The Chosen People are a somewhat battered and afflicted race of oft-scorned and rejected Semites, historically outcast and nationless, despised, persecuted by their hosts in a Diaspora of nearly two millennia, and cursed before being expelled or killed. Yet from within that fraction-of-a-fraction of humanity has arisen the solution of the great mysteries of the universe.
In the Torah, God said to Abraham, “To your offspring I will give this land.” Hebrews says that Abraham was looking forward to a heavenly country, to “the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” Does that mean that the promises of land to his offspring are not to be literally fulfilled?
While a compilation of Messianic proof-texts is still perhaps the most common tactic employed by evangelists to Jews, such lists are not effective. In the unlikely case you succeed in convincing a Jewish person that Jesus is the Messiah without first revealing him to be a devout Jew, committed to his people and to the Torah, then what kind of disciple have you made?
Sukkot is a foretaste of the Messianic Kingdom, when there will be peace on earth, Israel’s enemies will be defeated, and Jew and Gentile will dwell together serving the one true God. Sukkot is a prophetic shadow of the coming kingdom of heaven.
If we wish to hasten the Messiah’s coming we have work to do. Exile and redemption may be national processes, but repentance begins with individuals. Today, the world is still experiencing the exile that began almost two thousand years ago. Yeshua’s teachings hold the keys that will bring that exile to an end.
When something traumatic or emotionally painful happens to someone we care about, we try to comfort the person, offering words of consolation and sympathy. We try to point out the bright side, and we try to lift the person’s spirits by invoking future hopes. That’s what the Sabbath of Consolation tries to do for Israel.
The full verse from Zechariah 14:9 reads: “And the LORD will be king over all the earth. On that day the LORD will be one and his name one.” This represents the fullness of the Sh’ma message. God is king and he is the one God not only of Israel but of all of the nations on the earth.
It appears that right now God is saying "no" to the rebuilding of the Temple. The sages have said, "Any generation in which the Temple is not rebuilt is considered as if it had destroyed it." Why has the Temple not been rebuilt? Perhaps it is because of us.
To see the final redemption, we must begin by recognizing what we are missing without it. Shabbat Chazon is an opportunity to glimpse the world as it once was and as it one day can be. Then we must heed the words of Isaiah and reflect the beauty of Torah in our lives.
Israel was, at least from a theological perspective, still in exile. Israel was still suffering the consequences of covenant failure. But all this was now about to change. The shame and humiliation of exile was over.
When the Messiah returns, he will establish the kingdom of heaven on earth, which will span the entire world; Jerusalem will be the capital, where Yeshua will establish his throne. By turning toward Jerusalem it places our prayers in the context of the Messianic Kingdom and expresses our hope in the soon-coming Messiah.
What nation has lived in every corner of the globe? What nation as a nation has been in the hands of other nations to do with as so ever they wished? Upon what other nation has G-d pronounced “I will bless those who bless you, and he who curses you will I curse”?
He chose Israel not just to be an island unto themselves but that Israel would be a blessing to all peoples spreading the light and knowledge of God to the other nations of the earth. After this is the end goal of the kingdom of heaven, the Messianic Era, when all mankind will know God and worship him alone.
Jeremiah 16 seems to imply that the redemption that occurred during the Passover in Egypt will no longer be remembered. But will there really be a time when we will no longer tell the great tales of the exodus? If so, this conflicts with other Scriptures that indicate that we will tell of the exodus “all the days” of our lives.
In Parashat Mishpatim Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders ascended Sinai and saw an apocalyptic vision of God. How does one see the God of Israel and survive? The Torah states that Moses and the rest of the great men not only survived, but the very next verse says that they “ate and drank.”
When terror arises it is easy to entertain the sentiment, “If only Abraham had been obedient and not jumped the gun, we wouldn’t be in this mess today!” Nevertheless, we must remember Ishmael’s blessing and pray for his redemption.
Hanukkah is more than just the Jewish substitute for Christmas. In fact, Hanukkah elicits ancient prophecy and prophetic archetypes, all pointing to the coming and the redemption of the Messiah. The messianic expectation during this holiday points us to investigate the books of Haggai and Hebrews.
At Hanukkah we celebrate the ultimate future defeat of the antichrist. Recent world events and phenomenon seem to suggest that the birth pains of Messiah are increasing in frequency and the signs point toward Armageddon. We should use Hanukkah as an opportunity renew our commitment to Yeshua as the day of his coming draws near.
Antiochus Epiphanes, the villain of the Hanukkah story, was the king of Syria and an early forerunner of the antichrist. He erected an idol in the Temple that the Prophet Daniel referred to as the “abomination of desolation.” Yeshua of Nazareth warned us to expect history to repeat itself.
When salvation and the knowledge of God is spread to all the nations of the earth, the final redemption is close. These righteous Gentiles will join in with Messiah and Elijah to help “cast down the horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter it” (Zechariah 1:21) and in turn help usher in the final redemption.
The book of Hosea is explicitly about the people of Israel, their falling away from HaShem, and their return due to his great compassion. However, the prophecies of this book can also have an interpretation for Gentile believers in the Messiah. God takes ownership of everyone from the nations who decides to follow him.
What is it about the end times that piques our curiosity so much? Why do we have such an infatuation with figuring out the exact date of the apocalypse? Perhaps it’s a subconscious knowledge that this present reality needs to be destroyed in order to give way to a better more complete reality.
A complete study into the Star of Bethlehem will take a person into biblical prophecy, rabbinic literature, Jewish history, astronomy, and the complex interaction between the Jewish people and the Parthians who ruled over all the lands of “the east.” Beyond this, it requires research into the methods and concepts of the ancient magi.
The tetrad of four lunar eclipses (blood moons) falling on four biblical holy days has generated enormous amounts of excitement, speculation, and enthusiasm about the potential prophetic implications. Do the blood moons really indicate that the final redemption is close at hand, or is it all just hot air?