“I am the LORD, I change not…Remember ye the law of Moses my servant…lest I come and smite the earth.” (Malachi 3-4)
We know there are laws defining and regulating the human relationships to guard against abuse and exploitation of one partner against the other.
Likewise, there are laws defining and regulating a human’s relationship with Creator God. And humans don’t get to make them. They were given to humanity through Moses.
A correct hermeneutical examination of scripture leads inexorably to the conclusion that Moses – not Jesus Christ – is God’s primary messenger to humanity.
Shocking. Yeah. It was to me too.
John 3:16 has been called “The Gospel in a nutshell” because it provides a stunningly succinct summary of the doctrine of the Christian faith.”
Whoa Nellie! This verse provides a stunningly succinct summary of the doctrine of faith in God’s plan for all humanity for all time.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
The unchanging theme of the Bible is that God created mankind for relationship.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion.” (Genesis 1:26)
Clearly, dominion must be shared with God, since as the account progresses the first two sons of God are given instructions to follow. God is still the ultimate ruler, because he alone has the power. This is the truth. Who but him can create and sustain a universe?
The consistent lie of the adversary – those false, i.e. untrustworthy gods – is that mankind can achieve the same degree of power as the God of creation, and become independent of God.
“Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?…For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods,” (Genesis 3:1-5)
And defying God’s authority caused the loss of relationship with God.
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?” (Genesis 3:8-9)
But God immediately promised a redeemer.
“the Lord God said unto the serpent…I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and…her seed…shall bruise thy head.” (Genesis 3:14-15)
Moses “the man / ha Adam of God” had as much an exclusive relationship with God in the post-flood world as Adam did in the old world. Notice how much God identifies with Moses, and delegates him as his earthly representative / vicar. He even names his own policies and procedures “the law of Moses.” This is consistent with God’s delegation of authority to Adam.
- I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say…
- THOU shalt speak unto him
- THOU shalt be to him instead of God.” (Exodus 4:10-16)
While in the narrow context “him” is Aaron, in the broad scheme of things, Moses stands in for God for all humanity, overcoming the basic human survival instinct when encountering hyperdimensional Almighty God.
“Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram…Behold, I am according to thy wish in God’s stead: I also am formed out of the clay. Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid…For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not…If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his [God’s] uprightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom...all these things worketh God oftentimes with man…Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me…for I desire to justify thee.” (Job 32-33)
And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD / Jehovah: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God / Almighty One, but by my name Jehovah / LORD / YHVH was I not known to them…Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I [am]/ ani the LORD / Jehovah / YHVH” (Exodus 6:2-6
‘According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God…that I die not. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” (Deuteronomy 18:15-17)
All subsequent messengers must be accredited by Moses.
Jesus Christ himself validated all his claims, including the impact of his death and resurrection, through Moses’ writings.
“Jesus himself drew near, and…he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another…And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people…the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel...Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken…And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:15-27)
Moses laid down the law on how to avoid righteous God’s judgment.
“this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live.” (Deuteronomy 30:11-16)
Jesus Christ gave the same instructions.
“a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till ALL be fulfilled.” (Luke 10:25-28)
The Apostle Paul explained that this law is the same for non-Jews who also put their faith in YHVH’s Savior. How so? Paul explicitly connects “life” with resurrection from the dead through the Seed of the Woman, YHVH’s Chosen Savior. This was fulfilled in the man we call Jesus Christ, but was promised to the very first two humans, and applies to ALL humanity.
“Moses describeth the righteousness which is of…faith…Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart:
that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the LORD Jesus / YHVH’s Savior, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him…So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world…I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 6:5-18; 12:1)
The essential role of Jesus Christ is saving from judgment. This is called intercession.
Moses was the quintessential Jewish lawyer, interceding for the guilty parties time and again. He not only delivered the Hebrew people from Egyptian tyranny, but he willingly offered to deliver them from eternal damnation by sacrificing his own life.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand. Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people..” (Exodus 32:9-12)
“Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin – himself!
And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
Moses is offering to be eternally damned!
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15
And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book…in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.” (Exodus 32:30-33)
Jesus Christ is certainly the penultimate Melchizedekian successor to Moses in this regard. His uniquely sinless death is the only sacrifice capable of restoring eternal life to humanity.
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yeshua’s Promised Savior / Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation [appeasement] for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world…Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (I John 2:1-2, Romans 8:33-34)
When we acknowledge the unity of God’s word and its intended audience of the whole world, we realize that
- Jesus Christ is not the unique savior to a religion of New Testament Christianity
- and Moses does not belong uniquely to a religion of Old Testament Judaism
“Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec…king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham…it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest…because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death…to make intercession.” (Hebrews 6:20-7:28)
“God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses…”
For sure Moses was paralyzed by shock. Any parent can understand why God called his name twice, raising his voice no doubt the second time – to shake him out of his inner world.
I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. I am come down to deliver them…therefore…I will send thee…that thou mayest bring forth my people…And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am / YHVH...the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob…this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations…Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Exodus 3, Acts 4:12)
The scripturally literate apostles knew what they were saying when they stated that YHVH’s Chosen Savior is the only name under heaven whereby we must be saved because of the name / attributes of YHVH that are unchanged throughout all of human history.
- “Moses…did God send to be a ruler and a deliverer…
- Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the LORD your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear…
- This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina…who received the lively / life-giving oracles to give unto us:” (Acts 7:35-38)
“The words of the LORD are pure words…Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:6-7
Misunderstanding the parallel traits between Moses and Jesus Christ has led to tremendous non-biblical fragmentation into Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and a host of other religions claiming to be based on the Bible.
Islam denies God the power to preserve his words.
Islam is not limited to the revelation that was sent to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, but was also the message of previous Prophets. The Qur’ān teaches that previous religions, such as Christianity and Judaism, in their original forms were based on the oneness of God. Each Prophet conveyed the consistent divine message of worshiping one God and living a morally upright life. Moses, like other Prophets, called his people to worship only one God and foretold of a final Messenger. However, the original message of Moses was lost, abandoned, or changed over time and only parts of the original message remained intact…
The Quran confirms the original revelation that was given to Prophet Moses called the Torah and the Injīl (the Gospel) that was revealed to Prophet Jesus.
Known as the sacred scriptures of the three Abrahamic Faiths, the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran are all universally linked. They are all revealed from the one God of Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. The Quran is the culmination of revelation as prophesied in the preceding two books. Nevertheless, Muslims have a different understanding of the Torah. For Jews and Christians, the Torah is believed to be the first five books of the Bible beginning with Genesis. However, when examined carefully, these books do not represent revelation given to Moses but are instead biographies…
Therefore, even the definition of Torah in the Judea-Christian literature is not like the Qur’ānic reference to the Torah…The Qur’ān speaks of confirming previous scriptures, but it is conditional and indicates in no uncertain terms that only the Qur’ān is the final judge and criterion used to discern what parts of previous scripture is the word of God and what is the word of humans…
Moses is honored and revered in the Qur’ān…He is not only a Prophet among others in the chain of Prophets, but he is one of the five greatest Prophets, the others being Noah, Abraham, Jesus, and Muhammad peace be upon them. Each of these Prophets delivered the same message, to worship God alone and follow His teachings. Islam is considered one religion from Adam to Jacob to Moses, to Muhammad. Therefore, Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him did not start Islam, but completed it.
And what about Judaism’s view of Moses?
“And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses” (Deuteronomy 33:1-3)
The word since clearly indicates a later interposition of a time frame after Moses’ death. This statement about Moses would have been added in by Ezra. It refutes, intentionally at the time of writing or not, any attribution of himself as being a second Moses, i.e., being “the Prophet” who would establish changes in the Mosaic covenant.
However, another Jewish interpolation also eliminates Jesus Christ as the founder of the new covenant promised through Jeremiah at the beginning of the Babylonian Exile.
“I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces;
- and the city shall be builded upon her own heap…
- And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them…
- And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God…(Jeremiah 30:18-22)
- I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
- Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
The specifics of the new covenant are included in this same passage, and categorically refute any claim that Ezra brought to pass the new covenant.
- But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel;
- After those days [of chastisement], saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
- And they shall teach no more…saying, Know the Lord:
- for they shall all know / be one with me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them
- for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
And yet, post-exilic Judaism claim Ezra as the fulfilment of the Prophet like Moses.
Since his efforts did much to give Jewish religion the form that was to characterize it for centuries after, Ezra has with some justice been called the father of Judaism; i.e., the specific form the Jewish religion took after the Babylonian Exile. So important was he in the eyes of his people that later tradition regarded him as no less than a second Moses.
Christianity errs as well, not knowing the scripture or the power of God, when stating that Jesus is exclusively THE prophet like Moses, with other Mosaic successors being only types. This allows Christianity to discard Moses’ authority and application of Old Testament prophecies of judgment to Christians.
Let’s examine if this paradigm is any more correct than Islam’s or Judaism’s.
Moses’ first successor is easy to spot. He was personally trained and anointed by Moses.
“And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him:” (Deuteronomy 34:9)
He was the logical choice, being a ruler of the tribe of Ephraim, who possibly knew his famous forefather Melchizedek Joseph. In any case, he would certainly have known of his heritage, which was Jacob’s Melchizedekian blessing on Ephraim and his offspring,
In Hebrew we would call him Yeshua / YHVH’s (Anointed) Savior. In Greek we would say ιησούς Χριστός. The English translation should be Jesus Christ, but translators chose to make a distinction between him and the later.
“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying…as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest…thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.“
Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people…And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go.
- According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses.
- Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.” (Joshua 1)
Each of Moses’ successors is recognizable by his likeness to Moses as “the same did God send to be a ruler / Melchizedek and a deliverer.” (Acts 7:35). They delivered God’s people from oppressors, yes, but most essentially from the sin that inexorably led to the oppression.
Their weapon was the same sound energy that God used to create the world and will use to destroy it. “The word of the LORD came to…” many prophets following Moses, like Jeremiah and Ezekiel who together document 88 ties of getting a word from the LORD to warn his people against self-destruction.
“Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” (Revelation 2:16)
Another recognizable likeness to Moses is the reliability of his word coming to pass as God’s word.
“And it SHALL come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:19)
“And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first born of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more…And all these thy servants shall come down unto me, and bow down themselves unto me, saying, Get thee out, and all the people that follow thee: and after that I will go out. And he went out from Pharaoh in a great anger.
And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go…as ye have said, and be gone…And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people.” (Exodus 11:4-8, 12:29-33)
“as the king [of Israel] passed by, [a prophet of God] cried unto the king..Thus saith the LORD, Because thou hast let go out of thy hand a man whom I appointed to utter destruction, therefore thy life shall go for his life, and thy people for his people…And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle…And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness…So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.”(I Kings 20,22)
On the other hand…
“But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-22)
“And Jehoshaphat said unto the king of Israel, Enquire, I pray thee, at the word of the LORD to day. Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king. And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? And the king of Israel said…but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil…Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah…And he said…I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?…And there came forth a spirit, and said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so…But Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah went near, and smote Micaiah on the cheek, and said, Which way went the Spirit of the Lord from me to speak unto thee? And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself. And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city…Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction, until I come in peace. And Micaiah said, If thou return at all in peace, the LORD hath not spoken by me. And he said, Hearken, O people, every one of you…And the battle increased that day: and the king…died at even…And there went a proclamation throughout the host about the going down of the sun, saying, Every man to his city, and every man to his own country.” (I Kings 22)
Another recognizable Mosaic attribute is the transfer of God’s glory.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel. And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments. And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. Stampeded away! And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.” (Exodus 34)
“the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance;” (II Corinthians 3:7)
The following account parallels Moses for good reason. The only reason the disciples’ experience of Jesus’ glorification by the father could be acknowledged as coming from YHVH is that it was validated as having happened first to Moses.
“Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.” (Matthew 17:1-6)
“we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (I Peter 3:16-21)
Follow the message through to the end – followers of Jesus Christ, not just Jews, are to remember the Moses’ sure word of prophecy to avoid judgment.