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Gospel of God → The Prophesied Messiah →  The Messiah is more than a mere man → Deuteronomy 18:15-19 - the Prophet like Moses

by Bill Wong




Deuteronomy 18:15-19 – the Prophet like Moses



In Deuteronomy 18 we are told of a prophet like Moses who will come to Israel and, just like Moses, his words must be obeyed, because they come from God. Those who do not take heed, will be held accountable for ignoring God’s words. This foretold prophet is Jesus/Yeshua.


Deuteronomy 18:

15   "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,

16   according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying,

     'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.'

17   "And the LORD said to me: 'What they have spoken is good.

18   I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth,

     and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.

19   And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.  (NKJV)



MM Most Jews today condemn Jesus as a false prophet and so look for another to fulfill this prophecy. Traditions and terrible misunderstandings by everyone have led many Jews to this erroneous conclusion.  Jewish leaders from that time and down through the centuries are misinformed about Jesus and “true christianity” and teach the people this untruth that faith in Jesus as the Messiah is misplaced. Likewise, most people who call themselves Christians do not actually know or adhere to Jesus’ teachings and have completely ignored the Tanakh and the Law of God.


In recent years, both sides are seeing the error of their old ways/misunderstandings as God is preparing and reconciling to Himself a people much more actively as the end of the age rapidly approaches.


Most Jews say Jesus is not like Moses and spoke words against the will of God. But this is not true at all. Instead, we see Jesus is very much like Moses.


A common misconception which both Jews and Christians are guilty of is the belief that Jesus taught the Law of God was done away with when He came. This is emphatically not true; Jesus upheld the 10 Commandments of God and taught the full will of God in this and many other respects. Look at what He actually says about the 10 Commandments and we will see that He actually came to teach the full meaning and intent of the Law – Jesus magnified the Law of God:

Matthew 5:

17   "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.

18   "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,

      not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

19   "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same,

      shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them,

      he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20   "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees,

      you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

21   "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'You shall not commit murder' and

      'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.'

22   "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother,

      'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says,

      'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

23   "Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,

24    leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

25   "Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way,

      so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison.

26   "Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent.

27   "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery';

28   but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

29   "If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body,

      than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

30   "If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body,

     than for your whole body to go into hell.   (NASB)



Neither did the apostle Paul teach that the Law is now obsolete, which is also misunderstood by Jew and Christian alike. He taught that the Law was spiritual and holy, defining sin, and those who abide by it in reality establish the Law:


Romans 3:

31  Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.   (NKJV)


Romans 7:

7   What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law.

    For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, "You shall not covet."  (NKJV)


Romans 7:

12   So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.  


14   For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.     (NASB) 



So just like Moses, Jesus was a law giver and He magnified the Law and taught it; He did not do away with it as most Jews and Christians have misunderstood (see article ‘We are One Israel - the Faith Once Delivered’ and the ‘Law of God’ section for more information).


Also, Jesus was a mediator as Moses was and mediated between God and God’s people:


1 Timothy 2:

5     For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

6     who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.   (NASB)



And again, like Moses, He is a judge, because the words He spoke were God’s words and we will be judged by them:


John 12:

48   He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him

     --- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

49   For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command,

     what I should say and what I should speak.

50   And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak,

     just as the Father has told Me, so I speak."   (NASB)



Jesus also foretold the destruction of the Second Temple which occurred approximately 40 years after He left this world:

Matthew 24:

1     Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.

2     And He said to them, "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."   (NASB)



Very importantly, it must also be understood the context of Deuteronomy 18:15-19 which is provided in verse 16. The Almighty said He will not come again in the way He did before which frightened the people. They asked Him to not come again in that fashion lest they die. The Almighty honors this request by saying He will instead send a prophet like Moses, but not just any prophet.


This is what Deuteronomy 18:16 refers to:

Exodus 20:

18   And all the people saw the thunder, and the lightning, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking:

     and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

19   And they said to Moses, Speak you with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die. (AKJV)


Deuteronomy 5:

22   These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly in the mount out of the middle of the fire, of the cloud,

     and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone,

     and delivered them to me.

23   And it came to pass, when you heard the voice out of the middle of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,)

     that you came near to me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders;

24   And you said, Behold, the LORD our God has showed us his glory and his greatness,

     and we have heard his voice out of the middle of the fire: we have seen this day that God does talk with man, and he lives.

25   Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any more,

     then we shall die.

26   For who is there of all flesh, that has heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the middle of the fire, as we have, and lived?

27   Go you near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak you to us all that the LORD our God shall speak to you;

     and we will hear it, and do it.

28   And the LORD heard the voice of your words, when you spoke to me; and the LORD said to me,

     I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you:

     they have well said all that they have spoken.   (AKJV)



Please note the fact that God said He will come again, but not in the same manner that will terrify the people: He said He will come again and He will do it by sending this prophesied prophet. The meaning is that this prophet will indeed be a man, but much more than a mere man. This prophet will at the same time contain the glory and power of God in Himself – He comes as both a prophet like Moses with the glory of God combined together.


Instead of manifesting openly the power and glory of God in a manner that will terrify the people, this prophet will exhibit it in other ways. These ways do not invoke great fear as the Almighty did when He descended upon Mt. Sinai, but nevertheless is still awesome as the incurable are cured, thousands are fed from almost nothing and the dead rise again, proving that the presence of God is indeed once again among His people.


The context and true meaning of what God is telling us in Deuteronomy 18:15-19 is often overlooked in the argument with people who say Jesus is not this foretold Prophet. But whether it is overlooked unknowingly or intentionally – even subconsciously, the truth is there :


God promised He would return again, but not in the same awesome and terrifying glory; instead His return to His people will be in the form of this promised Prophet, who will manifest the glory of God in less terrifying ways, but with the same power and glory.


Please see next articles in the Prophesied Messiah series: A person who atones for sin



Link of the Prophesied Messiah articles outline

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