Torah and New Testament Foundations-Part 10

The month of Tishri is the seventh month of the religious calendar and a picture of the Day of the Lord because the festivals of Rosh Ha Shannah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot occur during the month. The Birth-pains of the Messiah, or the “Chevlai Shell Mashiach” is a theme of the Day of the Lord. Festival terminology will be used in many verses to convey a message, so we must be familiar with what to look for. Not understanding these terms lead many into false narratives of what will happen, and the bookshelves are full of them. One thing to understand is that there will be double references to the Day of the Lord. Some will say it will be a time of “darkness, trial, trouble and turmoil.” Others will be referring to it as a time of “light, salvation, deliverance and peace.” But all these will be happening during this “last day” called the Day of the Lord.

Christian eschatology has the “tribulation” then a 1000 year time period called “The Millennium”, but this is incorrect. Jer 30.4-8 states that the Birth-pains happen during the Day of the Lord (“that day” and “on that day”), not before. Matt 24.8 says, “But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.” Once you know that “all these things” happen during the Day of the Lord, you can read the verse and place it in the right place. Let’s get into some detail on this and see how these conflicting double references play out in the Day of the Lord.

Now, we are going to develop several concepts that are essential in understanding New Testament foundations. In Luke 16.19, we learn about a place called Abraham’s Bosom. Sheol (place of the dead) was divided into two compartments. Abraham’s Bosom was where the righteous went before Yeshua (after Yeshua resurrected, Abraham’s Bosom was “moved” to Heaven). Torments was where the unrighteous went, and still do. But why is it called Abraham’s Bosom? The Mishnah describes the daily services in the Temple in the tractate Tamid. The Lishkat Ha Gazit (Chamber of Hewn Stone) was where lots were drawn for who would take part in the slaughtering of the Tamid lamb in the morning, very early. When they were ready, a priest would ascend to a high point in the Temple, possibly the roof, and look to Hebron to see if it was lit up yet. Now, Abraham bought the cave of Machpelah to bury Sarah. Leah, Isaac, Rebekah and Jacob are buried there also. The belief was that the resurrection would begin there (Hebron), then move to the Kidron Valley and the Mount of Olives, and then continue from there. That is why people were buried on the Mount of Olives. In Luke 19.37-41, Yeshua is riding into Jerusalem and is near the descent of the Mount of Olives (v 37). Some Pharisee’s (probably from Shammai) tell Yeshua to rebuke his talmidim for cheering. Yeshua says, “I tell you, if these (his talmidim, the crowd) become silent the stones (the grave stones there) would cry out.” Why did he say that? Because the dead in Sheol know who Yeshua is! It goes on to say Yeshua wept over the city. This fulfilled a prophecy back in 2 Sam 15.30 when David wept as he was leaving the city from Absalom. He was also at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the same spot where Yeshua wept. King David is a picture of the Messiah and he reigned over Hebron for seven years, and then moved to Jerusalem. Hebron was seen as a type of heaven. Messiah will rule for seven years in Heaven (Hebron), then moves to Jerusalem. David was even coronated in Hebron (Heaven), just like Yeshua will. The earth will be cleansed during the Birthpains, then Yeshua will moves to Jerusalem like David did.

Jerusalem is shaped like the Hebrew letter “Shin” and Abraham perceived the place from “afar off” (Gen 22). He was at a place called the “Promenade” or “Mizrachi Talpiot” meaning “east perfection.” Tophet is located there (Jer 7.31-32, 19.1-6). Joel 3.1-2,12 calls this place the “Valley of Jehoshaphat” meaning “God is judge” and that is understood as Tophet. Jeremiah prophesied at the “potter’s gate” in Jer 19.1-9. The potter’s gate ran east to west and winds blew the smoke away from the city. This gate will also be known as the Dung Gate in the time of Nehemiah and the Potter’s Field will be called Akeldama in Acts 1.19, Matt 27.7-10. All of these places will be at the same place. This is where the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16 takes place. The Rich Man was in Torments (Tophet) looking up to the Temple Mount. The Temple was called “Beit El” or the “House of God.” Between the Temple and Tophet was the Pool of Siloam (Shiloach=meaning “sent”). The “Rich Man” were the Pharisee’s of Beit Shammai who were lovers of money (Luke 16.14). In Luke 16.24, the Rich Man requests water, and the Pool of Siloam was used for a Temple ceremony at Sukkot and for the Parah Adumah (Red Heifer). Now, let’s put all this together. In Luke 19.40, Yeshua says that the “stones will cry out.” Jerusalem is in the shape of the letter Shin, a name for God (“my name is there” and there are three mountain tops in this area. Mount Moriah means “my teacher” and this is Yeshua. The Ophel means “fortified hill” and this is the Father. Mount Zion means “mark” and this is the Ruach Ha Kodesh, or Holy Spirit). The “stones” are the graves, the head stones that will cry out because the dead know who Yeshua is, and all of this goes right back to the parable in Luke 16.19-31.

Now let’s go to the concept of the Two Messiah’s. Jewish Eschatology mentions several eschatological characters. We will have the Messiah Ben Joseph and the Messiah Ben David. Now, how can the Day of the Lord be a time of “peace” when the first seven years are the Birth-pains and a time of trouble (Jer 30.4-8; Matt 24.8). Remember, we mentioned that Abraham’s Bosom alludes to Hebron, and Hebron alludes to Heaven. The Temple Tamid service in the morning cannot begin until the sun lights up Hebron, and this is a picture of the resurrection. Abraham is seen in Abraham’s Bosom (Luke 16). Besides the resurrection, there will also be a coronation and a marriage in Heaven. This starts on Tishri 1, year 6001 when the resurrection of the righteous occurs, and then we are taken to the coronation and marriage of the Messiah to his bride. This starts the day of the Lord because it is Rosh Ha Shannah, the head of the year and the beginning of the 1000 year period called the “Day of the Lord”, the “Sabbath of the Lord” and the “Lord’s Day.” So, peace starts in Heaven and it will last 1000 years, and like David, it moves to Jerusalem after seven years (2 Sam 5.1-5).

Now, some groups had a concept of three Messiah’s. Zech 6.9-13 there was a high priest called Joshua, but his name is also Yeshua in Ezra 3.1-2. He is called a “tzemach” which is a term for the Messiah (Isa 4.2; Jer 23.5; Jer 33.15-16; Zech 3.6-10). We have a high priest (the priest Joshua/Yeshua) sitting on a throne (king) in Zech 6, having two crowns. The Dead Sea Scrolls talk about “The Prophet” (Deut 18.15-18). The New Testament speaks of the “Prophet” in John 1.21, 7.40. So, we are developing the fact that there are several concepts about the Messiah by the first century. We have the “priestly” Messiah, the “prophet” Messiah and the “kingly” Messiah. We also have the “tzemach” or “branch” and the possibility of several comings. Even John the Baptist needed clarification about the coming of the Messiah in Luke 7.18-20. He was not doubting that Yeshua was the Messiah because God told him that he was. But, with all the eschatological theories in the first century, John was asking a prophecy question on the role of the Messiah and if there were going to be several Messiah’s or not. There was also the concept of the “Moray Tzedekah” or the “Teacher of Righteousness” as seen in Joel 2.23. This title can also be seen in John 11.28. We will also have another term for the Messiah found in Dan 7.13 called “Bar Enosh” (Aramiac) or “Son of Man.” Notice it is not “Ben Adam” (Hebrew) because the Messiah will not be a physical descendant through an earthly father to Adam. Whenever Yeshua says he is the “Son of Man” he is referring to this eschatological title from Dan 7.13 “Bar Enosh” and the people knew what he meant. He was using an eschatological title for the Messiah.

So far, we have several terms for the Messiah. We have the Tzemach (Branch); the Moray Tzedekah (Teacher of Righteousness); the Ha Navi (the Prophet); Ha Kohen (the Priest); Ha Melek (the kingly Messiah, or Messiah Ben David); Bar Enosh (Son of Man in Aramaic) and the Messiah Ben Joseph (the suffering servant Messiah). As you can see, by the first century there was a possibility of a number of eschatological figures and this is what prompted John’s question in Luke 7.18-20. Out of these, two primary ones will develop.

In Part 11, we will pick up here.

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

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