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One of the hottest topics in years making the rounds within Bible prophecy circles is whether a famous Israeli rabbi actually revealed the identity of the long-awaited Messiah. Obviously, such an issue is highly explosive, given the fact that His identity has long been a point of contention between Christians and Jews. For Christians, Jesus as the Messiah is a non-negotiable. For Jews, who have endured the Holocaust, pogroms, and the Inquisitions, a faith rooted in a Galilean prophet isn’t exactly met with open arms.
The matter is further complicated (to put it delicately and mildly) when a rabbi suggests that the God of his fathers revealed to him that the soon-coming Messiah is in fact Jesus of Nazareth.
According to author Carl Gallups, who has fashioned this incredible story into a blockbuster book, “The Rabbi Who Found Messiah”: “In the fall of 2005, a 108-year-old rabbi, Yitzhak Kaduri, the most venerated rabbinical Jewish leader in Israel, proclaimed he knew the name of the real Messiah. He insisted he knew where the Messiah was and when He was going to reveal Himself to the world. The rabbi claimed he had personally seen the Messiah in a vision. The name of the Messiah was to be mysteriously and cryptically sealed in a message. Instructions were given to lock the message away until one year after the rabbi’s death.
“When Kaduri died, several hundred thousand people flooded the streets of Jerusalem for his funeral, one of the largest in Israel’s history. The death-message was secreted away for one year as the beloved rabbi had instructed.”
That message was opened. The name was revealed.
Nothing has been the same since.
By the way, Gallups has an uncanny ability to mention a breathtaking array of topics, and his new book doesn’t disappoint. From discussions of Kaduri and Messianic fervor, to Ariel Sharon and Christian eschatology, Gallups provides the reader with plenty to think about.
Kaduri, born in Palestine sometime in the late 19th century, has been described as an “Israeli Mother Theresa,” and the sheer scope of the events he saw are indeed incredible. He was a venerated teacher (full disclosure for Christian readers: his kabbalistic prophecies are considered out of the mainstream by many) and was adored by millions.
In the last years of his life, Rabbi Kaduri began receiving mystical visions that he interpreted as from God. Naturally, his eventual description of Jesus as the Messiah has left many of his followers struggling to understand. Further, after his final message was opened one year after his death, it was also revealed that he believed soon after Ariel Sharon’s death, Messiah would come.
Sharon, of course, was the old Israeli general and legendary politician, felled by a stroke in early 2006. He died in January 2014, leaving millions of Christian prophecy students awaiting the coming of Messiah.
Tellingly, Gallups notes the degree to which Kaduri was revered in Israel: “Shas leader Eli Yishai mandated party activists to honor a suspension of political activity for the next several days, and initial period of mourning as prescribed by Jewish custom. ‘I call on the whole house of Israel, as I’ve called on all Shas activists, to prepare and arrive at the funeral of Rabbi Kaduri,’ said Yishai.”
One then can imagine the tsunami of emotion that would be unleashed once it was revealed that Kaduri had revealed the identity of the Messiah.
Gallups notes that an article about the Kaduri prophecy ran in Israel Today magazine (an Israeli-based magazine published by Messianic Jews), and that due to the nature of Kaduri’s pronouncement, some had claimed that the article was later scrubbed. Gallups, a dogged researcher, contacted the Israel Today staff and was assured that the article had merely not been added back to a revamped website, but that the editorial staff stood by the story.
So now we are left with a watching Christian community. What will happen in the wake of Sharon’s passing? How many Jews will accept the message from the fabled rabbi?
Specifically, Kaduri wrote that Yehoshua is the Messiah, clearly pointing to Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament. The last chapters of “The Rabbi Who Found Messiah” are fascinating, as Gallups analyzes the distinctives between Judaism and Messianism. He even asked renowned Bible prophecy author Tim LaHaye his thoughts on the Kaduri prophecy.
LaHaye responded, in part: “This revelation [Kaduri’s] confirmed what I have come to believe for a long time … that many Jews in Israel and throughout the world secretly believe and hopefully have received Jesus as Savior and Lord.”
So millions wait and watch, looking to see how Kaduri’s prophecies will play out.