In Part 1, we left off talking about a major issue in the first century. Non-Jewish believers were coming to learn and had to be taught the elementary principles of the faith because they had no backround in the Tanach. So, sages called “chachamim” had to be sent out to the world to teach these people. They had to make sure that the concepts understood in Ephesus were the same as in Jerusalem. To do this, these non-Jews had to become a “talmid” which means a student and they had to have an understanding of the following Jewish concepts found in Heb 6.1-2:
Teshuvah-means “repentance” and to turn from a certain way and go the opposite direction.
Emunah-means “faith, confidence, action” and is made up of the following components. First, you had to have “ahav” which is love for the Lord, a right attitude. Next you had to have “Da’at” which is true knowledge of the Lord through his word. Lastly, you needed “mitz’vot” or the commandments. There is no such thing as “blind faith” in a believer. All action that is missing any of the above components is not biblical “emunah.”
Tevilah-means “immersions” and you will the word is plural in Heb 6. There are many immersions in the faith and the believer needed to understand all of them, and why an immersion was done. This gets into the concept of the waters of Eden, the picture of water in the heavens and the soul of hearing. It also had to do with the concept of a change in status.
Semicha-is the “laying on of hands” which is a misunderstood concept among believers today. The concept of “semicha” is one of the steps in the Temple when presenting a “korban” to the Lord. It is not a magical gesture establishing contact between God and man, or to symbolically imply that the animal is a substitute for the person giving it. In reality, it is a solemn attestation that the korban has come from this particular person who is performing the semicha on the animals head. 1 Tim 5.22 says that one should not perform semicha on anyone suddenly, lest they share in the sins of others. This means that you don’t ordain anyone for ministry to fast. They may not be ready. If they are not, then you are partly responsible for any problems they may have.
Techiyah-is the resurrection and there are several phases of the resurrection of the righteous, and there is the first and second resurrection.
Mishpat-means “judgment” and this is tied into the concept of Yom ha Din. There are two festival days that are called a Yom ha Din, Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur. There is also the judgment of the believers at the Bema seat of Messiah and the final judgment of the unbeliever at the Great White Throne.
Rom 9.4-5 also has certain basic principles that need to be understood like the following concepts:
Adoption-the “chosen” role of Israel in the plan of God. It includes what happened at Mount Sinai and how it is tied in with the first stage of marriage called the betrothal. This includes the Shitre Erusin.
Glory-this is the word “kivod” and it means “radiance or light” and it comes from the Hebrew word meaning “heavy.” This is the tangible manifestation of God, including when Messiah came. There two other concepts that need to be understood along with the kivod. The first is “shekinah” which is the presence of God, and the second is the Ruach, which is the power of God. Adam lost all three of these manifestations and Yeshua is restoring them back. They are likened to the “kingdom, the power and the glory” in Matt 6.13.
Covenants-there are many in the Scripture and these need to be understood. Examples include the Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Sinai, Moab and the “Brit Chadashah” or “New Covenant.”
Giving of the Torah-this is tied in with the concept of the wedding and the festival of Shavuot. It was also the “constitution” of Israel and a covenant, or agreement.
Service-the “avodah” in the Temple were given by God in the Torah and also to David, given to Solomon for the Temple in 1 Chr 28.11-19. These things pertaining to the Temple are commanded by God to be understood (Ezek 43.10-12).
Promises-these include the redemption through the Messiah, salvation, the manifestations of the Spirit, the kingdom of heaven, the Olam Haba.
Fathers-this is the word “avot” and it refers to the “fathers” of the faith, including Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the people mentioned in Heb 11.
This is just a basic definition of these concepts, and to explain them fully would take a lifetime, but the new non-Jewish believers had to be taught these things by a teacher who was a “wise man” or a “chachmah” in the Scriptures.
Now we are going to talk about the concept of time and eschatology. This concept is crucial if you are going to understand biblical eschatology. Time was created by God in Gen 1.1 with the word “bereshit” or “in the beginning.” To have a beginning, you had to have time. God created the universe in 6 days, and rested on the Sabbath. This is a blueprint for what is called the 7000 year plan of God. There will be 6000 years, then a 1000 year “Day of the Lord” or “Sabbath of God.” This 7000 year period is divided up into certain periods. This 7000 year plan of God should be understood as a “circle” and not a “line” as it is usually understood. So, we will describe what the time periods look like and you can draw a circle and write them in. A linear line will be used at times to show what is being talked about, but this should be understood as a circle making its way back to the top of the circle.
Before creation, there was the Olam Haba, which means the “world to come.” Why was it called that? Because we are coming back to that age when all things are given back to God and the last enemy of death is defeated. Then we come to creation. The first day of creation was Tishri 1, the sixth day was Tishri 6, and so on. We have a new heaven and new earth. But Adam falls on Tishri 10, the day that would eventually become Yom Kippur. Now we have a second heaven and earth and this will remain until the flood. The third heaven and earth goes from the flood to the messianic kingdom. The fourth heaven and earth goes from the messianic kingdom to the Olam Haba. The fifth heaven and earth is in the Olam Haba and that one will remain forever.
The first 6000 years is called the Olam ha Zeh, the present age. The final 1000 years is called the Atid Lavo, or future age. It is also known as the Day of the Lord, the Messianic kingdom or the Sabbath of God. This is followed by the Olam Haba, and we have come full circle. The Olam ha Zeh is made up of three, 2000 year periods. The first 2000 years is called “Tohu” which means “destruction, desolation.” The second 2000 years is called “Torah” which means “guidance, teaching or instruction.” The third 2000 year period is called “Yom’ot ha Mashiach” or the “days of the Messiah.” The last 1000 year period is called the Atid Lavo, as we have said. It would look like this on a linear timeline:
Olam Haba___|____Tohu_____|___Torah_____ |_Yom’ot Mashiach_|__Atid Lavo_|__Olam Haba
This understanding is very ancient and it was not devised by believing Torah scholars. It is interesting to see that these rabbi’s believed that the Messiah was to come 2000 years ago, and he did. That is when we entered into the Yom’ot Mashiach. This belief is based on the prophecies of Daniel.
The purpose for all of this is the restoration of man and the creation. That is the basic understanding of “eschatology” in Hebrew thought. The Messiah is the agent of God, empowered by the Spirit of God to bring all of this about. We enter into this redemption by emunah, faith and confidence, based on the right attitude, the commandments and true, spiritual knowledge. The Basar (good news) is Messiah has come to initiate the redemption through his blood, which ratifies the new covenant spoken about in Deuteronomy and Jeremiah.
One can be in the Olam ha Zeh physically, but in the Olan Haba spiritually. Heb 6.5 refers to this concept when Paul says that some tasted of the “power of the world to come (Olam Haba).” We have a taste now in the Olam ha Zeh, but not the fullness. We can have several ages going on at the same time, depending on the “state of being” of the individual (“here now, but not yet”). When Yeshua was on the cross, he was in the Olam ha Zeh. Three days later he resurrects and now he is in the Olam Haba. But, he comes and appears to Mary who is still in the Olam ha Zeh.
The non-Jews must be taught all of this and that the Messiah came to restore all things. They must be taught the “who, what, where, when, why and how” of God’s plan, as revealed through the Scriptures. And by the way, all this can be shown using the Tanach alone. Everything that is taught in the Gospels and Epistles can be found in the Tanach.
In Part 3, we are going to pick up here and take these concepts of time and go a little deeper. Then we will pull together all of this before we move on to applying this information in order to properly interpret the Scriptures.