Posting what I said a few years ago in my video, "Reality Check #28," when refuting the Jewish counter-missionary argument, “Jesus can’t be Messiah because there was no Nazareth in Biblical times!" ....
Today we are continuing with our challenge to some of the teachings of Jewish Rabbis who loudly proclaim that Yeshua and the New Testament are myths. As believers in Yeshua know, our Messiah was always about Master YHWH. Always! He was ONE with the Father, never veering from Torah – YHWH’s Divine Instructions.
Yet, counter-missionary Jews will fight you to the death to prove otherwise – and if you attempt to show scriptures of ANY kind, they adamantly reject them. One of their assertions is that there is no scripture suggesting the Messiah would be from Nazareth, or that the Messiah would be referred to as a Nazarene. “There is none,” they insist, often with a chuckle.
Well - not so fast! Bear with me now! Matthew 2:23 tells us Messiah would be called “Nazarene” and the prophet Isaiah gave us a hint about this. Isaiah 11:1 says: “But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai, a shoot will grow from his roots.”
Aramaic scholar and author Andrew Gabriel Roth explains that the word netzer is Hebrew for “young shoot” or “sprout” and it does refer to the Messiah because Isaiah 11, verses 2 through 4 go on to reveal the “spiritual branches” of the Menorah as attributes of Messiah! Even in the Talmud, Sanhedrin 43a, recognizes Isaiah 11:1 as a prophecy of the Messiah and renders the word netzer as a branch – netzer being the key to this whole mystery.
Without going into a deep word study – because I personally am not qualified in that department - other prophets reveal Mashiyach, Messiah, as the “Branch” but use the Hebrew term tzemach, thus eliminating the obvious wordplay by Matthew. The prophet Daniel uses the word netzer, but not in the context of Messianic prophecy. Still, netzer is the basis for the name Nazareth, which at that time was a very small village in the Land of Israel.
Here is what Roth wrote concerning this issue:
Y’shua (as opposed to "Jesus") means "Yahweh is salvation". It is the shortened form of YEHOSHUA (Joshua in English, again, not "Jesus"). Moshe told the nation that THE PROPHET would come after him that the people must listen to, so is it any coincidence that THE PROPHET has the SAME NAME as Moshe's successor? In Zechariah 6:1-12 we are told (actually starting in chapter 3, and then into 6) that the high priest and his colleagues are "symbols of things to come" and of the high priest, "here is the man WHOSE NAME IS THE BRANCH", not that he IS the branch, but his NAME is the branch.
Well, it so happens that Messiah is from "Branch City", NETZER-ET (Nazareth), and Messiah is called the RIGHTEOUS BRANCH (see Isaiah 11:1-2 and Jeremiah 23:5-6). So the name of the branch and the name of the Messiah are ONE AND THE SAME, and the name of the high priest? YEHOSHUA! Fast forward 500 years later and the Hebrew dialect changed to shorten the name to Y'shua.
This is an integral part of Messianic prophecy. In Exodus 23:20-22 YHWH warns the Israelites of a messenger who will lead them. He gives a proviso for this messenger: He will NOT forgive your sin. Now why say this? Has any “messenger” EVER been able to forgive sin? No, but as Y'shua said, "Which is easier to say? That your sins are forgiven or to the paralyzed, "Arise and walk, take up your pallet and go home? BUT SO YOU WILL KNOW THE SON OF MAN HAS THE AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE SINS, I say, Arise and walk." (See Daniel 7:1-14). In Hebrew the word for MESSENGER--malakh--can also be pointed to mean MELECH (king). This is a remez (a hint).
So, understanding all that, also understand that since only YHWH can forgive sin, Y'shua must be God to do so also, and it is this role conducting YHWH's Ruach that Messiah filtered through his human voice to proclaim YHWH's kingdom on earth. (In other words, the Son of Man/Messiah, is given authority on earth to forgive sin by His Father in a way no angel, prophet or other messenger was. Such is apparent from Daniel chapter 7 and the two thrones. Y'shua comes in the Name and therefore in the power of his Father but his authority is NOT independent from his Father.)
This messenger/king then COULD forgive sin (or why warn that he won't?), and the reason he can is that, UNLIKE the ANGELS who have only the TITLE of ELOHIM within their own names (such as Gabri-EL, Rapha-EL and Micha-EL), Y’shua HAS THE NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES within HIS Name - Exodus 23:20-22 says clearly 'FOR MY NAME IS IN HIM". Yahweh has ONE NAME and there is ONE NAME under heaven by which men are saved, as seen in Acts 4:12.
Messiah Y’shua comes in the NAME, and therefore POWER, of his Father YHWH. As the Word of YHWH, He was with the Father in the beginning (John 1:1, 17:5 and Revelation 19:13). The Father gives life to the Son (John 10) and the Son then has the power to lay that life down freely and pick it up again, thus allowing the rest of us access to eternal life.
Y'shua came to bring glory to his Father YHWH, to show the proper interpretation (fulfillment, if you will) of the Torah and to bring Pharisee and tax collector alike back to the WRITTEN CODE of Moshe and away from Oral Law, making statements such as: "You have heard that it was SAID, but I SAY TO YOU....If you believed Moshe, you would have believed me, for he wrote of me, but if you do not believe Moshe, how will you believe what I say?--Did not Moshe give you the Torah? Yet not ONE MAN AMONG YOU KEEPS THE TORAH!")…(That ends Andrew Roth’s quote).
So, the Jewish anti-missionaries and their converts can argue against Y’shua and the New Testament all they want, but that won’t change the context of what the WHOLE of the Bible says. I can certainly understand why Judaism rejects the Torah-less “Jesus” described by most of Christianity; but I cannot understand why they would reject “Y’shua!”
Consider Exodus 23 verses 20 – 23 where YHWH talks about a special messenger who has HIS Name residing within his own. This can only be referring to Y’shua because Y’shua is the ONLY Heavenly Being who has YHWH’s Name within His own name! All the angels/messengers only have His Title (ELOHIM) within their names: Micha-EL, Rapha-El, Gabri-El….)
The bottom line is, the Yeshua-rejecters can espouse and teach their opinions as much as they want, but it won't change YHWH's Truth! That is why we at The Refiner's Fire believe our promised Messiah has already come, and here's part of the reason why:
Zechariah 6:12 "...and tell him, 'Yahweh-Tzva'ot says: "There is coming a man whose name is Tzemach [Sprout]. He will sprout up from his place and rebuild the temple of Yahweh. 13 Yes, he will rebuild the temple of Yahweh; and he will take up royal splendor, sitting and ruling from his throne."
That is the connection to Yeshua - the man whose name is "the branch" - the righteous branch (Jeremiah 23:5), who was predicted 500 years before his birth. See also Isaiah 53 where you will see Yeshua was the "arm" of ADONAI!
Since they insist there is "no proof" for Yeshua, we offer the following: (Please also check out our short video clips designed to "talk back" to the rabbis who are out there, actively all over the Internet, "debunking" Yeshua and the entire New Testament!)