Jesus Revealed In The End Times,

Jesus The Messiah

By Dr. Robert Jeffress

Tim Gagnon is known as the “Fire Painter.” He travels from church to church, giving messages about Jesus Christ while creating stunning works of art live onstage with his paintbrushes on fire!

More recently, Tim poured his talents into creating a beautifully illustrated Bible modeled after some of history’s most famous gilded illustrated books. After reading through the Bible to find pictures of Jesus Christ in each of its books, Tim drew 66 original paintings of these prophetic images. The Illuminated Messiah Bible, Tim said, “Has a theme: ‘Jesus the Messiah.’”  The paintings depicted in every book of the Bible represent messianic prophecies or pictures that were—or will be—fulfilled by Jesus. When all 66 images are pieced together, the illustrations form a life-size portrait of Christ on the cross.

Gagnon is on to something. The entire Bible of 66 books presents Jesus as Messiah, and all its depictions come together to form a cross. Yet, we similarly could say that all the pictures of the Messiah throughout Scripture also lead to a crown. Yes, we know Jesus’s work as Messiah in the Gospels took Him to the cross, but He didn’t stay there very long. He rose, ascended, and sat at the Father’s right hand. When He comes again, we’ll finally see the Messiah fulfill His role as the ruler of a righteous kingdom.

To know Jesus as He is now and as we’ll see Him when He comes again, we need to first understand His role as Messiah.

As we saw in the last message, the subject of the Bible is Jesus. Many Old Testament prophecies relate to His first coming as Israel’s Messiah, and all of these were fulfilled to the letter. But in those ancient pages, we also find predictions about the Messiah’s second coming, and these have yet to be realized. These prophecies include God’s promises that the Messiah will defeat Israel’s enemies and set up His righteous kingdom in Jerusalem.

To understand end-time prophecies, then, we must first understand God’s promises to Israel about the Messiah and the kingdom over which the Messiah will reign. 

1. The Meaning of Messiah

When it comes to God’s promise of a Messiah, we need to understand the meaning of the term and what the Jews expected of their Messiah. Messiah and Christ both mean “Anointed One.”

The Hebrew word translated as “Messiah” (mashiach) and the Greek word translated as “Christ” (Christos) both mean the same thing: “Anointed One.” Though many people believe Christ is simply another name for Jesus, it’s actually His title. Literally, He is Jesus the Anointed One—or Jesus the Messiah or Jesus the Christ. 

What does it mean to be “anointed?” In biblical times, anointing someone with oil was a sign God was infusing that person with special enabling. Thus, an “anointed one” in Scripture refers to someone with a special, God-ordained purpose.

Anointing has a long history in the Bible. For example:

2. The Evidence of Jesus Christ as Messiah

Although the people of Israel had long expected the arrival of God’s promised Messiah, they didn’t agree on exactly who the Messiah would be or what he would do, but there was strong evidence that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah:

3. The Promise of Messiah’s Kingdom

Though Jesus “came to His own” and presented Himself to Israel as their Messiah in the first century, “His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11); instead, they rejected and crucified Him. For this reason, God chose to work through another instrument to bless the world with the message of the gospel, setting aside Israel for a time (Romans 9–10)—the time in which we live, the church age.

  • Israel’s Ultimate Possession of the Promised Land  
  1. Promised to the Patriarchs (Genesis 12:1-7, 13:14-17, 17:19-21, 26:1-5, 35:9-15, 50:24)
  2. Promised to Jeremiah and Joshua (Jeremiah 7:7; Joshua 1:4)
  3. Affirmed by Paul (Romans 11:25-29)
  • Israel’s Temporary Displacement from the Promise Land

1. Counter-Promise and Warning from Moses 

Along with God’s promise to give Israel a land, there was a counter promise if the people were disobedient. Moses warned the Israelites in (Deuteronomy 28:63-64).

2. Rebellion of Israel 

Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened. After the conquest of the land and the death of Joshua, the people rebelled against God, His appointed leaders, and His law. The book of Judges described it like this: “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25).

3. Clamor for a King 

Rejecting God’s provision, the people clamored for a king so they might “be like all the nations” (1 Samuel 8:20). The old cliché is true: “Be careful what you ask for; you just might get it.” Well, Israel got their king, but he came at a high price. 

4. Division of the Kingdom (1 Kings 12-16)

After the death of Solomon, civil war broke out, dividing Israel into the northern kingdom (Israel) and the southern kingdom (Judah). The northern kingdom fell headlong into idolatry and evil. In 722 BC, the Lord raised up the Assyrians, who attacked Israel, killing many of the people living there and capturing others. They didn’t return to the land God had promised to their ancestor Abraham but were assimilated into the pagan culture of the Assyrians.

The southern kingdom had a string of good kings, with some wicked ones thrown into the mix. But like their brothers and sisters in Israel, they, too, worshiped other gods, and the Israelite culture became so wicked that God sent the Babylonians, ruled by Nebuchadnezzar, to destroy the nation. In 586, Jerusalem perished in flames, and God’s temple was destroyed. 

5. Babylonian Exile 

The exiled Jews of Judah remained in Babylon for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11; Daniel 9:2), after which the Lord allowed them to return to the land, where they rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, the city, and the temple. But even though they were in the land again, they did not possess all of the land God had promised.

6. Fullness of Time 

As the next centuries rolled along, the promised land was occupied by the Medes and Persians, the Greeks, and finally, the Romans. Then, “when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons [and daughters]” (Galatians 4:4-5)—the promised Messiah, who “came to His own” (John 1:11) to bless the world with the grace and salvation of God.

7. Jesus’s Lament over Jerusalem (Luke 13:34-35)

Yet, as we’ve seen, “His own did not receive Him” (v. 11). No one knew the consequences of rejection better than Jesus. He lamented over Jerusalem and longed to hold its people close, but they refused. 

8. Temple Destruction Predicted (Matthew 24:1-2)

Shortly afterward, as Jesus and His disciples were leaving the temple, someone pointed out the beauty of the building (Matthew 24:1). Our Lord sat down on the Mount of Olives and predicted what would happen to the temple: “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down” (v. 2). 

This came about in AD 70, when Roman general Titus’s army laid waste to Jerusalem, once again destroying the city and the temple. Untold numbers of Jews were killed, captured, and scattered, just as God warned. If you go to Jerusalem today, you can see the huge stones that were thrown down when the Romans torched the temple. These stones broke the pavement beneath them, fulfilling Jesus’s prediction in Matthew 24:2.

4. The Promise of Hope

I have a friend who says, “With God, a promise made is a promise kept.” In this message, we’ve seen two significant promises God made to the Jews—a promised Messiah and a promised land from which the Messiah will someday reign. Despite Israel’s disobedience and rejection of Jesus as their Messiah, God’s promise of Israel’s homeland is an irrevocable gift, with the first stage of Israel’s repossession of the land taking place in 1948 and the second stage taking place in the future. 

What does all this mean to those of us who are non-Jewish members of Christ’s church and aren’t promised an eternal homeland on earth?

For us, God’s promises to believe Israel are promises of hope—that God will fulfill all He has said about the end times. These promises of hope, as we’ll see, include escaping the time of tribulation, being commended by Christ when we stand before Him in judgment, transforming today’s death, devastation, and despair into tomorrow’s life, preservation, and joy, and the glory when we and our loved ones “shall ever be with the Lord”—Jesus the Messiah—for eternity  (1 Thessalonians 4:17 KJV).

Think of what this means to you!

Full passage: Isaiah 11:4-9