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Jesus Christ, Prophet, Priest and King

Reader comment on item: Pope Benedict XVI and the Koran
in response to reader comment: Proof of Coming Prophet Mohammad:

Submitted by Lactantius Jr. (United Kingdom), Jan 11, 2016 at 07:05

To Liza

I greet you in the precious life-giving, life-saving Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Prince of peace, the author and distributor of peace, the sinner's all-sufficient Saviour, and I pray that you may come to experience His peace, that "peace which passes all understanding." Philippians 4:7

In referring to Deuteronomy chapter 18, I assume it is verses 18&19 you would assert predict the coming of Muhammad, and that being so, I reproduce verbatim, part of an essay written by David Wood titled, "Does the Bible Predict the Coming of Muhammad?" and recently published at "Answering Muslims,"

http://www.answeringmuslims.com/2015/12/does-bible-predict-coming-of-muhammad.html

the part I paste in below being titled Deuteronomy 18:18-19 (NIV)

Deuteronomy 18:18-19 (NIV)

"I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him.If anyone does not listen to My words that the prophet speaks in My name, I myself will call him to account."

Muslims (such as you liza) reason that Muhammad is "the prophet" spoken of here, and argue that the expression "their brothers" refers to the Ishmaelites who were half-brothers of the Israelites by virtue of the fact that they were both descended from Abraham. The reason Muslims point this out, is because Ishmael was also a son of Abraham and thus a half-brother of Isaac, the forefather of the Jewish nation. Ishmael, it is argued is the father of the Arab nation, and since Muhammad was an Arab, he would be a descendant of Ishmael, and hence relationally, a Semitic "brother" to the Jews. We point out however that if the Ishmaelites or descendants of Ishamel are "brothers" of the Israelites, why could not the Edomites also be their "brothers" spoken of here? The Edomites were descended from Esau (Genesis 36:9), who was the brother of Jacob from the same father Isaac making Esau a full brother.

Furthermore, Esau was a direct grandson of Abraham (Genesis 25:19, 24-26). If this is the case, would not the Edomites better qualify as full "brothers" of Israel rather than the Ishmaelites who were half-brothers?

It is the immediate context however that concerns us here. From the context of the passage and that which precedes it, it is clear that the term "their brothers" is a reference to the Israelites exclusively and no one else. Note Deuteronomy 18:1-2: "The priests who are Levites-indeed the whole tribe of Levi-are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel...They [the Levites] shall have no inheritance among their brothers..." It is clear from these verses that the "they" refers to the Levites and that "their brothers" refers to the remaining eleven tribes of Israel. In the preceding chapter, Deuteronomy 17:15, this point is further made crystal clear: "...be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite."

One need only read the lists of the kings who ruled over the Israelites in the books of 1&2 Samuel, 1&2 Kings and 1&2 Chronicles to verify the fact that they were all Israelites. Throughout the Old Testament, one finds the expression "their brothers" referring to the tribes of Israel (see Judges 20:13; 2 Samuel 2:26; 2 Kings 23:9; Nehemiah 5:1). Who then is this prophet like Moses?
Jews and Christians have consistently recognized this passage as referring to a prophet who would arise out of the people of Israel. The Bible which contains this prophecy of the coming prophet also provides us with the fulfillment of this prophecy. The New Testament reveals that this prophet is Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah. Jesus came from the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Judah, and therefore was one of "their brothers", the Israelites (John 4:9, 20-22; Romans 9:4-5; Hebrews 7:14).

Jesus claimed to be the One whom Moses prophesied. Jesus Himself said, "If you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me" (John 5:46). In fact, Jesus' first disciples believed Him to be the "...one whom Moses wrote about in the Law..." (John 1:45). After Jesus sent the apostles to preach the Gospel to the world, the apostle Peter appealed specifically to Deuteronomy 18:18 as a prophecy which was fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah (Acts 3:19-26). Even Stephen, the first Christian martyr, when he stood before the Sanhedrin, also quoted Deuteronomy 18:18 as fulfilled in Jesus the Messiah, because Moses was one who also "predicted the coming of the Righteous One"(Acts 7:37, 52).
The prophet of Deuteronomy 18:18-19 cannot be Muhammad, contextually, culturally or historically. He was not a Jew and not a member of any tribe within Israel as Jesus was. This prophet is Jesus Himself as the people of His day testified, "Surely this man is the Prophet" (John 7:40). Not only did the disciples of Jesus affirm this fact, so did Jesus Himself (Luke 24:44).

With kind regards and best wishes to you liza, come on home to the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is indeed "prophet, priest and King."

Lactantius Jr

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