The Betrayal of Jesus by Judas
The betrayal of Jesus is one of the most important events in Scripture. It should not be a surprise it would be mentioned in the Old Testament as well as our more familiar New Testament. Jeff was about to find out how important this betrayal as he is given more information by his visiting angel.
More Time in the ICU
The dream that Jeff had during the time he was unconscious on a ventilator was particularly long. Of course, that several day periods while Jeff was unconscious presented a good opportunity for the angel to deliver a particularly long sermon – and the angel took advantage of that opportunity. I remember how in medical school, sometimes the teachers would keep on lecturing long past the time when the class was supposed to be over. If you had another engagement planned – well, you were simply out of luck. It would be very poor form to leave a lecture while the professor while teaching; he would certainly remember your name and make your life miserable later.
Similarly, the angel had a lot to teach on this topic of finding the Messiah’s name – Yeshua – all throughout the Old Testament. When you have a theological novice such as Jeff, there is a lot of groundwork to be put down; it takes time and much patience to go through everything with somebody whose mind is not prepared for your message.
Yeshua throughout the Old Testament
“Son of Earth, the Messiah’s name is mentioned throughout Scripture, occurring hidden underneath the text in plain view for everybody to see if they would look. And, the word Yeshua occurs mostly in Messianic Scripture. Do you know what Messianic Scripture in the Old Testament is about, Son of Earth?”
“Isn’t it those verses which foretell of the Messiah?”
“Excellent!” I could tell the angel was pleased with me.
“We have already discussed one of the major Messianic verses, that of Isaiah 53. As you remember, in Isaiah 53:10 are hidden the words, Yeshua Shmi or “Yeshua [Jesus] is my name.” We will now discuss some others. For example, a passage of Genesis illustrates how God provided a “coat of skin” for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness after they sinned. “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21). While most people reading this passage simply skim over it as an unimportant detail, its importance, in reality, cannot be overstated.”
“In this passage, God killed innocent animals as a blood sacrifice to cover the sins and nakedness of Adam and Eve. This passage is widely recognized as a Messianic passage in that it was a prophetic sign of the sacrifice of the innocent Passover Lamb. Modern Jews recognize the sacrifice of an innocent lamb every Passover as they annually celebrated their Exodus from Egypt. It was, of course, also a symbol of the sacrifice the Lamb of God would make to atone for the sins of all those who would believe in him.”
“But, Son of Earth, God has also placed in plain sight within this passage of Genesis 3;21 another Messianic message. Beginning with the letter heh and counting forward every ninth letter, we find the word Yoshua meaning “He will save.” Yoshua is a Hebrew equivalent name for Yeshua, and brings to mind the passage where another angel Gabriel told Mary what she would name her young son, “Thou shalt call his name JESUS for he shall save his people from their sins.”
“So, angel, Jesus’ name is contained in Scripture all the way back in the first part of Genesis in the context of covering the nakedness of Adam and Eve after they had committed the first sin?”
“Exactly right,” said the angel.
“He seemed pleased I had grasped the importance of what he was trying to say to me. After a few days and many hours with the angel, I was finally able to feel comfortable in his presence – or at least gauge when he was happy.”
“Judas Iscariot – the traitor who betrayed Jesus to the Romans – is also mentioned in the Old Testament. God – who has ‘declared the end from the beginning’ knows all about everybody who has ever lived – and who will ever live! The most important men in the despicable, illegal trial of the maker of the universe are described,”
All my enemies whisper together against me; they imagine the worse for me, saying ‘avile disease has best him; he will never get up from the place where he lies.’ Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”
“Within this short three verses, specifically within the phrase, “they plot evil against me” – is encoded the one against whom they plot evil – Yeshua.”
“So angel,” I said trying to gather some of my thoughts. “What you are telling me – if I am not mistaken – is that Scripture seems to place the name Yeshua – the Hebrew form of Jesus – all through the Old Testament. And even more than that, Jesus’ name is embedded in many of the Old Testament Messianic prophecies?”
The Betrayal of Jesus
“Exactly right! Now let’s go on to look at another perhaps more famous Messianic prophecy. Over 500 years before the Messiah was born, another ancient prophet named Zechariah wrote this prophecy,
And I said to them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.”
“The Messiah was betrayed by the Jews for the price of a slave to further humiliate Jesus. The fact that this short Bible verse does not refer to just any slave or to some non-related event, but rather to the thirty pieces of silver paid for Christ is revealed by the words hidden in plain sight. The word Yeshua (Jesus) is encoded within Zechariah’s passage starting with the words “my price.” Similarly, Zechariah prophetically saw Jesus’ Second Coming to save Israel at Armageddon from total destruction. It will be at that time that the Jewish people finally see Yeshua as their Messiah, “
“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 they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10).
“So, just who is this person “whom they have pierced” that the Jews will one day recognize? Again, within this Messianic prophecy of Zechariah lies in plain view lies the phrase “an only son” and “Messiah” – the Messiah who is an only son.”
“But Son of Earth, let’s move on to one of the greatest prophecies in the Bible; the one dealing with Daniel’s vision of the seventy weeks. Have you heard of this prophesy?”
“Dave, I remembered this one for sure. My parents had harped about it all the time! They also referred to it as one of the leading prophesies of the Old Testament – the one that that was partially in our past, and partially in our future. I answered the angel, ‘Yes, even I know that that one.”
“Good.” the angel replied. “Let me recite it for you because we will be coming back to this prophecy again in future dreams.’
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 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 and the sanctuary: and the end shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war, desolations are determined. And he shall confirm and covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week, he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease and for the overspreading of the abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
“What does all that mean?” I asked the angel. It seems rather encrypted and difficult to understand – at least for me! I mean really, for such an important prophecy, why couldn’t it be more simply stated?”
“Son of Earth, I will not at this time tell you exactly what it means – that is for a later time.”
“The angel could sense my disappointment – I don’t like to be kept hanging! But he was not to be deterred in what he was to say.”
“For many years, Son of Earth, theologians have argued about the identity of ‘Messiah the Prince.’ Some have argued for what seems to be obvious – that ‘Messiah the Prince’ refers to the Messiah – the Christ. But others have imagined this referred to King Hezekiah or some other historical individual. However, the original Hebrew Scripture clearly tells us to whom it is referring; in the phrase, ‘the city’ starts the name Nazarene, along with other words King, Branch, Jesse, Yeshua, and Messiah. Hidden in plain sight for those with computers to find are descriptors of Christ – the real ‘Messiah the Prince.’
“So what does it all mean, angel?”
“One more thing, Son of Earth and I will let you go for the night. There is another Messianic Scripture in the Old Testament that is not as well-known as Isaiah 53 which we have already talked about. This Scripture is much older still and is found in Psalm 22, written about a thousand years before the Messiah was born. It is in this Scripture that several descriptions of crucifixion are foretold – a means of execution that was not even invented when the Scripture was written. For example, “they pierced my hands and my feet.”
Additionally, King David’s prophecy in Psalms 22 revealed that the soldiers would gamble for Christ’s garments with these words,
For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; They pierced my hands and my feet, I may tell all my bones, and look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”
“Clustered within this small phrase is a series of words hidden until recently but in plain sight. These words include Yeshua, King, Branch, Jesse, Messiah, and Salvation.”
“Just so you understand clearly, Son of Earth, the words indicate that the one described in Psalm 22 would be the “anointed” one, descended from “Jesse,” the father of King David, and would be the “king of the Jews.” He would fulfill prophecies of the “Branch” and was named Yeshua (or Jesus) by the angel Gabriel as communicated to his mother Mary because “He will save His people from their sins.”
“So, angel, what you are trying to point out to me is the number of times Jesus’ Hebrew name Yeshua or Yehoshua is found in the Old Testament?”
“Son of Earth, what I am trying to teach you is not only how often Christ’s name Yeshua is in the Old Testament text, but in relevant portions of the Bible, text discussing the future Messiah such as all the Messianic prophesies. So not only are the Messianic prophesies amazing in their own right, but finding Christ’s personal name as well as personal characteristics in these relevant prophecies is astounding! The chances of this occurring by chance are astronomical.”
“So angel, what does all of this mean for me? I mean, how does any of this affect me?”
The angel turned up the heat; his brilliance increased tremendously to the point where being in his presence was uncomfortable. There was nowhere to look where the brilliant light was not permeating through me. I could not hide from it; even putting my arm across my eyes did not lessen his brilliance one bit. I was horrified, down on my knees screaming for him to stop!.
“Why did the angel torture you this way? Didn’t he see you were uncomfortable?”
“Yes, because I was crying – no screaming out for him to stop. Maybe about a minute passed; the angel had my attention. He then toned down his brilliance to remove my discomfort. I was able to gather my thoughts and slowly get up to stand in front of the angel again.”
“Son of Earth, take this message with you always, ponder it frequently and concentrate on its meaning; it is placed in your consciousness so you will never forget anything I have told you. Of course, what you care to do with this information is up to you. But remember this; the Holy Spirit impressed upon all the writers of the Old Testament to write everything down word by word and letter by letter in the original Hebrew so that all the hidden messages would come out correctly.”
The angel then paused for a few moments to help emphasize the importance of what he was going to say. “Any tiny deviation such as an extra letter here, or a letter omitted there, would not necessarily change the meaning of Scripture, but any alterations would have obliterated the hidden message contained within. The implication is that every word and every letter in Scripture is exactly what they are supposed to be; that every teaching, every promise, and every command in Scripture was placed there by God’s prompting.”
“OK, angel, I hear what you’re saying.” I wanted to be sure I told him that because the last thing I wanted was to have his brilliance turned on again! “But angel, look. There are a lot of inconsistencies and outright contradictions in the Bible; isn’t that true? Maybe some parts were written by God, while others weren’t, or maybe parts have been distorted through countless generations of scribes writing and re-writing things. How can I know that isn’t true?”
“I was expecting the angel to get mad at me, cause me pain, or at least be unhappy with my questions – but he wasn’t! So I continued on.”
“And do you really expect me to believe Adam and Eve, that the Earth was covered with water in a great flood, that the earth was created in 6000 years or that Moses parted the Red Sea! Really, these are just fables or myths that teach us things but don’t actually represent historical events – right? I mean science has shown the flood never occurred, there is no evidence Moses or several million Israelites wandered in the desert, and the world is billions of years old – not just thousands. Surely you see where I’m coming from; a thinking person – a modern person – can’t be a Christian, or at least can’t believe in the entirety of the Bible.”
“Son of Earth, I am pleased you are finally voicing your concerns; why you are having intellectual problems believing in the inerrancy of Scripture. We will come back to some of your objections later but hear this, you will be amazed at the answers. You have made many false assumptions in coming to your wrong conclusions. The advancement of science proves the Biblical narrative rather than discrediting it; you were supposed to spend your life studying these things but clearly have wasted much of your precious time on earth on worthless pursuits and pleasures. But that is why I am here; as a messenger trying to improve your knowledge quickly so that hopefully we can remove obstacles to your belief in God before your death in the near future.”
“That’s it, Dave. The angel just faded out, his brilliance disappeared, and gradually I woke up. Like with the other dreams, I remember everything words for word; it is as if I were some autistic savant who forgets nothing. I have a feeling we are moving away from hidden Biblical knowledge to other things.”
“So, Jeff, what do you think about what the angel has told you?”
“First, Dave, I’m not sure about whether there is really an angel or not; I mean, I’ve been getting a lot of drugs while here in the hospital – this whole thing could just be a drug-induced hallucination.”
“Well, Jeff, it is easy enough to find out, isn’t it? I mean, if it is all just a hallucination, none of the details about what the hallucination was telling you would pan out, right? I mean, if you check in a Hebrew Old Testament, you could see whether what he was telling you was right or not. I’ll tell you what; I know there is naturally some hesitancy in checking this stuff out because if it is true, then you might be passing from this world of sorrows sooner than you might like; am I right?”
“Well, maybe. I mean, that would be the implication and probably explains why I haven’t check out anything the angel has told me so far.”
“OK, I’ll tell you what. I’ll get you a Hebrew-English Tanakh – what we would call the Old Testament – and let you examine what you remember the angel telling you. Go back to the original references and see if what they say is not correct. I’ll get you the oldest known Hebrew version so it will probably be closest to the original. For once in your life, Jeff, do your own research. The angel has been spoon-feeding you for the past few weeks but you have to make up hour own mind and the only way to make your own decision is to do your own research.”
“It’s a deal. I can’t go out shopping for a while – I’m kind of stuck in the hospital still. I’ve got a lot of time on my hands – I guess it’s more difficult for me to get into trouble when I’m stuck in here.
After a few more words, we parted company. I said good-bye and went looking for the elevator. A lot has happened over the past few weeks, and it looks like things are going to be more serious. I wondered how much more time Jeff had; if what the angel was saying was right, he had at most 40 more weeks to live – but still could die today if something bad occurred. Jeff realized that he, like, all other mortals, could die at any time; we are all one heartbeat from eternity. As with anybody, there was no guarantee for Jeff that he would take his next breath, let alone live for several more months.
All of this affected me as well. Jeff and I had started to become friends again; kind of odd given we were two very different people with two very different life stories once out of college. Still, Jeff was starting to doubt whether he spends his life well. It is often the case as we approach the end of our lives that we ponder our mortality more, and wonder whether our innumerable lifetime decisions led us down the right path or whether we might have done better with better decisions. Jeff was a very proud man and was not yet ready to face the possibility that his entire life course had been misspent, that he was meant for much more than just pleasure-seeking. Of course, we never know what we could have bend had we made better choices, worked harder, chosen a better path.
Jeff gradually improved over the next week to the point where his oxygen requirements were less, and he could start ambulating a few feet about his room, but he was clearly not ready to go home. He qualified for an in-patient rehabilitation facility nearby in town and he was transferred there to complete his physical rehabilitation.
His mental rehabilitation would take a little longer. His dreams were starting to have an effect on him, but he was certainly not ready to change his lifestyle. Over the years, he considered any Christian to be a “loser,” someone using a crutch because he couldn’t face the unfortunate fact of his physical demise. Most people would rather live a lie than fearlessly face the inevitable; that you live to accumulate the most toys and physical pleasure because you will soon rot in the ground and be forgotten. When you are convinced of the absurdity of life, you despise those who live differently. To him, he was the brave soul, unfettered with foolish belief systems about an ancient deity you could never physically experience. His life was free of the consequences of such belief, such as self-control, humility, piety, and helping others lead better lives.
The angel kept telling Jeff his life was largely wasted. Life is not to live for yourself but to live for others. What a foolish belief, he would tell himself; how can anyone achieve greatness by living for others? But it was difficult to figure out how to counter what the angel had told him. If the angel were to be believed, the odds were many thousands to one against finding such hidden information behind the written Biblical text by chance, especially when this same kind of information couldn’t be found in other ancient books and other religious literature. Surely, there was an alternative explanation; the many critics of the hidden codes – and there are many – refused to change their belief systems so there must be something more than angel was withholding from him.
After Jeff was transferred to the rehabilitation facility, I procured for him a copy of the Tanakh written in Hebrew with English translation so he could investigate the angel’s claims himself – he could personally evaluate whether this hidden information was really there – hidden in plain sight – or if there were some elaborate trickery “producing” non-existent hidden information. Maybe the original computer programs were flawed after all; maybe he could come up with some alternative explanation which eluded other skeptics.
Meanwhile, I had to get back to work; my patient back-load was increasing every day. It seemed as though everything was gradually returning to normal. Jeff had no further dreams once he started his rehabilitation. For a few weeks, I heard from him every day, but then his calls became less and less frequent. It seemed as though he was again losing interest in Christianity, and that his mind was becoming filled with mundane events of the day; sports, politics, and other distractions. He related to me later that he had misplaced his copy of the Hebrew Tanakh.
But as might be expected, I was called early one morning, interrupting once again my patient rounds; the angel had returned with another message. Jeff seemed excited; he said the angel didn’t talk about hidden information requiring computer programs to find. Now he was talking about why the Jewish leaders were expecting a Messiah so eagerly. They had a reason – a very good reason; they knew it was time for the Messiah to come – they were just unprepared for the Messiah they got.
Jeff said he now understands what he could never comprehend before. He wanted me to come so he could explain it to me personally. I told him I would take the weekend off and come to see him again in rehab.
He had quite a message.