this prophecy that need to be understood.
"Seventy weeks ( 70x7=490 years) are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks (69 weeks total) (49 years, then 434 years for a total of 483 years) The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. And after the sixty-two weeks (which is the end of the same 483 years) Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be as with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm a covenant with the many for one week (7 years); But in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate." Daniel 9:24-27
Here again it is prophesied that the Messiah would be executed, and again, that not for himself! This prophecy is impossible to avoid and I have yet to hear an argument as to how this could be in reference to anyone or anything other than Yeshua. A number of Jews have become Messianic believers in Yeshua on the basis of this prophesy alone. But not only does this prophecy predict the execution of the Messiah, it predicts when he would come.
The term "week" in this prophecy is generally accepted to be a period of 7 years. One of the most important keys to unlocking its interpretation is to remember that this prophecy focuses on the city of Jerusalem. Nearly all expositors seem to loose track of this fact before reaching the end of the prophecy. Gabriel said that at the end of the 490-year period would come the end of Jerusalem's troubles. Everlasting righteousness would come, and the Holy of Holies in the temple would once again be anointed with the presence of God. This is the very thing Daniel was praying for! The picture Gabriel paints of the time immediately following the fulfillment of the 70 weeks is a description of the Messianic age. But understanding the time frames given by Gabriel has been a bit of a nightmare for scholars. The full time frame of 490 years is obviously divided into three parts. They are 49 years, then 434 years, and 7 years. The first two parts are evidently consecutive and together add up to 483 years. Then there is a gap or span of time between the end of the 483 years and the last 7 years. But the first 483 years of this prophecy is the total amount of time that would elapse between two specific events. The kickoff event is, "...the going forth of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem", and the consummation of this 483 year period was to be the appearing of "Messiah the Prince" in Jerusalem.
There have been a number of theories advanced by Christian scholars as to what events in history fulfilled these prophecies and how the time span between them add up to 483 years. I have researched several of the more respected theories and noticed that each of them have excellent arguments that prove the other theories must be in error! Consequently, none of them work!
Instead of trying to make historical events fit the 483 year time frame, I approach it from a different angle and start by looking at the prophecy to establish which events best fit the description of the prophecy. The first event is the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem. There were two decrees issued 13 years apart by the king of Persia. Many believe the first decree as recorded in Ezra 7 is the fulfillment of the first part of this prophecy. Here, Ezra gives a year and month in which Artaxerxes, king of Persia, issued a decree to go and rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. It was in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king. The problem with this decree is that it concerns rebuilding the temple, and has nothing to do with the city of Jerusalem. Remember, the prophecy concerns the city of Jerusalem. It is the second decree of Artaxerxes that came 13 years later that specifically concerns the city. This decree is recorded in Nehemiah 2 where it says the decree went out in the Hebrew month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes. This date on the Julian calendar would have been anywhere from mid March to late April in the year 446 B.C. Most scholars reject this date as the kick-off date because 483 years later takes us to 38 A.D. This is at least 6 years too late to reconcile with any event during Yeshua's time. But for now, let's accept this date because the ordering of Jerusalem to be rebuilt best fits the prophecy. Now let us turn our attention to finding the event that best fulfills this prophecy and the ending of this time period.
Here, there are several schools of thought again. And again, the differences are largely due the difficulty in making the 483-year prophecy fit the time frame. Because some scholars use earlier dates for the kick-off of the 483-year period, they subsequently must use earlier dates in Yeshua's life for the prophecy's fulfillment. Some work with his birth date, and still others use his baptism as the point of fulfillment. There are several problems with each of these theories. But for the sake of time let's look at the main focal points of the prophecy.
"...from the going forth of the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince..."
"...until Messiah the Prince..." what? Remember what the central figure is in this entire prophecy? It's Jerusalem! The answer is, when Messiah the Prince comes into Jerusalem as the Messiah. This is where many scholars miss it. The central figures throughout the prophecy are the Messiah and Jerusalem together. There is only one event in the life of Yeshua that can fit this prophecy. Interestingly enough, this event has a parallel prophecy.
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey." Zechariah 9:9
This is a prophecy of Yeshua's triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In the record of this event found in Luke 19:28-44, Yeshua also said something interesting as he was riding the colt toward the city.
Then, as he was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying; "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" And some of the Pharisees called to him from the crowd, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." But he answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out." Now as he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace..." Luke 19:37-42a
This day was no ordinary day. It was apparently so special, had not the disciples praised Yeshua as the Messiah, the stones would have done the job for them. And Yeshua said to Jerusalem, "this is your day"! Question: What day? Answer; The very day the prophecies from Daniel and Zechariah were fulfilled!
Based on much historical data that I won't take the time and space to establish here, we have an excellent idea when this day was. On the Julian calendar it would have fallen on April 20th in the year 31 A.D. five days before the Passover when Yeshua was crucified. (See Passover dates chart in appendix) This fits perfectly with the picture given in Daniel's prophecy. Gabriel said that after the 69 weeks and the Messiah entered Jerusalem "Messiah shall be cut off". Again, this is a well-understood Hebrew phrase meaning "executed". Five days later is for all practical purposes immediately after!
But now the problem is the math doesn't work out. From 446 B.C. to 31 A.D. is only 476 years. (Note. If you are doing the math, remember, there is no "0" year.) The total of 476 years is 7 years short of 483!
The key to solving this puzzle can be found in Revelation chapter 12. In verse 6, there is mention of a time period of 1,260 days. Later, in verse 14, this same period of time is referred to as 3.5 years in the encrypted phrase, "a time, and times, and half a time". If we divide 1,260 by 3.5 we get 360-day years! This is the key. God does not see a year as 365.25 days as we do. He counts 360 days as a year. This fact can also be deduced from the account of the flood in Genesis 7:11,24 8:3,4 where five months are equal to 150 days. This means there were 30 day lunar months as opposed to our current 28 day lunar month. 12 months of 30 days each makes a 360-day year! I believe that before the flood, our clock (both solar and lunar) was in perfect sync with God's clock in heaven. But due to astronomical events that were responsible for the physics of the flood, I believe the moon was pulled slightly closer to the earth shortening its cycle by 2 days, and our earth was slowed in its track around the sun so that it now takes and extra 5.25 days for it to complete its cycle. Whether this is the case or not, it is apparent from the books Genesis and Revelation that God sees a year as 360 days.
Let's take the dates I have given for the beginning and end of the prophecy and rework them with this piece of data. We only have a specific month to work with for a beginning of the 483-year prophecy (Nisan), but we have an exact date for the fulfillment of the prophecy... April 20th 31A.D. Working with whole years from this point back to April 20th 446 B.C. we can multiply 476 years by 365.25 days to find out how many days had elapsed during that period. We come up with 173,859 days. If we now divide that time period by 360, guess what we come up with? We get 482.9416 years! We are short only 21 days of a perfect 483 years. Since we were working with whole years, all we have to do is back up 21 days from April 20th and come to March 31 of the year 446 B.C. when the decree went out. This is 8-9 days after vernal equinox and in the Hebrew month Nisan! This is the very month that Nehemiah said Artaxerxes made the decree! If all this were merely bogus theory, what are the chances these calculations would just happen to land us squarely in the very month the decree is said to have gone out? Only 1 in 12!
When Yeshua made his triumphal entry is when the Messiah arrived in
Jerusalem... right on schedule. He was then executed as the prophecy also
Prophecies Yeshua made
Yeshua also made a number of prophecies concerning future events. If they came to pass, or even begin to come to pass, what should that say about him? He foretold the destruction of the temple in Matthew 24:1,2 and Luke 21:5,6 and it came to pass in 70 A.D. Along with the destruction of the temple, Yeshua prophesied concerning the city of Jerusalem.
Now as he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, "If you had known, even you , especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation." Luke 19:41-44
These prophecies came to pass only 40 years later. From our perspective in time, this is very soon after Yeshua made the prophecy.
There is nothing Yeshua prophesied that hasn't come to pass in its time. But there are still a number of things that remain to be fulfilled. Yeshua also indirectly indicated that Israel would return and a temple would be rebuilt. There would have to be a temple standing in Jerusalem if another of Daniel's prophecies was to be fulfilled. Here is what Yeshua said about the prophecy from Daniel 9:27.
"Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads, let him understand), ... For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened." Matthew 24:15,21,22
In saying this, Yeshua clearly indicated
that Antiochus Epiphanies had not fulfilled Daniel's prophecy in the mid second
century B.C. when he desecrated the temple by offering a pig on the altar.
This abomination of Antiochus which many Jews believed was the fulfillment of
Daniel's prophecy, also led to the Maccabean revolt. By saying what he did, Yeshua
clearly indicated the prophecy hadn't been fulfilled yet. Nothing
remotely resembling an 'abomination of desolation' occurred when Jerusalem fell
in 70 A.D. when the temple was destroyed. So it only stands to reason that a
temple must be rebuilt and there exist a "holy place" before Daniel's prophecy
can be fulfilled.
Yeshua's prophecy also goes on to say that if God doesn't stop man in his tracks, man will annihilate all living flesh on earth. Man has never had the capacity to accomplish such a feat until very recently. We know that in this day and age, man is very capable of destroying all life on the planet with nuclear weapons. Up until recently, no one thought this part of Yeshua's prophecy was realistic.
There are also a number of things Yeshua prophesied would happen in the future as recorded in the book of Revelation. Some of these are beginning to come to pass in front of our eyes. One that is right under our noses and can be observed first hand by anyone is predicted in the passage below. Yeshua gave John a vision and John described what he saw. Speaking of the same person who will set up the "abomination of desolation" John records;
And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark of the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. Revelation 13:16-18
Every Christian who is seriously looking for the return of Yeshua is looking for this number to begin showing up. Some segments of Christianity have turned this prophecy into a bit of a superstitious joke, but in spite of this, the prophecy is none-the-less valid. It may surprise some to learn that the number 666 is already here and the prophecy is beginning to be fulfilled. You handle it every day! When it comes to retail merchandise, it is almost impossible to buy anything today that doesn't have the number 666 encoded on it. It is found in the UPC bar code that checkout scanners use. If you would like to clearly see the 6-6-6 sequence in the bar-code for yourself, see my article in the appendix at, 666 in UPC bar-codes . Of all the numbers that could have been selected for the purpose that the sequence 6-6-6 is used for in the bar-code, why does it happen to be three sixes? Any other number could have been assigned to the particular sets of bars in question. It even could have been four sixes. Why did it have to be three sixes? Then add to this the fact that this number is inextricably and exclusively tied to the practice of buying and selling and it becomes obvious this has to do with the prophecy in the book of Revelation. It can't be just coincidence. The bar code is obviously a precursor of things to come that will be further developed from it. There is technology coming on the scene that might replace this bar code with a chip. But a logistical fact that chip manufacturers must deal with is that all scanners are already programmed to first scan for this 6-6-6 sequence before deciphering the product code. Considering that for some time while the transition from bar-code to chips is completed, retail outlets will be required to have the capacity to scan both chips and bar-code, it is inconceivable to think that the basic format will change. It would cost billions to change the format now. It would mean requiring retail outlets to have two separate types of scanners at each checkout. It won't happen because the 6-6-6 format is workable for both. So in the future, the bar-code might be gone and you won't be able to see the 6-6-6 in it with your eyes, but it will still be there in the chip.
Here is where it starts getting too close to home. In an effort to thwart terrorist activity since the 9-11 terrorist attack, there has been much political talk being reported in the news about governments requiring everyone to have some sort of personal identification. A number of the proposals coming forward have included chip implantation in a person's right hand, and for those few who don't have a right hand there is the proposal to implant the chip in their forehead. It only stands to reason that this chip must also be able to be scanned by the same computers that scan bar-code and other chips. So it will undoubtedly be designed similarly within the same basic 6-6-6 format. As terrorism increases in the world there will be further development of this technology as well as more political endeavors to implement this identification system. When Yeshua made this prophecy in the first century, it was absolutely inconceivable that man would ever have the power, the technology, or the reason to carry it out. But we have it all today... with the number 6-6-6 being firmly established in the process of buying and selling. Considering that there is no prophetic reference made in the Hebrew Scriptures to the number 666, what should these facts indicate concerning Yeshua's credibility?
I am personally of the persuasion that it is very unlikely the implementation of this identification system will come about without the general public understanding exactly what it is all about. As I mentioned in the previous chapter, there will come a time when everyone will be glued to the television watching the news unfold that Yeshua is alive, returning, and not in a good mood as he "treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." Revelation 19:15. It will be known that he fully intends to do away with democracy and "human rights", forcefully take over and rule the entire world from Jerusalem. He will then be portrayed by the world leaders as the ultimate fanatical religious terrorist and alien that the world must unite against to defeat. By the time world political leaders are through painting this picture of Yeshua, the likes of Saddam Hussein and Osama Binladen will seem like boy scouts. At that time, governments will inform their citizens that "you are either with us, or against us."* Everyone will be required to receive the personal identification chip as a show of solidarity with mankind against Yeshua before they will be able to operate in society buying and selling. Those who take the ID will know exactly what they are doing and the statement they are making.
* Though the statement by President Bush, "you are either with us, or against us" was a good and necessary principle in allying forces against terrorism, mark my words, these words will come back again to haunt the world.
While in consideration of Yeshua's Messiahship, there is another artifact of history that is worth mentioning at this point. I believe that there is a definite purpose for this artifact's existence.
As much as I dislike the practice of worshiping supposed relics from the time of Yeshua, there is one artifact that I am absolutely convinced is genuine. It is the shroud of Turin. It is believed to be the burial cloth of Yeshua upon which is scorched a negative photo of him. Below is an enhanced photograph of the shroud.
It is believed by many, including myself, that when the power of YHWH came upon Yeshua to raise him from the dead, the energy radiated in a polarized vertical direction both above and below Yeshua's body causing his image to be scorched as a photo negative on the cloth. Nearly everyone has heard of the shroud and seen pictures of it in print and television documentaries, and most have come to their own conclusions as to its authenticity. The latest breaking news among those who would rather not believe Yeshua was raised from the dead is that Leonardo DaVinci not only painted it, but the face in the shroud is a self portrait of DaVinci! From a personal point of view, nothing would change in what I believe if the shroud were to turn out to be a forgery. My belief in Yeshua is not based on the authenticity of the shroud. On the other hand, those who don't want to believe Yeshua was raised from the dead can't afford for the shroud to be authentic for the obvious implications involved. I was a believer in Yeshua's resurrection long before I heard of the shroud. When I first heard of it, I brushed it off as a forgery because of my aversion to Catholicism's practice of relic worship. But since then, I have listened to the arguments and I have spent many hours studying photographs of the shroud for myself and have subsequently become firmly convinced it is genuine.
Because those of us who already believe in Yeshua's resurrection are not threatened by the prospect of the shroud turning
out to be a forgery, we are in a far better position to be objective in our
analysis of it. Those who have read everything in my book up to this point know
that I believe the institutions of Christianity are themselves a form of
forgery. God does not officially recognize a single Christian institution. They
are all the forging of mere men. I am not afraid of what people and institutions
think of me, so I call it as it is. But the Shroud of Turin is not a forgery. On
the other hand, those who must of necessity believe that Yeshua stayed dead are
compelled to find a way to discredit the shroud. One aspect of the debate that
gives away the motives of the opposition is that some of their arguments have
all the classic earmarks of desperation. It is obvious that they are desperately
swinging at shadows because many of their arguments are inconsistent with each
other. For example, one group of specialists assures us that the image on the
shroud is a painting because they have detected traces of an element of an ancient
paint on the cloth, while in the same documentary, other specialists assure us
that the shroud is a scorch, or even a type of early photograph because it
obviously isn't a painting. The fact is, it can't be both! They appear to
be reaching for any argument, even if their arguments render others
Carbon 14 dating
The one bit of scientific evidence that
appears to prove the shroud is a forgery is carbon 14 dating. C14 indicates the
shroud was made sometime around the 14th century. This one bit of evidence is
the end of the argument and trump-card for those who don't want the shroud to be
genuine... in spite of the fact that there are indisputable historical references
made of the shroud from long before the earliest C14 dates. But without this dating evidence, the skeptics have no other solid evidence
or logic to support their skepticism. C14 has long since proven to have more
than its fair share of reliability problems in determining the age of certain
artifacts. This would be especially true of an artifact like the shroud because
it has been subjected to date skewing elements like carbon-based soot and smoke
from fires as well as biological elements that are now known to have grown on
the fibers of the cloth. There is also one other date-skewing possibility that
must be considered. If one is going to be perfectly objective in their
scientific analysis of the shroud, one cannot start with any presupposition
concerning its authenticity. A true scientist will be able to fully consider the
possibility that the shroud is a forgery, and with that, they must also fully
consider the possibility that the shroud is genuine. And with the consideration
that the shroud could be the genuine burial cloth of Yeshua, it must also
be considered that the energy that caused his image to be seared on the cloth...
in all probability... subjected it to forces that science does not yet
understand. After all, it's not every day that someone comes back to life after
being dead for three days! We know from Scripture that all death and decay is
detestable to God and there is none of it in His presence. We also know that
when His power comes in contact with anything, all death and decay ceases. One
possibility that must be considered is that it may have taken hundreds of
years for any residual death-and-decay arresting energy remaining on the cloth to
completely fade away before natural decay like C14 could resume. The bottom line
is that C14 is not a reliable indicator... especially in the case of the shroud.
It is ludicrous for an objective person to rest the entire case of the shroud on
this one bit of unreliable evidence.
The shroud could not be the work of a forger
There is no way a medieval forger could have known his work would eventually be put to the scientific scrutiny that the shroud is being subjected to today. Yet the shroud continues to yield authenticating information that has been indecipherable up until recently. A forger would have had to go to unimaginable lengths to incorporate this information into the shroud for no good reason whatsoever. For one thing, people of medieval times were generally illiterate gullible followers of the church and easily fooled into believing most anything the church told them to believe. A forger wouldn't have had to incorporate even a tiny fraction the information found in the shroud to successfully dupe the masses for many hundreds of years. Of the hidden facts that no one could have known until the recent advent of high tech forensic analysis are these.
1. The blood was placed on the cloth first, before the image was burned on it because the image of the man was burned on top of the blood! How difficult would that have been to accomplish and get the blood in exactly the right places, and more importantly, how could a forger have known anyone would ever be able to tell the difference? Wouldn't it have been much easier to make the image first, and then strategically place blood in exactly the right spots?
2. The blood on the cloth was saturated with excessive amounts of bilirubin. How could a forger know that the brutal scourging Yeshua endured from the Roman flagrum causes what medical science today calls erythrocyte hemolysis, and someone in the future would posses the technology to be able to tell the difference?
3. Dirt from the feet of the man in the shroud is consistent with that of the calcium carbonate soil of the Jerusalem area. How could a forger know there was difference... let alone know that someone in the future would be able to discern the difference?
4. Many pollen grains imbedded in the shroud fibers are from plants that are indigenous exclusively to Israel. A forger in Europe would have had to obtain the pollen and intentionally salt the fabric with it. How could a forger have known the difference himself and that many hundreds of years later the pollen grains would still be there and someone would be able to identify them?
Then there are the more obvious facts concerning the man in the shroud that defy conventional medieval pictures of the crucifixion. The question is, why would a forger produce a picture that the masses would instantly be inclined to reject? Among these bold-face clashes with the conventional thinking of medieval times are these.
1. The nails that held the man in the shroud to the cross went through his wrists. In medieval times, every painting of the crucifixion portrayed the nails going squarely through Yeshua's palms. We now known that the Romans nailed their victims through the wrists.
2. The man in the shroud is naked. This would have shocked and repulsed medieval Christians.
3. The head of the man in the shroud is situated too low on the body to look natural. How could an incredibly talented forger make such a simple and obvious mistake? The low appearing head is due to the fact that rigor mortise had set in and Yeshua's head was stuck in a slight hanging down position, and he wasn't laying flat when he was placed in the shroud. Therefore the distance between his chin and chest was much shorter for the shroud to span so that when the shroud is laid flat, it looks like his head is too low on his body.
4. The face of the man in the shroud is so unnatural looking with his long nose and large eye sockets that no one would naturally want to believe their Lord looked like an alien from mars! Why would a forger do something like this? Even today, people can't believe Yeshua actually looked the way he appears on the shroud. Those who publish pictures of his face regularly tweak the height to width aspect ratio of the pictures in an attempt to make him look a little more human. Below is an un-tweaked picture of the face in the shroud.
If this is actually how Yeshua looked, Judas wouldn't have had to identify him with a kiss. He could have just told the authorities, "Yeshua is the one with the unbelievably long face and nose... and he has huge eyes! There's no one else like him... you can't miss him!" But Judas had to betray him with a kiss. Apparently Yeshua didn't appear very different from other Jewish men his age. And to reiterate the main point, why would a forger who wanted his hoax to be believed, go and produce something so unbelievable?
Most everyone who loves Yeshua is quite disappointed at what they see in this picture. We don't really want it to be a true representation of him. He doesn't look at all normal... if even human. After studying this picture for a long time I made a startling discovery. It was only after a television documentary made the observation that the man in the shroud appeared to have a broken nose that I made the discovery. It does indeed appear that Yeshua's nose is broken. But if one looks closely at the point of the supposed break in his nose, it will be noticed that there are two dark shadows angling slightly downward across his cheeks on both sides of his face. And on the left side of the picture, if one follows the shadow to the area of his hair, there appears to be what looks like a white string with two breaks in it. Notice that these breaks are in perfect alignment with the shadow and apparent break in Yeshua's nose. For the first time I realized that these anomalies in the picture are due to the very natural way in which a cloth might warp and wrinkle as it is draped across a person's face! And where the wrinkle crossed the nose, the image of the nose would be slightly offset giving the appearance of a broken nose! Also, if one looks closely at the bridge of Yeshua's nose just below his brow, two more faint dark lines are observable. The lower one lines up perfectly with the white line through the eye on the right. This is another small wrinkle that was in the cloth at the time Yeshua's image was scorched onto it. When Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus placed Yeshua's body in the cloth, they had no idea that a resurrection might photo copy an image of Yeshua on the cloth... so they wouldn't have known that they should have pulled every wrinkle out of it! Below is an example of how the cloth might have draped across Yeshua's face.
Consequently, when the shroud is laid flat and the wrinkles pulled out of it, the image of Yeshua's face becomes elongated and distorted. Wrinkles and creases in the shroud at the time of Yeshua's resurrection are responsible for a number of problems researchers have come across. One problem is that Yeshua's dorsal image is longer than the front view. This obviously means there were more wrinkles in the cloth under Yeshua's back. This too is strong evidence that the shroud is not the work of a forger. What forger who might possess the unbelievable talent to accomplish such a forgery would make the simple mistake of portraying the back image longer than the front? We must also ask the question, why would a forger bother with going to the extraordinary length of producing a back view at all? A front view by itself would have been more than sufficient to accomplish a hoax.
Below are two pictures given side by side for comparison. The left picture is the unaltered version of Yeshua's face as it appears on the shroud. The picture on the right is an adjusted picture with the wrinkle effect in the cloth removed. When compared side by side, the distortion from the wrinkle effect in the original becomes obvious.
This must be much closer to how Yeshua actually appeared to those who knew him. Future work on the shroud will no doubt
remove more distortions and give us an even more accurate picture of Yeshua.
Reason for the shroud's existence
I believe God has intentionally given mankind a photograph of Yeshua the Messiah for a purpose. I have previously argued that the Messiah must be required to provide genealogical record of his ancestry to David through his fathers, and Levi through his mother, and I have shown that Yeshua is the only one who is capable of providing both of these records. In the absence of these, a false Messiah could deceive many. But then the problem arises, what if a false Messiah claims to be Yeshua? How will we know he's not Yeshua? Here is where God's provision in giving us a photograph will set the record straight. Thanks to the help of modern technology which gives us the ability to refine and enhance the image on the shroud, we now have a pretty good idea of how Yeshua appears. Anyone who claims to be Yeshua and cannot be recognized as the same person who's face is in the shroud should be considered a fraud. Conversely, when Yeshua does appear, we will know without a doubt that it is him. He will certainly appear in much better physical condition as well as appear with great glory. His eyes may appear as a flame of fire, and his hair as white as wool (Revelation 1:12-15), but like John, we will see his face and recognize him as the person whose face is seen in the shroud. I would urge everyone to carefully study this face and memorize it for future reference. Notice that the man in the picture is undoubtedly of Jewish ancestry.
Having made the case for Yeshua's Messiahship, I still maintain that it is not absolutely necessary at this point in time for the Jewish person to believe that Yeshua is the Messiah (though I certainly wouldn't want to discourage it). But in the future, when it becomes obvious to the whole world that Yeshua is alive and returning, and the governing powers of the world demand that each individual make a statement of their loyalties, it will be absolutely necessary at that time for Jews as well as Gentiles to align themselves with Yeshua. But again, the last thing a Jew needs today is Christianity. As I have shown, Christianity is Paul's spawning. Yeshua was and will always be a Law abiding Jew. The Messiah belongs first and foremost to his people Israel. It would still be best if a Jew came to embrace Yeshua as his Messiah now. But the least that I would urge the Jewish person to do at this time is keep these arguments and picture in the back of their mind... and keep watching.
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