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Messianic Expectation Part 1

Messianic Expectation Part 1

Biblical Worldview Course – 4a



This session is a brief overview of Messianic expectation through the Torah, the Psalms, and the Prophets. This overview will then serve as a blueprint for understanding the various titles, roles, and attributes ascribed to Jesus of Nazareth – highlighting the fact that the expectations of the Messiah presented in the OT were maintained throughout the NT.



The content of this classes notes are below with partial formatting. If you would like to see the notes with complete formatting,

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1 The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham: (Mat 1:1 NASB)

A.    The New Testament begins with the acknowledgment of Messianic expectation by stating that the One promised to David (cf. II Sam. 7) and to Abraham (cf. Gen. 12) as their descendant came to the earth born of a woman. Thus, reaffirming the hope of the Jewish audience not altering it.

B.    For the most part, modern Christian theology —assuming a Platonic cosmology —is based largely upon a non-existent verse in the Bible. Most modern teachings regarding salvation, eschatology, the kingdom, and the Christ all assume a passage in the Scripture where Jesus (and presumably reaffirmed by Paul) corrects the foolish Jews for their naïve expectation of Him. The problem, of course, is that this passage does not exist.

C.   Because the New Testament, as a whole, is built upon the assumption of Old Testament Messianic expectation, the alteration (and thus perversion) of this expectation has been the primary source of confusion within the 38,000+ Christian denominations which exist on the earth today.

D.   The fact that most members of Christian churches assume the word ‘Christ’ to be little more than Jesus’ surname is primary evidence that something tragic has happened. Few acknowledge the amount of damage done by the Gnostic Christianity of the modern church.[1] Christoplatonism[2] has not only perverted Biblical theology (namely Christology), but Biblical hope as a whole.

E.    While the coming and ministry of Jesus and the apostles introduced new understanding regarding the manner of inclusion into the promises made to Abraham (i.e. ALL who repent and believe), it is essential to note that there was never an alteration in the fundamental hope of the Patriarchs.  The hope in the Messianic seed who would resurrect and deliver the righteous, restore creation, and crush the wicked has always been the same.

14 “But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets; 15 having a hope in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. (Acts 24:14-15 NASB)

3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ (i.e. the Messiah). 4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus (other than the Jewish Messiah) whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. (2Cr 11:3-4 NASB)

22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. … 24 As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning (the promises from the OT)… (1Jo 2:22, 24 NASB)

F.    Thus, the coming of Jesus was understood to be the reassurance of the promises given to the patriarchs and the prophets and not their redefinition.

19 So we have the prophetic word (i.e. given to the patriarchs and prophets) made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention (i.e. the eyewitness accounts) as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God (not the will of man, but the will of God). (2Pe 1:19-21 NASB)

9 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’ (i.e. as it was in the beginning); (Isa 46:9-10 NASB)

[1] Pure Gnostic Christology —as displayed in Docetism (i.e. that Jesus never had an actual body, but was incorporeal) —was only really applied in a few limited geographical regions. However, the Gnostic ‘Jesus’ has become widely accepted by the church in the common view that He shed His physical body at the ascension. Thus, it is the Gnostic, immaterial Jesus who has ascended into the immaterial heavens for His immaterial reign over materiality until the time for it’s destruction.

[2] ‘Christoplatonism’ is a term used by Randy Alcorn and others to describe the new worldview which derived from the union of classical Christianity and classical Platonism. Primarily the product of the Alexandrian school, under the leadership of Origen whose mission was the synthesis of Hellenism and Christianity, ‘Christoplatonism’ is a modern term which the Apostles would have simply known as Gnosticism.



A.    The New Testament assumes the same Messianic expectation as the Old Testament. Because it assumes the same cosmogenical (i.e. the original perfection of creation) framework and the same eschatological conclusion (i.e. the restoration of all things) it also assumes the same means of accomplishing God the Father’s “good pleasure” (cf. Is. 46:10, Is. 42:1).

19 “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. (Act 3:19-21 NASB)

20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. (Rom 8:20-23 NASB)

B.    The Messiah is the agent by which the Father is going to restore all things and to bring an end to wickedness and tyranny on the earth forever. The ‘Gospel’ spread in the 1st century is thus the gospel of Christ. The gospel is essentially that Jesus of Nazareth was the One whom God appointed to be the agent of restoration for creation and to establish everlasting righteousness on the planet under God’s leadership —thus, judging the earth, purging it from wickedness.

4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2Cr 4:4 NASB)

42 “And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. (Act 10:42 NASB)

6 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth–to every nation, tribe, language and people. 7 He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Rev 14:6-7 NIV)



A.    Messianic expectation in the 1st century (as it should be now) was based on the covenants which God made to the Patriarchs of Israel. Any reference to ‘promises’ in the New Testament presupposes that the Biblical backbone of the whole narrative —i.e. the covenants —are known and understood by the audience. There is no reference to any arbitrary ‘promises’ in the New Testament, but only to those promises made within the context of the covenants given to the patriarchs.

B.    The beginning of the covenants was God’s covenant to creation. This covenant is not a symbolic covenant, but an actual binding agreement which God made with His creation. Thus, God’s faithfulness to creation as a whole is the context from which all of the covenants are interpreted.

20 “Thus says the LORD: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time, 21 then also my covenant with David my servant may be broken, so that he shall not have a son (i.e. the Messiah) to reign on his throne, and my covenant with the Levitical priests my ministers. (Jer 33:20-21 ESV)

34My covenant I will not violate, Nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. 35 ” Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 “His descendants (lit. ‘seed’ singular) shall endure forever And his throne as the sun before Me. 37It shall be established forever like the moon, And the witness in the sky is faithful.” Selah. (Psa 89:34-37 NASB)

C.    The lack of context given for the covenants has resulted in a liberal reinterpretation of the covenants as well as the context within which they were given. All of the Biblical covenants look to the Messianic Kingdom for their fulfillment which is simply the restoration of the original Adamic Kingdom.

20 “and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 “whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began (i.e. fall of Adamic Kingdom). (Act 3:20-21 NKJV)

6 But one has testified somewhere, saying, (cf. Ps. 8) “WHAT IS MAN, THAT YOU REMEMBER HIM? OR THE SON OF MAN (lit. from Heb. ‘son of Adam’) , THAT YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT HIM? 7 “YOU HAVE MADE HIM FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS; YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR, AND HAVE APPOINTED HIM OVER THE WORKS OF YOUR HANDS; 8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET.” For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him (i.e. to Jesus as the son of Adam). But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. (Hbr 2:6-8 NASB)

D.   The rest of the covenants are simply reaffirmations of this original covenant with Adam, and simply serve to reinforce the certainty of God’s covenant to restore the Adamic covenant within the context of a restored creation as a whole. Thus, none of the covenants have been fulfilled, but await their fulfillment in the coming of the Messiah in the clouds.

9 “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; (Isa 46:9-10 NASB)

Bill Scofield (52 Posts)

Bill is husband to Charis, and father to their 6 children. He is a Bible teacher, elder, and missions trainer.

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