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Coming of the Messiah...

   

 

     
   Why Messiah Must Come

 

Sin separates us from God, often expressed by an attitude of "I don’t need God."  But God, in spite of our indifference, reaches out to us in his love, reconciling us to himself through atonement (at-one-ment).   Yeshua the Messiah became the atonement for our sin.

 

Yeshua fulfilled the prophecies of the Tanakh concerning the Messiah.  He died and rose again, promising to return and redeem the world from sin and establish his kingdom and authority in a New Jerusalem.

 

The Brit Chadashah (New Covenant), in the Book of Hebrews, says that Yeshua ascended into heaven as our High Priest and mediator.  All who have died will be raised from death, and along with the living, will be judged by God.  The righteous will be redeemed, while the wicked  destroyed.  Those who accept the Messiah’s provision will enjoy eternal life with God.

 

  King Moshiach (Messiah) flag flies in Jerusalem    

 

 

Yeshua’s coming is often referred to by many as the "second advent, "second coming," or "rapture" (from the Latin "rapere").   Some of the Brit Chadashah promises that teach Messiah's return include:

 

John 14:2-3  "I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

 

Matthew 24:30  "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory."

 

Acts 1:11  "This same Yeshua, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

 

Matthew 24:36  "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father."

 

  Click here to view Dr. Michael Brown's video - "In Search of Messiah in Crown Heights"

 


 

 

 The End of Days

 

Yeshua described in detail the events that would precede His second coming. He said there will be false messiahs and prophets performing signs and miracles that deceive many; many wars and threats of war; numerous famines and earthquakes; increases in persecution and hatred; displays of wickedness; and people with self-indulgent behavior (Matthew 24). Other signs include people who are lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient, ungrateful, unholy, loveless, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, treacherous, conceited, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power of God (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

 

Another sign is the restoration of the land of Israel promised by God to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as an everlasting inheritance for their descendents (Genesis 12:7; 28:13-15; 32:28; 35:12; 48:4).   This is happening in our time. Leviticus 26:40-45 and Deuteronomy 30:1-7 state that God will restore Israel to the land, in spite of  past unfaithfulness. The prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, and Zechariah all wrote about God's restoration of Israel.1

 

One of the final events to be witnessed before Yeshua returns is the proclamation of the good news of God’s salvation, through the Messiah, to all the nations of the world (Matthew 24:14). Those who believe this good news will be spared from God’s judgment.

 

 


 

 

  A Jewish View of Death

 

In Jewish thought, a person is viewed as a body-soul; a single entity, an indivisible whole.  Neither of the Hebrew terms "nephesh" (soul) or "ruach" (spirit) refer to the nonphysical part of a human being.

 

Man’s nephesh, or soul, is primarily his vitality, his life. It is never a separate part of man.  Ruach, or spirit, is God's breath and power (Isaiah 40:7) which creates and sustains all living things (Psalm 33:6; 104:29-30).3

 

 

Yizkor - remembering the dead          

The teaching that the soul lives apart from the body comes from Greek philosophy.   Origen, one of the early fathers of Christian theology, developed his "life after death teachings" from Greek philosophers such as Plato, and taught the cosmic journey of the soul in an afterlife.4

 

In the Bible, death is often referred to as sleep. Solomon said "the dead know nothing; in the grave there is no work, no plans, no knowledge, and no wisdom." (Ecclesiastes 9:5-10).   He also wrote that our dust returns to the earth and the ruach (spirit) returns to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7).  Job, David, Jeremiah, Daniel, Yeshua, and Paul all referred to death as a sleep.

 

While the souls of mankind are in God's hands, the belief that souls are reincarnated into the bodies of humans or other animals is totally outside the teaching of the Bible.  From a biblical perspective such belief is pure nonsense.

 

In Genesis 3 the serpent told Adam and Eve that they would not die. Occultists and mediums promote the idea  that people can contact the dead souls in the afterlife through the phenomenon of séances.  For that very reason, the Bible warns us not to engage in divination, sorcery, witchcraft, mediums, spiritualists, or consultation with the dead (Deuteronomy 18:10-13; Leviticus 19:31).  Astrology is also forbidden (Isaiah 47:13). Such practices undermine trust in God and teachings of the Bible.

 

 


 

 

 Resurrection of the Dead

 

Isaiah 26:19-21 "But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy... See, the Lord coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins."

 

Daniel 12:2  "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt."

 

Hosea 13:14  "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction?"

 

John 5:28-29  "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out; those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned."

 

1 Corinthians 15:51-52  "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."

 

Isaiah 25:8  "He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces."

 

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17  "The Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Messiah will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever."      

 

The Bible speaks of the resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. Some believe God’s judgment will happen prior to the resurrection, while others believe it will happen right after the resurrection.  Regardless, there will be a judgment.

 


 

 God's Final Judgment

   

Yom Kippur points to God's

final judgment.  May your

name be inscribed 

in the Book of Life.

 

When the Messiah comes back, a judgment of all people will occur. This final judgment is called the "Day of the Lord." This event will be accompanied by many unprecedented occurrences: the stars will disappear; the sun will be darkened; the moon will not give its light; the earth will shake; and people everywhere will be afraid. These events are recorded in Isaiah 13:9-10; Ezekiel 32:7-9; Joel 2:10-11, 30-32; Amos 5:18-20; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-26; Luke 21:25-28; and Revelation 6:12-17.

 

There will be only two kinds of people on Judgment Day:  those who have accepted God’s salvation through the Messiah,  and those who have not repented and rejected God's forgiveness and atonement for sin.  There will be no second chance or opportunity to come back in another life (reincarnation) and live righteously.  The dead cannot be saved through indulgences, special prayers, baptisms  performed on their behalf, or living repeatedly through reincarnation.  In fact, the Bible teaches just the opposite.  "All will be condemned who have not believed the truth." (2 Thessalonians 2:7-12).

 

The judgment will be God’s final pronouncement on sin and sinners. "By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and the destruction of ungodly men." (2 Peter 3:7).

 

God’s final judgment will be fair and just. "I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge uprightly. When the earth and its entire people quake... It is God who judges: he brings one down, he exalts another." (Psalm 75:2,7). "He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity." (Psalm 98:9).

 

 


 

 

 Sheol - Hades

 

The English word "hell" is translated from the Hebrew word "Sheol," meaning the world of the dead; and from the Greek word "Hades," meaning the unseen world of those in the grave.  Where Sheol appears, it signifies the unseen state of the dead rather than a place of torment.In Jewish thought, Sheol or Hades is the place of departed souls, and the location for final judgment.

 

Another Hebrew word "Gehinnom" (Gehenna) refers to a place located south of the Old City of Yerusalalyim; where the city's rubbish was burned; hence, metaphorically, because of the fires - hell fire.  Both rabbinical writings and Yeshua (Matthew 5:22) refer to Gehinnom as the ultimate reward for the wicked.8

 

 

Many Jews state emphatically that

they do not believe in hell,

thinking it to be a Christian doctrine. 

Yet the Hebrew Scriptures and orthodox rabbis

teach there is a hell fire for the wicked.

 

 

Generally there are two views held by Jews and Christians concerning death.  The first view is that the dead, both the righteous and wicked, are at rest until the final judgment.  The second view is that the souls of the righteous dead return immediately to God, while the souls of the wicked descend directly into gehenna (hell) for punishment.  A theological difficulty with the second view is that the wicked's punishment is immediately meted out, prior to the final judgment of God. 

 

For the righteous, either view doesn't matter because the ultimate result is the same - eternal life with God

 

The Bible calls the final destruction of the wicked by fire the "second death."  "The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:14-15).  "But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death." (Revelation 21:8). "‘Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings... Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things.’" (Malachi 4:1-3).

 

The choice we make has lasting consequences—eternal death or eternal life.  "As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live." (Ezekiel 33:11).

 

 


 

 

  A New Heavens and Earth

 

When sin and sinners have been destroyed, God will create a new heaven and a new earth (Isaiah 66:15-24).  Death, sickness, and sin will be gone forever, and God will reign with the redeemed in his Kingdom.

 

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’... I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp." (Revelation 21).

 

The Bible teaches much more on these topics than can be presented here.  Open up a Bible, ask the Spirit of God to reveal His Word to you, and study these things for yourself.

  

1.  "Israel’s Right to the Land," David Hocking, 1983, p.17-22
2.  "Our Father Abraham—Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith," Marvin Wilson, 1989, p.175
3.  "I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus," George E. Ladd, 1975, p.45
4.  "The Greek Ideas of Immortality," Werner Jaeger, Harvard Theological Review, 1959, p.146
5.  "Is There Life After Death?," Zola Levitt & John Weldon, 1977, p.8
6.  "Hell," Naves Topical Bible, Orville J. Nave, p. 552
7.  "Sheol in the Tanach," Rivi Litvin, Shofar, 1992, p.4
8.  "Complete Jewish Bible," David Stern, 1998, p.1570
 
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