How to Understand the New Testament-Part 8

Biblical Eschatology is defined as the study of the Messiah and the Redemption. We have discussed the 7000 year plan of God and Genesis I is a picture of the time that God has given, a “blueprint” if you will (study these concepts in more detail in our studies on Prophecy and Eschatology on this site). The 7000 year plan is broken down into four sections. The first 2000 years is called “Tohu” meaning destruction because sin entered the world, there was the first murder, the flood of Noah and the Tower of Babel. The second 2000 years is called “Torah” meaning instruction, beginning with Abraham and his promise to build a nation that would bless the world through him, and the giving of the Torah (meaning “instruction) at Mount Sinai. The third 2000 years is called the “Yom’ot Mashiach” or “Days of the Messiah”, and Yeshua did come during that period and we are still in this period. The last 1000 year period is called the “Shabbat Elohim” meaning “Sabbath of God.” This last 1000 year period will begin on Rosh ha Shannah, Tishri 1, the 6001st year from creation. It will be the day of the “gathering” or “Natzal” also known as the Rapture. Now, you say this seems very biblical, and it is. But, this breakdown is the Jewish concept of the 7000 year plan of God and it is totally from Jewish sources (Talmud, Avodah Zerah 9a; Psa 90.4; 2 Pet 3.8). As we have said before, the people in the first century had a high expectation for the coming of the Messiah (Dan 9.24-27; Luke 3.15). God creates the sun on the fourth day, and the sun is a picture of the Messiah (Gen 1.14-19; Psa 19; Mal 4; Gen 32.30-31). The moon is a picture of Israel and the believer/bride. The New Moon festival happens every month. The moon is said to be “born again” and it is called “Rosh Chodesh” or renewed moon. The word “chodesh” is related to the word “chadash” which means “renewed” and the “New Testament” in Hebrew is called the “Brit Chadashah” meaning the “renewed covenant.” Creation began on Tishri 1 and each time period ends on the day before the 2000th Rosh ha Shannah of that period. The Scriptures have many pictures of this 7000 year plan of God: Noah was 600 years old when the flood came, and there was a new heaven and a new earth. Gen 6.3 says that man’s years will be 120 years. If you take 120 and multiply it by 50 (the years to a yovel, or “jubilee” year) it equals 6000. Leah has six son’s in Gen 29.31-30.21. Her seventh child was called “Dinah” (feminine for “judge) and speaks of the judgment during this period, and the bride. John 1.29 through 2.1 refer to six days, then there was a wedding in Cana (see our study of John). In 2 Kings 11 we have the story of Joash (Yeshua), who is hidden in the house of the Lord for six years (6000 years), then comes out and crowned king. In Joshua 3 we read about the Ark (Yeshua) that goes ahead of Israel 2000 cubits (2000 years). Isaac was 40 when he married (at 4000 years when Yeshua purchased a bride) and was 60 (6000 years) when he had children. In 2 Sam 13, Absalom (a picture of the false messiah and Satan) begins a seven year (7000 years) drama that ends with his destruction by David’s (Yeshua) army. There are many more pictures of this time period. Now, the last 1000 year period is called the “Shabbat Elohim” or Sabbath of God. The weekly, seventh day Sabbath is a picture of this period. The 6000 year period is called (as a whole) the “Olam ha Zeh” (this present age) and the last 1000 year period also goes by the name of “the Day of the Lord” or “Lord’s Day.” The problem with replacing the God-given seventh day Sabbath with a man-made, first day of the week Christian “Lord’s Day” is that they replaced the blueprint needed to understand prophecy. In Matt 24.1-3 the talmidim ask Yeshua about “this present age” and the age they were expecting next was “the Day of the Lord.” The “Birthpains of the Messiah” is another name for the Tribulation period and that is a seven year period that covers the first seven years of the Day of the Lord. Other names for the Day of the Lord are “the Day”; “In that day”; “that time”; “My day” and “on that day.” The Jewish Encyclopedia has articles called “the Day of the Lord” and “Eschatology” that will give great detail. These terms are all over the Scriptures because they refer to the time of redemption. When you see these terms, it is giving you a time reference for the events discussed in those verses. You have to understand the Day of the Lord before you can understand the eschatology of the Scriptures, especially the New Testament. Another name for Rosh ha Shannah is “the day of the Lord” or “Lord’s day (Rev 1.10). Tishri is the seventh month of the religious calendar and a picture of the Day of the Lord. Isa 13 discusses the day of the Lord and it begins with Rosh ha Shannah terms and idioms. Festival terminology will be used to convey a message, so you must know them. For instance, Isa 1.18 uses Yom Kippur terminology. There is a double reference to the Day of the Lord. Sometimes when the Day of the Lord is discussed, it uses terms referring to a time of darkness, trial, destruction and trouble. At other times, it uses terms referring to light, salvation and peace. But all of these terms are talking about the same time period, it just depends what part of that time it is referring to. The first seven years is a time of trouble, but then Messiah comes and it is a time for peace and salvation. Christian eschatology has the tribulation, then the last 1000 years, but that is incorrect. In Jer 30.4-8 you see the Birthpains during the Day of the Lord (“that day” in verse 7 and “on that day” in verse 8). In Matt 24.8 we see the term “birth pangs” but it is during the day of the Lord. Once you know that all these things happen during the Day of the Lord, you can read a verse and place it in the right time period. Now, the Talmud in Sanhedrin 97a says that the Birthpains of the Messiah (Chevlai shell Mashiach) are seven years in duration.
Now, let’s talk about a term found in the New Testament called “Abraham’s Bosom” and we are going to go over many concepts that will help you understand the New Testament just in this section. It is found in Luke 16.22 in the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man. We find out that Sheol (Hades in Greek-“abode of the dead) was divided into two compartments. The righteous who died before Yeshua went to Abraham’s Bosom and the wicked went to “torments (Tortugas). But, why is the place of the righteous called Abraham’s Bosom? Let’s look at the temple service and the Korban Tamid found in Num 28.11-8. This korban was offered two times daily. The Mishnah in the tractate “Tamid” discusses how this was done, but we will discuss it briefly here to answer our question. The priest gathered in the Lishkat ha Gazit, or Chamber of the Hewn Stone, to cast lots for the temple service. They look and wait for the sun to light up Hebron before they begin (Mishnah, Tamid 3.2). Why is that? Abraham bought the cave at Machpelah in Hebron. Abraham, Sarah, Leah, Isaac, Rebecca and Jacob are buried there. The prevailing belief in the first century was that the resurrection would begin there (Hebron) and move to the Mount of Olives and continue from there. That is why people are buried on the Mount of Olives. As a result, Hebron was called “Abraham’s Bosom” and it has messianic implications. King David was a picture of the Messiah, and he ruled from Hebron seven years, then he moved to Jerusalem. Rosh ha Shannah is seen as the coronation day of the Messiah in Heaven. David was consecrated in Hebron, so Hebron became an idiom for heaven. The earth is being cleansed for the seven years of the Birthpains (Tribulation), then Yeshua will come to Jerusalem, just like David. Now, Jerusalem is built on a mountain/valley configuration that is shaped like the letter “shin” in Hebrew, which stood for the name of God (Deut 12.11). Abraham perceived from afar that the place to “sacrifice” Isaac was there because he could see the “shin” (Gen 22). He was at the place called “The Promenade” or “Mizrachi Talpiot” which means “east perfection.” This area is one mile south of Tophet (“spitting”) and Akeldama (“field of blood” where Judas was buried), where the Hinnom, Tyropean and Kidron valley meet, south of the city. Now, Tophet is also called “Gay Hinnom” of “valley of Hinnom” and where we get the word “Gehenna” from (Jer 7.31-32; 19.1-6). Joel 3.1-2,12 calls this area “The Valley of Jehoshaphat” meaning “God is judge.” That is understood as Tophet. Jeremiah prophesied at the “Potter’s gate” which was overlooking this valley (Jer 19.1-6) and the potter’s gates ran east to west, and the wind would blow the smoke away from the city. This gate will also be known as the “Dung Gate” in the time of Nehemiah. The name “potter’s field” is also another name for this area (Matt 27.7-10 Acts 1.19). This area was known as the most cursed place on earth. By the way, they found the tomb of Caiaphas there. This was where the Rich Man was, “looking up” (Luke 16.23) towards the temple mount. In the mind of the people, Tophet (where Akeldama, the Potter’s Field were) was a type of Sheol, in particular, “torments.” The Temple was called “Beitel” or the “house of God” and the most blessed place on earth. If you went to Tophet from the Temple, you would come nearly to the bottom of the hill and come to the Pool od Siloam. We know that the Rich Man wants water (Luke 16.24). The Pool of Siloam was used during the festival of Sukkot and the Red Heifer ceremony where the priests obtained “living water” (“mayim chaim”). So, let’s put all this together. In Luke 19.40 it says “And he answered and said, ‘I tell you, if these become silent (the people), the stones will cry out.” Jerusalem had the “shin” which stood for the name of God (Deut 12.11). There were three mountain tops in Jerusalem. Mount Moriah, where the Temple stood, means “my teacher” (Yeshua, the “son” was called that). Another mount was called “Ophel” and it means “fortified hill” (the Father) and the third is “Zion” which means “mark” (the Holy Spirit-Eph 4.30). Now, Yeshua is saying in this verse that if his talmidim are silent, the “headstones, “graves” would cry out because they would know who he is. This goes right back to the parable in Luke 16.19-31, in particular v 29 (the “dead” are Moses and the prophets) and the concept of the resurrection of those people buried on the Mount of Olives. In our passage in Luke, Yeshua uses the concept that Gehenna symbolized Tophet, or “torments” where the Rich Man was. It was the most cursed place on earth. Lazarus was in Abraham’s Bosom in Sheol, symbolized by the Temple, the most blessed place on earth. After Yeshua died, he went to Sheol and Abraham’s Bosom and set those people free, taking them to heaven. Now, when a believer dies he goes to Abraham’s Bosom, which is in heaven. The wicked go to Sheol, or “torments” to await the judgment in Rev 21.11-15. In Part 9, we will begin by discussing the concept of the “Two Messiah’s” and continue bringing out concept after concept that will help you understand the New Testament.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Understanding the New Testament

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