Now, the question in the First Century was, “Are there two messiahs or two comings.” In Matt 11.1-3 and Luke 7.19-23 we have two passages about Yochanon (John) who is in prison. He asks Yeshua through a messenger, “Are you the coming one or should we expect another?” Many people are taught that Yochanon was going through a time of doubt. He had been arrested and put into prison and he knew he was going to be put to death eventually, so he had some doubts about Yeshua. In other words, “Are you going to fulfill all the prophecies about Messiah or is there a Messiah Ben David after you?”
First of all, Yochanon was not doubting. He knew Yeshua was the Messiah Ben Joseph (the Suffering Servant) because he said so in John 1.29. We have gone over what he probably said. He had seen the Ruach Ha Kodesh descend upon him, which was a sign to him who the Messiah was (John 1.33-34). Yeshua tells the messenger to go tell Yochanon “the things you have seen and heard: the blind receive sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have the gospel preached to them.” All of these are in reference to the Messiah Ben Joseph and the Messiah Ben David, so Yeshua is telling Yochanon that he will fulfill both messianic roles and there would be no reason to expect another. Here is a side note. Nowhere in Isa 35.5-6 or 61.1 does Isaiah mention that the Messiah will raise the dead. However, the Isaiah Scroll found at Qumran includes it. It is possible that Yeshua was quoting from the Qumran Scroll.
Hos 6.1-3 says that Israel will be stricken for two days (two thousand years) and in the third day (the Messianic Kingdom of one thousand years) he will revive them and raise them up. They will pursue the knowledge of the Lord and that his coming is as established as the morning and he will come like the rain.
Now, we know from our study of time that from Creation to the coming of Messiah was 4000 years. Then you have a 2000 year period (two days) after 70 A.D. where Israel was dispersed and torn among the nations. Then the Lord will come at the beginning of the seventh day (Messianic Kingdom). So, the “third day” is the third day after the “two days.” Let’s talk about the “rain” in this passage.
Messiah will come like the latter and former rain. One of these rains come in the spring and the other comes in the fall. We have the spring rains that come right before the spring festivals. The fall rains start during or right after the fall festivals. Joel 2.23 says, “Be glad then, you children of Zion and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he has given you the former rain faithfully and he will cause the rain to come down for you-the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.”
So here is a question. How can you have a rain “in the first month” in the spring and “in the first month” in the fall unless there are two calendars? Not only will we have two comings of the Messiah, but they will be in the first month of spring (Nisan) and the first month in the fall (Tishri). We know Yeshua came in the first month of the Religious Calendar in the spring (Nisan) to fulfill the spring festivals of Pesach (died), Hag Ha Matzah (buried), Bikurim (raised from the dead) and sent the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit) on Shavuot. We have already established that the spring festival season is not over until Shavuot.
That means that his second coming will be in the first month of the Civil Calendar, in the month of Tishri in the fall to fulfill Yom Teruah (Rosh Ha Shanah) on Tishri 1 (the Natzal/Rapture), Yom Kippur on Tishri 10 (second coming to the earth) and Sukkot on Tishri 15-21 and Shemini Atzeret (eighth day) on Tishri 22 (to initiate the Kingdom on earth). If he fulfilled the spring festivals on the very date they were celebrated by doing something significant in the plan of salvation, we have every reason to expect he will do the same in the fall festivals. So we have major information here in Joel 2.23. He will come in Nisan and Tishri and fulfill the festivals (the appointed times).
Now, let’s look at some basic terms related to Jewish Eschatology. At this point we want to have them and know what to look for because we will see that the Natzal (Rapture) is talked about from Genesis to Revelation. We will have hundreds of references and you will see them once you have the terms. The reason why these references were glossed over by us is because we didn’t know what these terms were talking about. Most people know two passages about the Natzal (Rapture) which are 1 Cor 15.50-52 and 1 Thes 4.13-18. But we are going to show hundreds of references from the Scriptures, the Jewish Liturgy and from various writings and texts. Another question to ask now is, “Who is going to have more information, the person with the two verses or the person with hundreds of verses?” What we want to reveal is how to see these many passages.
There are basic terms to know in order to understand Jewish Eschatology. Some of these terms are the Day of the Lord, the Birth-pains of the Messiah, the Abomination of Desolation, the Day of Judgment, Gog and Magog, the Ingathering of the Dispersed and the rebuilding of the Temple. Many will no doubt say, “Oh, I know all about all that.” However, most people come with what they have learned in Christianity or other places. Most people do not realize that ancient Judaism had a doctrine about the Natzal or “gathering.”
Did Yeshua ever teach anything that could not be found in the Tanak? What about Paul? Where was Paul’s proof to back up what he wrote in 1 Cor 15 and 1 Thes 4? There is nothing in the New Testament that we cannot find in the Tanak. It must be there or it is not from God (Deut 4.2). Here is an essential understanding. Through the readings that are read, some of the prayers that are prayed and the customs attached to each festival Yehovah gives the information that defines what will happen in each phase of the second coming of Messiah. To interpret eschatology without Jewish understandings of the festivals is to reduce the Scriptures down to mere bones. So, let’s start with an understanding of the “Day of the Lord.”
The day of the Lord is a one thousand year period and it is a time of judgment for the unrighteous, but it is also a time of blessing for the righteous. The day of the Lord is also called the Messianic Kingdom and it begins with the coronation of the Messiah. The Day of the Lord was not only a name for the Sabbath, it is also an ancient name for Rosh Ha Shanah (Tishri 1). Sigmund Mowinckel was a biblical scholar who died in 1965. He wrote a book called “The Psalms in Israel’s Worship” among other books and we have this book in our library. He is referenced in the Encyclopedia Judaica in articles about Rosh Ha Shanah. It will state that Mowinckel’s research found that Rosh Ha Shanah was called “the Day of the Lord” anciently. That was also what they called all the festivals of Tishri, but it was primarily used for Rosh Ha Shanah.
In 2 Pet 3.8-10 it says, “But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away (from one condition to another) with great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat (this is figurative language for swift judgment-Exo 15.15; Zech 14.12; Psa 75.3; 1 John 2.17; Isa 24.1-23), and the earth and its works (of man like governments, cities, things used by man, religious customs and traditions, things outward and earthly-Gal 4.3) that are in it will be burned up.”
1 Thes 5.1-3 says, “But concerning the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say,’Peace and safety’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant, and they shall not escape.” Remember, right before this passage we have 1 Thes 4.14-18 where Paul is talking about the Natzal (Rapture/Gathering). So, the “Day of the Lord” and a “thief in the night” are going to be expressions that are common among the Jewish people in reference to the topic of the Natzal, which is also known as the “gathering” in 1 Thes 2.1.
In Part 12, we will begin to give some titles for the Day of the Lord and we will list them here, but they can be found in the book called, “Rosh Ha Shanah and the Messianic Kingdom to Come” by Joseph Good of Hatikvah Ministries, P. 163-173. What we will find that the day of the Lord or some variant of that day can be found over 300 times in the Scriptures and it will be a time of judgment for the unrighteous and also a time of blessing for the righteous at the same time.