Did The Old Testament Prophesy of Jesus?


Did people of the Old Testament know about Jesus?

Recently, a woman speaking against the Book of Mormon stated that ‘it couldn’t be true because it speaks of Jesus before He was born…” She further supported her claim saying that “…The Old Testament didn’t prophesy (reveal) about Jesus as the New Testament portrays him.”  She went on to claim that people in the Old Testament times could not have been aware of salvation ‘by Grace’ and yet live under the Mosaic Law.

Is this really what the Bible teaches? 

What is the real truth? 

Asked differently, what details do we know about Jesus from the New Testament?  Some may say, he was the Son of God, born of a Virgin in Israel, performed mighty miracles, died on the cross.  Other details may be added, but the real question is: Were these facts about Jesus made known to the world only as Jesus lived in the ‘New Testament,' or did the writers of the Old Testament have any foreknowledge of the details of the coming Savior’s life? 

If it can be proven that the prophets of the Old Testament had foreknowledge of Jesus, then is it unreasonable to state that the prophets of the Book of Mormon (in times B.C.) would have had similar knowledge?

The rest of this paper will take a close look at just what the Bible has to say regarding this issue concerning whether Jesus and the plan of salvation were revealed in Old Testament Times. 

The truth is that Jesus’ life was not only foretold and understood; it was prophetically revealed in amazing detail to the prophets of the Old Testament.  These ancient teachers taught with joy the expectation of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Desire of Ages.

Likewise, Old Testament revelation provides again another witness that the Book of Mormon’s revelation of Jesus Christ is indeed scriptural, authentic, and divine.


Trivia Question:  Besides being from the Old Testament, what do the following four verses have in common?

·         Jeremiah 31:15 Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.

·         Psalms 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

·         Psalms 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old;

·         Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

….Give up?  The answer lies in the New Testament:  each of the four Old Testament scriptures was prophetically fulfilled in the New Testament, and each one (as written in the Old Testament) was describing a detail of Jesus’ life to come!

New Testament Old Testament
Matthew 3:1, 6-8 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth; and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Ramah there was a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning; Rachael weeping for the loss of her children, and would not be comforted because they were not. Jeremiah 31:15 Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.  
John 13:18 I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.   Psalms 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.  
Matthew 13:34 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.   Psalms 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old;  
Matthew 12:34 An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas; for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so shall the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.   Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Now, reading the Old Testament alone, who would have known when these four passages were written, that they really foretold of Jesus?  What do they reveal?  Specific information about Jesus Christ to come—in the Old Testament!  Not just that a Messiah was coming, but that he would:

  1. Speak in Parables;
  2. Have a plot against His life as a child;
  3. Would have His life betrayed by a close friend ;
  4. Would die and have His body buried in the earth for three days.

Here is the point: These details, examined on their own, are somewhat common knowledge.  But where were these details about Jesus’ life obtained?  Modern Christians would say they learned them from the New Testament; however, as just demonstrated, these details were predicted and understood by people from the Old Testament.


Is there any reason that the words of the prophets regarding Christ were, at times, seemingly ‘concealed?’

·         Acts 7:52 Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which showed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers.

In spite of the great need to know of Jesus, why did God say the words of the Old Testament would be unclear at times?

  • Jacob 3:22 But behold, the Jews were a stiff-necked people; and they despised the words of plainness, and killed the prophets, and sought for things that they could not understand.

  • Jacob 3:23 Wherefore, because of their blindness, which blindness came by looking beyond the mark, they must needs fall:

  • Jacob 3:24 For God hath taken away his plainness from them, and delivered unto them many things which they can not understand, because they desired it.

  • Jacob 3:25 And because they desired it, God hath done it, that they may stumble.

Zenock (whose records were had among the brass plates) was stoned in Israel for speaking of Jesus:

  • Alma 16:188 For it is not written that Zenos alone spake of these things, but Zenock also spake of these things; for behold, he said, Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand of thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them, because of thy Son.

  • Alma 16:189 And now my brethren, ye see that a second prophet of old has testified of the Son of God; and because the people would not understand his words, they stoned him to death.

 

How did the Law of Moses relate to Jesus?  What did Jesus say about the Law of Moses in relation to himself?

  • Luke 24:26 (Jesus after his resurrection) And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

  • Matthew 5:20 For verily I say unto you, heaven and earth must pass away, but one jot or one tittle shall in not wise pass from the law, until all be fulfilled.

  • Luke 24:43 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me

What does the Book of Mormon help us to understand this about the Law of Moses?

·         Alma 16:215 And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law; every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God; yea, infinite and eternal; and thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name;

(Answer:  The ENTIRE Law of Moses, all 613 commandments, were all a type and shadow for Jesus Christ!  When one considers that the huge majority of the Old Testament describes people living in response to the Law of Moses, it simply serves to show how they were living in response to God’s attempt to teach them about Jesus!)

Perhaps the Israelites misunderstood the meaning of the Law of Moses at times, not ‘seeing the forest for the trees.’  But was this always the case?

Nehemiah 8:5, 6, 8 And Ezra opened the book (the book was the Law of Moses) in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up; And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads, and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground….So they read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.

Summary of Law of Moses:

  1. All Pointed towards Jesus by type and shadow;

  2. All the law of Moses would be fulfilled by Jesus;

  3. Moses himself taught of Jesus;

  4. Old Testament shows that some people (i.e. Ezra's)  fully understood the purpose of the Law, therefore...

  5. Old Testament People in Israel, while yet under The Mosaic Law, knew of and hoped for Jesus!  This is exactly what the Book of Mormon teaches.

 

 

While it will not be discussed in this paper, the Feasts of Israel, dictated by God through Moses,  are also direct types and shadows for the major points of the gospel of Christ—the plan of salvation: 

 

·         The Passover exemplified faith;

·         leaving Egypt was repentance;

·         crossing the Red Sea was Baptism by water;

·         Receiving the Law was similar to receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost after ones covenant is made in Baptism;

·         Enduring in the wilderness exemplifies our requirement to walk in a life away from sin;

·         Reaching the borders of the land of Canaan is similar to Judgment

·         Life in the Promised Land, likened to Life with God.  

 

It this any wonder, therefore, that that Mark proclaims that THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST was written in the prophets (i.e. The Old Testament):

 

  • Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets.

Again, all this goes to support that the entire Old Testament was a prophetic revelation regarding one thing:  Jesus Christ and His Doctrine!


What did the Apostles say regarding the prophets' understanding of Jesus' coming? 

  • Acts 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days. (i.e. The Days of Christ)

  • Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets.  (i.e. The Gospel of Jesus was Written in the Prophets!)

  • Luke 1:66-69 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us, in the house of his servant David, As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, ever since the world began,

Does the King James version differ from the Inspired Version regarding this?

  • Genesis 7:57 And it came to pass, that Enoch continued his cry unto the Lord, saying, I ask thee, O Lord, in the name of thine Only Begotten, even Jesus Christ, that thou wilt have mercy upon Noah, and his seed, that the earth might never more be covered by the floods. (Inspired Version Only)

  •  Genesis 8:11 And it came to pass, that Noah continued his preaching unto the people, saying, Hearken and give heed unto my words, believe and repent of your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, even as our fathers did, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost, that ye may have all things made manifest; (Inspired Version Only)

  • Genesis 15:12 And it came to pass that Abram looked forth and saw the days of the Son of Man, and was glad, and his soul found rest, and he believed in the Lord; and the Lord counted it unto him for righteousness. (Inspired Version Only).

Note that while Genesis 15:12 only records this statement in the Inspired Version, all bibles record Jesus saying this in the book of John: 

  • John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.

(Further evidence that the Inspired Version was everything it claims to be:  Inspired).


What are some other examples in the Old Testament regarding the Prophet’s knowing Jesus?

·         I Samuel 3:21 And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh; for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.

Now, if the Old Testament says ‘the Lord’ revealed himself to Samuel, and Jesus said that Samuel prophesied of Him, who was it that was really revealed to Samuel in the days of Old (i.e. God the Father, or Christ the Son?)

Knowing that Samuel had a direct revelation of Jesus Christ, study the passage found in 1 Samuel 7.  Enemy is at the door—the people look to Samuel to call on God!  What is he found doing?  Slaying a lamb.  What does this appear to be on the surface?  It seems that he was merely following  the Mosaic Law.  But if we remember that Jesus had revealed himself to Samuel, then with this knowledge, what was Samuel really doing?  He was acknowledging to God that it was only through the sacrifice of the only begotten, that we had any hope of salvation.  He was living with the understanding of Grace, under the Mosaic law.  Keeping a dead law because of the commandment, in light of knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Remember, Jesus said that All the prophets prophesied of Jesus. How did Moses reveal Jesus?  What did it mean? What was significant about Moses and the brazen serpent?

Numbers 21:6-9 And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole; and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Jesus compared himself to the Brazen Serpent:

John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;  

What does the Book of Mormon plainly explain about Moses and the brazen serpent?

  • Helaman 3:47 Yea, did he not bear record, that the Son of God should come? And as he lifted up the brazen serpent in the wilderness, even so shall he be lifted up who should come.

  • Alma 16:191 Behold, he was spoken of by Moses; yea, and behold, a type was raised up in the wilderness, that whosoever would look upon it might live. And many did look and live.

  • Alma 16:192 But few understood the meaning of those things, and this because of the hardness of their hearts.

  • Alma 16:193 But there were many who were so hardened that they would not look; therefore they perished.  

Moses said:  A Prophet would be coming:

  • Deuteronomy 18:15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

Jesus said:  I am that prophet of whom Moses spoke:

  • 3 Nephi 9:60 Behold, I am he of whom Moses spake, saying, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.

  • John 5:46-48 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is Moses who accuseth you, in whom ye trust.  For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.  But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?


Did prophets of the Book of Mormon cite scripture from ‘the olden days’ to prove Jesus?

 Alma 16:177-190 Do ye remember to have read what Zenos, the prophet of old, has said concerning prayer or worship?… 184 And it is because of thy Son that thou hast been thus merciful unto me; therefore I will cry unto thee in all mine afflictions; for in thee is my joy; for thou hast turned thy judgments away from me, because of thy Son. And now Alma said unto them, Do ye believe those scriptures which have been written by them of old? Behold, if ye do, ye must believe what Zenos said; for behold, he said, Thou hast turned away thy judgments, because of thy Son.  Now, behold, my brethren, I would ask, if ye have read the scriptures? If ye have, how can ye disbelieve on the Son of God?  For it is not written that Zenos alone spake of these things, but Zenock also spake of these things; for behold, he said, Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand of thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them, because of thy Son.  And now my brethren, ye see that a second prophet of old has testified of the Son of God; and because the people would not understand his words, they stoned him to death.  But behold, this is not all; these are not the only ones who have spoken concerning the Son of God.


Does any evidence exist suggesting that information regarding Jesus was ‘removed’ from scripture in days of old?

“The early Christian writer, Justin the Martyr (Dialog with Trypho, 72), accused the Jews of removing passages from synagogue copies of the scriptures. One of the references, which he claimed was excised from the Book of Ezra, read:

This Passover is our Savior and our refuge. And if you have understood, and your heart has taken it in, that we shall humble him on a standard, and thereafter hope in him, then this place shall not be forsaken forever, says the God of hosts. But if you will not believe him, and listen to his declaration, you shall be a laughingstock to the nations.

The discovery of a pre-Christian fragment among the Dead Sea Scrolls has caused quite a stir. Found in Qumran cave 4 and known as fragment 4Q246, this fragment of a pre-Christian apocalypse reveals that an eschatological king:

shall be great upon the earth, [O King, all (people) shall] make [peace], and all shall serve [him. He shall be called the son of] the [G]reat [God], and by his name shall be hailed (as) the Son of God, and they shall call him Son of the Most High. (Translated by Mr. Hershel Shanks, the Editor of Biblical Archaeology Review)”

Taken from http://www.linkline.com/personal/dcpyle/reading/bodineco.htm

 

What did the New Testament say about John the Baptist?

One would precede Jesus in His earthly ministry (John the Baptist):

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me…  

Luke 7:27 This is the one of whom it is written, Behold I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare thy way before thee.

Matthew 17:10 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things, as the prophets have written.  

Elias would come before Jesus, and RESTORE ALL THINGS (i.e. how can the need to ‘RESTORE’ exist, without it having already existed!?!?! What was John known for?  Baptizing for the remission of sins!  (KJ version reads the same way!)

Strong's Greek Definition for # 600

600   //  apokayistemi  //  apokathistemi   //  ap-ok-ath-is'-tay-mee  // 
from   575  and   2525  ; TDNT - 1:387,65; v

AV - restore 7, restore again 1; 8
1) to restore to its former state
2) to be in its former state

(And who or what was John the Baptist a type and shadow for?  The restored church in the latter days!  Would, once again, restore all things to the way they were.)  


What do we know about Jesus from the prophets, as recorded in the New Testament?

Keep in mind, the New Testament ‘gospels’ were not written as a diary, day by day in the apostles life with Jesus; rather, a retrospective look back, in perspective, once the gospel was clear to them. 

During Jesus earthly ministry, the apostles were often confused, without understanding to Jesus parables, and prophesies.  After he returned, all four gospels record Jesus then re-explaining all things to them from the beginning.  What did he accomplish with each one?  He started from the beginning of the Old Testament, and taught how the entire law of Moses and the prophets’ messages all pointed towards him.  This enabled the New Testament prophets to teach those around, what the Old Testament really meant.

(example: Luke 24:26 (Jesus after his resurrection) And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.)

But doesn’t the New Testament say that no one knew of Jesus before he was revealed in the New Testament?

Taken out of context….one might believe that even the New Testament claims that Jesus wasn’t made know of prior to the New Testament:

Ephesians 3:4   Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

But how does the sentence continue…?

6 That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel;

The point, in context, was not that Jesus was not revealed in the past, but that previous ages did not understand that the Gentiles also had the promise of salvation!  This is further expounded in many scriptures, (only one of which follows):

Romans 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.  


The following is a substantial list of New Testament scriptures that refer to Jesus in the Old Testament:

He would be born of a Virgin:

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son….  

Matthew 2:1 Now, as it is written, the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. After his mother, Mary, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Matthew 2:6 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son

He would be born in Bethlehem:

Micah 5:2 But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.   Matthew 3:5 And they said unto him, It is written by the prophets, that he should be born in Bethlehem of Judea, for thus have they said,  

 

He would be slain for our transgressions with transgressors:

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.   Mark 15:33 And the scripture was fulfilled which said, And he was numbered with the transgressors.  

He would be despised:

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.   John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he had not only broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his father, making himself equal with God.  

He Alone would be the savior:

Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.

Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

He would be rejected:

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.   John 12:37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him;  

Mark 8:33 And he began to teach them, that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.  

He would rise from the dead:

Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.   Luke 24:45 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day;  

Angels would watch over him:

Psalms 91:11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.   Luke 4:10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee; and in his hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

He would be a stumbling block to the Jews:

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste.   Romans 9:33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumbling stone and rock of offense; and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  

Whoever believed on him (i.e. to keep his commandments) would not perish: 

Isaiah 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; he that believeth shall not make haste.   Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.  

He would be the unblemished sacrifice of God:

Genesis 22:10 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering. So they went both of them together; and they came to the place of which God had told him.   John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and said; Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world!  

None of His bones would be broken:

Exodus 12:46 (regarding the Israelites Passover lamb…)In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth aught of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.

Psalms 34:20 He keepeth all his bones; not one of them is broken.  

John 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

Jesus would require the sacrifice of a broken heart and contrite spirit:

Psalms 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.  

Isaiah 66:2 For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord; but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.

3 Nephi 4:49 And ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood; yea, your sacrifices and your burnt offerings shall be done away, for I will accept none of your sacrifices and your burnt offerings; and ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

Would crucified by the Jews:

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, …    Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.  

He would bring salvation to the Gentiles:

Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.

Isaiah 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.  

Romans 15:9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.  

His redemption of His people would include riding on a donkey’s colt:

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.   John 12:14 And Jesus, when he had sent two of his disciples and got a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,  

He would be esteemed as naught:

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.   Mark 9:10 And he answered and told them, saying, Elias verily cometh first, and prepareth all things; and teacheth you of the prophets; how it is written of the Son of Man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at naught.

One who ate bread with Him would betray Him: (Here is absolute proof that the words spoken to David were from JESUS—HE WAS KNOWN OF BY DAVID AND ALL THE PROPHETS—HE WAS DESCRIBING HIS OWN BETRAYAL)

Psalms 41:9 Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.   John 13:18 I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.  

Would be hated without cause:

Psalms 35:19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me; neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause.   John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.  

None who were ‘given’ to him would be lost:

Psalms 34:22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants; and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. John 18:9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

His garments would be parted and gambled for:

Psalms 22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.   John 19:24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be; that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, they parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

Jonah’s three days would be a type for Christ’s three days of death. (Matt 16:4):

Jonah 1:17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.   Mark 8:12 Verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be give unto this generation, save the sign of the prophet Jonah; for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, so likewise shall the Son of Man be buried in the bowels of the earth.

Christ’s prophets were from the beginning of the world (Luke 11:51).  Prophesying of what???Jesus!  

Luke 11:51 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, who perished between the altar and the temple.

Luke 24:26 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

I John 1:1 Brethren, this is the testimony which we give of that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;  

Abraham saw the day of Christ:

Genesis 15:12 And it came to pass that Abram looked forth and saw the days of the Son of Man, and was glad, and his soul found rest, and he believed in the Lord; and the Lord counted it unto him for righteousness. (IV Only).   John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad. (Appears in all Bibles)

Samuel had the Lord revealed to him:

I Samuel 3:21 And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh; for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.   Acts 3:24 Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.

He was seen in the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego:

Daniel 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Moses would write about Jesus:

Deuteronomy 18:15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;   Luke 14:36 And Jesus answered, saying, Ye know not Moses, neither the prophets; for if ye had known them, ye would have believed on me; for to this intent they were written. For I am sent that ye might have life. Therefore I will liken it unto salt which is good;

John 5:47 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me.

David would write about Jesus and Judas:

Acts 1:16 Men and brethren, this Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.   Luke 24:43 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me.  

All the prophets foretold of the day of Jesus:

Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob. I am the Lord God Almighty; the Lord JEHOVAH. And was not my name known unto them?  

Matthew 11:14 Yea, as many as have prophesied have foretold of these days.

Luke 16:17 Then said Jesus unto them, The law and the prophets testify of me; yea, and all the prophets who have written, even until John, have foretold of these days.

He would take refuge in Egypt:

Hosea 11:1 When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.   Matthew 3:15 And was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord, by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son.

He would preach to the spirits in the prison house/Hell:

Isaiah 24:22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.   Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he hath sent me to heal the broken- hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and the recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised;

He would take away the sin of man:  

Psalms 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people; thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.   Acts 10:43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

He would gather the lost sheep of Israel:

Jeremiah 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

Zechariah 10:8 I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.  

 

Matthew 15:23 He answered, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Luke 3:5 For behold, and lo, he shall come, as it is written in the book of the prophets, to take away the sins of the world, and to bring salvation unto the heathen nations, to gather together those who are lost, who are of the sheepfold of Israel;

Jesus’ disciples would scatter when He was captured in the mount of olives:

Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts; smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.   Mark 14:28 And Jesus said unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered.

He would die with guilty men (numbered with the transgressors):

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.  

Matthew 27:43 Then were there two thieves crucified with him; one on the right hand, and another on the left.

Mark 15:33 And the scripture was fulfilled which said, And he was numbered with the transgressors.  

He would reveal great mysteries in parables:

Psalms 78:2 I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings of old;   Matthew 13:34 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

He would have wounds in his hands.   The Jews wouldn’t realize their transgression until after he returns to them:

Zechariah 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.  

Isaiah 49:16 Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; 

John 20:25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

Jesus would be called Immanuel—(meaning ‘God with us.’):

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.   Matthew 2:6 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, (which, being interpreted, is, God with us.)

Jesus, and mankind, would be resurrected from the dead (Matt 22:31):

Matthew 22:30-31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you of God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Jesus would come to the earth, not to receive ministry, but to minister:

Psalms 69:9 For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.   Romans 15:3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

King Herod’s plot to kill children in an attempt to kill Jesus, and the lamentation it caused, was prophesied. (Matt 3:17-18):

Jeremiah 31:15 Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.   Matthew 3:16-8 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth; and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, In Ramah there was a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning; Rachael weeping for the loss of her children, and would not be comforted because they were not.

In the Old Testament, it was prophesied that He would be called the:

  • Malachi 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

  •  Jeremiah 33:15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.

  •  Deuteronomy 32:18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee.

  • Psalms 89:26 He shall cry unto me, Thou art my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.

  • Haggai 2:7 And I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.

  • Jeremiah 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.  

  • Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

  • Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

  • The Holy One of Israel.  This is a fascinating study.  Used in the bible until Jeremiah (who was a contemporary of Nephi); Nephi was virtually the only user of the term in the Book of Mormon, except Omni records that Jesus is the Holy One of Israel (to remove any doubt), and 3 Nephi 10 exclaims Jesus as Him—the only time after Jesus birth that this term appears in scripture.  But knowing this, one can then go back and equate all the Old Testament instances of Holy One Of Israel with ‘Jesus’ and re-read with new meaning.

  • Omni 1:46 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption.

  • 3 Nephi 10:13 For thy maker, thy husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.  


Now then, was a knowledge of ‘Grace’ demonstrated in the Old Testament?

First, what is the definition of 'Grace?'  Since the New Testament defines ‘Grace’ as the gift of Jesus Christ (In Titus and other scriptures):

  • Titus 2:11 For the grace of God which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared; (i.e. JESUS)

  • Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

  • Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

  • Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, (i.e. JESUS)  that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 

THIS IS THE DEFINITION OF GRACE—THAT JESUS GAVE HIMSELF FOR US BUT DIDN’T HAVE TO.  

Therefore, what did the Old Testament Teach?

New Testament Principle of 'Grace' Old Testament
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared; (i.e. JESUS)   God was and is the only savior:  Isaiah 43:11 I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no savior.

Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else.

Titus 2:12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;   Who taught us to turn from sin.   

Ezekiel 33:11 ... As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; ...

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;   All People, at all Times, in all Nations,  were taught to Look Forward To Jesus. Deuteronomy 18:15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;
Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us, (i.e. JESUS)  that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.  He would take our sin upon Himself: Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
He would die for our transgressions Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

 

 

Now, regarding the Book of Mormon, is it unreasonable to believe that Jesus, and salvation by the Grace of God, was prophesied in the Americas as follows (one of many examples):

  • Alma 16:207 Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God has spoken it;

Book of Mormon Grace Principle New Testament Old Testament
Alma 16:207 Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men... God was and is the only savior:  Titus 2:11 For the grace of God which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared; Isaiah 45:22 Look unto me, and be ye saved

Isaiah 66:5 Hear the word of the Lord, ... Let the Lord be glorified; but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.

...to take upon him the transgressions of his people... He would die for our transgressions... Titus 2:14 Who gave himself for us

 Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

 

 

...and that he shall atone for the sins of the world... ...and the transgressions of all minkind.    Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied; by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

 for the Lord God has spoken it;   These are God's words from the Beginning.  John 1:16 For in the beginning was the Word, even the Son, who is made flesh, Isaiah 56:1 Thus saith the Lord, Keep ye judgment, and do justice; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.

Is it any wonder that the Old Testament said the following.  Is this not teaching ‘Salvation by Grace?’

  •  Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

  •  Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Finally, the Book of Mormon sums up the sentiments of God regarding the people’s ignorance concerning the coming of Jesus:

  •  Alma 16:188 For it is not written that Zenos alone spake of these things, but Zenock also spake of these things; for behold, he said, Thou art angry, O Lord, with this people, because they will not understand of thy mercies which thou hast bestowed upon them, because of thy Son.


What can we learn from this discussion?

1.  The Old Testament overwhelmingly testifies of Jesus, and the prophets plainly made him known in their day--risking and suffering death in the process.

2.  Not only the existence of Christ, but the very details of His life were revealed in the times 'B.C.'

3.  Salvation 'By Grace' was made known to the Old Testament writers--even Moses plainly taught the people to look upon Christ and live.

4.  The Book of Mormon is absolutely correct in providing understanding about Jesus and to teach His doctrine before His birth--anything else would be contrary to the Old Testament prophets.

5.  The Book of Mormon is absolutely true, and provides concrete understanding concerning the Old Testament types and shadows of Jesus Christ.