Torah and New Testament Foundations-Part 22

When Israel came out of Egypt it was called the First Redemption. We have the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit/power of God) empowering the sh’liach (“sent one”) Moses. In the Second Redemption, the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit/power of God) empowers the sh’liach (“sent one”) Yeshua (Deut 18.14-22). Now, in John 4.1-26 we have the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. This story still carries the themes of the First Redemption, like “thirst” and “water” coming from a “rock.” In Exo 17.6, they were to strike the rock and water would come forth. This pictured Yeshua being struck and his death. Later, in Num 20.8, they were only to speak to the rock and water would come forth, meaning, Yeshua does not need to be struck again to receive the life giving water. Yeshua makes it clear that he can give this life giving water to the Samaritan woman.

The Samaritans come from the fact that some Jews married foreign wives but would not divorce them, and they settled near Shechem, and they became known as Samaritans (Ezra 9.1-10.44). They had a separate Temple and service on Mount Gerizim, and they claimed that this was the site of true worship of God. In John 4.21 that “an hour is coming” he is referring to Jewish eschatology. In Jewish thought, time is “circular” not “linear.” There was not time, no Temple before the 7000 year plan of God began. After the 7000 years is over, there will be no time and no Temple because nothing more is needed, no ceremonies (Rev 21.22). This is called the Olam Haba, the World to come. Also, the Romans were coming in a few years and they will destroy not only the Temple on Mount Gerizim, but the Temple on Mount Moriah as well.

In John 4.22 Yeshua says, “salvation is of the Jews.” This is because God gave the concepts of salvation to the Jewish people (Zech 8.23). We know that this story takes place around Shavuot because there are “four months and then comes the harvest” (of Sukkot-John 4.35). This means there are many themes going on here, and harvest is a main one. Yeshua stays with the Samaritans “two days” (2000 years- Hos 5.15-6.3). In John 5.2 we see Yeshua at Bethesda, or “Beit Chessed” meaning “House of Grace/Mercy.” This was a mikvah, and he heals a man there and tells him to “Take up his pallet and walk.” Then it says in John 5.10 that “the Jews” confronted him about this because in their halakah, this was not permissible to do on the Sabbath. Because of their view on this, we know these “Jews” were Pharisees from Beit Shammai who did not allow this type of activity on the Sabbath, in private or public. Now, in contrast, the Pharisee’s from Beit Hillel did allow it in public, as long as they were going home. So we know who “the Jews” are in this verse and who were contending with Yeshua. Not knowing the “who” could paint “the Jews” as being all the Jewish people, but this is not the way to interpret this verse.

As a result of this encounter, the Pharisees from Beit Shammai began to plot against Yeshua in order to kill him (John 5.18). Yeshua’s words in John 5.19-47 are directed towards the students of Beit Shammai and anyone supporting them. This is another example of finding the context of what Yeshua is saying, and to whom he is directing his statements.

John 6 will be full of Passover themes, concepts and phrases (John 6.4). The teachers in Israel were teaching Passover themes, and this would include the Exodus from Egypt., the wandering in the wilderness (v 2-3); being hungry (v 5); a stormy sea (v 18); being afraid and crying out (v 19) and deliverance (v 21). Like Moses, Yeshua feeds the people (v 5-14). He walks on the sea, showing his dominion over the domain of Leviathan (Job 26.12-13; Psa 74). It was dark, with strong winds. Yeshua teaches metaphors related to Passover in v 22-51 like the “bread” and “bread from heaven, not as our father’s ate, and died” and the “blood.” In John 6.52-71 the people hear Yeshua and they take what he says literally (in the “peshat”) and they are “hard sayings.” When Yeshua says to “eat the flesh and drink his blood”{ just means “to make my teachings a part of you.” He is saying to “apply the blood” to the doorposts of your heart in a spiritual sense.

In John 7.1-19, we come to the festival of Sukkot, with all its themes, idioms and concepts. Yeshua needed to be there and he does go up and begins to teach during the Chol Ha Moed (Intermediate days) of the festival. But what is he teaching? On the Sabbath of Sukkot week, Ezek 37.18 through 39.16 is taught, which covers the invasion of Israel by Gog and Magog. Yeshua is teaching Bible prophecy and the future redemption of Israel. In the book “Ezekiel” by Artscroll, p 577, says that the victory over Gog/Magog will come during the month of Tishri, the same month that Sukkot occurs in. Yeshua was most likely teaching Israel’s future redemption, and they were “amazed” (v 15). Eschatologically, Yeshua was referring to the time at the end of the third year of the Birth-pains when Israel will be attacked by Gog/Magog, who we know as Russia. They tried to do it in 1973 during the Yom Kippur war, but they made a mistake attacking on Yom Kippur because everyone was “centralized” at home or in the synagogue. Next time it will happen on Rosh Ha Shannah because people are more scattered. Russia will be defeated by Yom Kippur ten days later. The people will be rejoicing over this defeat of Gog/Magog at Sukkot, and they realize that Yeshua is the Messiah through the teaching of the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 that have been telling the people what was going to happen. Yeshua will be “born unto us” in the heart at Sukkot (Isa 9.6), just like he was born physically at Sukkot.

In the book “Everyman’s Talmud” by Abraham Cohen there is a chapter on eschatology. He said that there is a teaching from the Talmud that said that God wished to make Sennacherib Gog and Hezekiah the Messiah. So, Assyria and its invasion of Israel is a picture of the coming Russian invasion, based on Ezek 38.17. Where are all the prophecies that the Lord mentions in Ezek 38.17? Gog and Magog are not even mentioned in the Tanak. But, these prophecies are found in the Assyrian invasion of Israel. Studying that will give you a key to Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Tiglat-pilesar (Pul) invaded northern Israel. Shalmaneser brings a siege to , but he is murdered by Sargon. Sargon II took Philistia, and later Sennacherib comes to Judah. The kings of Judah during this time will be Ahaz, Hezekiah and Manasseh. The prophets will be primarily Isaiah, Micah, Amos and Hosea. This will be the 8th Century BC. Jeremiah and Ezekiel are 7th Century BC prophets, dealing with Babylon. Gog/Magog and Assyria are the key to understanding Ezekiel’s prophecy. Study the passages on Assyria for detail. Gog/Magog is the “door” and Assyria is the “house.” So, why were the people so amazed at his teaching in John 7.15? Let’s look at Biblical Eschatology. These concepts should be engraved on your minds.

The time before creation is called the Olam Haba. The world has been going for nearly 6000 years, called the Olam Ha Zeh (This Present Age). The final 1000 years is called the Atid Lavo, or “future age.” After the 1000 years is over, we enter into the Olam Haba again. This is the 7000 year plan of God, and the blueprint of this is seen in Genesis 1. Now, the first seven years of the Atid Lavo (also known as the “Day of the Lord”) will be the Birth-pains, or “tribulation” period. There are many sources for this. So, why is the invasion of Israel by Gog/Magog important? The Day of the Lord will begin on a Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6001 from creation. Ten days later, the actual seven year Birth-pains will begin on a Yom Kippur. But there are several things that will happen in those ten days, before the the Birth-pains begin. Russia (Gog/Magog) will attack the United States and destroy her in one day. This will give rise to the false messiah in Europe, who fears they may be next. A treaty with Israel and the false messiah and ten nations out of Europe will be signed on Yom Kippur, beginning the seven year Birth-pains. Three years into the Birth-pains, we come to Rosh Ha Shannah again, and Gog/Magog will attack Israel and be defeated and destroyed. Six months later, we come to Nisan 10, the exact half-way point of the Birth-pains. The false messiah has taken credit for the destruction of Gog, and he goes to Jerusalem and declares himself God in the Temple. The Jews do not believe him because the nation has accepted Yeshua right after Gog was destroyed, and they have accepted him (Ezek 39.22). They will flee into the wilderness for the last half of the Birth-pains, or 1260 days. At the end of those 1260 days, it is Tishri 10 and Yom Kippur, and Yeshua returns to Jerusalem and kills the false messiah. 75 days after that, or 1335 days after the middle of the Birth-pains on Nisan 10, it is Chanukah and the dedication of Ezekiel’s Temple that will be used for the remainder of the Messianic Kingdom (Dan 12.11-13). Anyone who is there to see that is “blessed.”

This was why the people were so amazed. They got a glimpse of the redemption of Israel in the last days and the defeat of Gog/Magog, and the coming of Messiah. It is that event that will turn Israel to God for the final time, leading to the coming of the Messiah and that is why the story of Gog/Magog is so important. In Part 23, we will pick up in John 7.20 and move through John 8.11, showing you how to look at the Gospels, and the Epistles for that matter, and see them through a Hebraic mindset, which is the only way one can ever begin to understand the New Testament.

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

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