Such a World We Live In
Do you sense that something big is about to happen? I mean really enormous … earth-shaking and apocalyptic in scope. At the very least are you uneasy over the upheaval taking place in the Middle East? What with the Arab Spring revolutions having turned into Arab Winters in Muslim nations. Including an entire country, Syria, suffering devastating destruction and on the brink of complete collapse—politically, economically, and socially.
What is your level of insecurity over menacing events conjectured by some geopolitical and socioeconomic experts? Such as: the dysfunctional disintegration of the European Union that could cause a chain reaction melt-down of the entire European economy; collapse of the financial system in the United States linked to or independent of Europe’s demise; Iran launching a first nuclear strike to make good on its threat to wipe Israel from the face of the earth and the United States along with it; North Korea doing the same thing; Russia’s ominous intrusion into the Middle East, potentially taking on the United States should we do anything to oppose Russia’s real agenda for being there; an all-out conventional attack by a powerful Islamic coalition of nations against Israel; and other harbingers of man-made catastrophes and natural disasters.
Today’s article is not about these fateful global signs, as many Eye of Prophecy posts have thematically focused on these and other things like: Israel’s rebirth as a nation; return of millions of Jews to their Promised Land; the Rapture; the Gog/Magog campaign against Israel; Antichrist and his ten-nation coalition that will also march against Israel; Messiah’s glorious return at the end of the seven-year Great Tribulation; and much more.
Rather, they are noted to once again convey this fact: The vast majority of Biblical prophecies and their fulfillment are centered on and around two crucial components of God’s magnificent plan for the human race. (1) The State of Israel. (2) The Messiah.
Specifically, that Israel and the Jews were chosen by God to be a conduit of the redemptive light to the Gentile nations. And Messiah Jesus would be salvation’s light to, “…the Jew first and also the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).
Without Israel, there would be no Messiah. Without Messiah there would be no Israel. Without either, there will be no final Day of Atonement.
Though the Jews rejected their Messiah, one day soon they will embrace him individually and nationally.
“For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12, quoting Psalm 118:22).
There are many indicators of the end of this age, which have taken place or are currently unfolding in breath-taking stages in the 20th and 21st centuries; none more so than Scripture’s repeated emphasis that the entire world will be focused on Israel in the last days of the end times. That many nations will seek in some fashion to eliminate the State of Israel or at the very least “solve the Jewish problem.” Then, the Bible is conclusively clear what God will do to these nations and people who seek to harm Israel.
In fact, the Lord himself will orchestrate this prophetic alignment of peoples against Israel that will lead to his final judgment of the nations.
For example: “I will make Jerusalem like an intoxicating drink that makes the nearby nations stagger when they send their armies to besiege Jerusalem and Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock. All the nations will gather against it to try to move it, but they will only hurt themselves” (Zechariah 12:2-3).
It is distressingly evident than many nations are already intoxicated. We only need to look at their unreasonable unruly behavior over anything Jewish, their arbitrary attitude toward and callous contempt of Israel, and their irrational hatred of the Jews. You would think that the gruesome genocidal attempt of Hitler and his Third Reich to kill all European Jews would have made the entire world stand up and lastingly take notice of the senseless wicked barbarity that anti-Semitism produces. Yet, this absurdly unjustified animosity toward Jews in particular and Israel in general is every bit as rampant in today’s world as was found in Germany during World War II (and before).
Our own United States Executive Staff and many European Union leaders are displaying the demeanor of someone staggering under the influence of too many anti-Israel cocktails (one is too many). Never mind that hundreds of thousands have been killed in Syria and millions of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and other Arab countries have fled their homes … mostly to Turkey, Jordan, and now in great numbers to Europe and the United States. Disregard the imminent possibility (some say probability) that Russia and/or Iran will establish a permanent presence in Syria, right next door to Israel.
What we hear from Western leaders much more often is the “unacceptable” building of a few Jewish housing units in Judea/Samaria (so-called West Bank). Even more ridiculous is the uninformed misguided notion that the creation of a Palestinian State (that even many Arabs don’t want) will solve all of the real or perceived problems not only in Israel but the entire Middle East.
Israel’s Ardent Anticipation for Messiah and Final Redemption
It’s been over 2,000 years since the Jews have so passionately looked for (collectively) the coming of Messiah. In the first century the Jews longed for Messiah’s arrival to rescue them from the oppression of the Roman Empire. Sadly, despite the unmistakable evidence found in their own Scriptures, they did not see that Messiah must first liberate them from their sins, individually and nationally. (Among other passages, see Isaiah Chapter 53).
Nor could they accept a humble carpenter from Nazareth—though he was born in Bethlehem as prophesied by Micah—as their long-awaited Messiah. Thus, they chose to ignore the mighty miracles and unparalleled divine teaching of Jesus. Even his resurrection from the dead was not enough to convince and change the minds and hearts of many, especially the religious leaders.
Permit me to quote from an Eye of Prophecy article written not that long ago, but one that has already received the fifth most reader visits of all 169 weekly articles to date. That article tracks with today’s focus on the Jewish Observance of Yom Kippur … Day of Atonement.
From: Where is Messiah … Is He Already Here? Posted 6-25-16. (Excerpts in italics)
Globally, especially in Israel, both religious and secular Jews are longing for redemption.
Yet, they do not all agree on the scope of this redemption. Will it be individual, national, or both? Will it be physical, spiritual, or both? Orthodox Jews, particularly Rabbis, contend that penitence is a prerequisite to their redemption. But they differ on what constitutes repentance … to what degree or for what exactly should they repent. Most Jews simply don’t know what’s expected of them, if anything.
Tens of thousands of Messianic Jews have embraced Jesus as Messiah; they have accepted Scripture’s claim that only he can redeem individuals and nations. They believe (along with their Gentile believer counterparts) that redemption is precisely what the Bible and Jewish tradition says it is: a purchase or buy back from slavery. Which is, Biblically, first and foremost an enslavement to sin and its consequences—eternal separation from God.
It is what Webster’s Dictionary defines as: “to free from captivity by payment of ransom.”
The Bible says: “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins, says the Lord” (Isaiah 59:20).
The major premise of this article is compressed in the verse just quoted: Isaiah is referring to the initial appearance of Messiah for individual salvation; but also his return to accomplish Israel’s national redemption.
Contrasting the Old Covenant of the Law to the New Covenant of Grace, we read:
“…For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them. For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies—physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established. So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of the created world. With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever” (Hebrews 9:9-12).
Many Jews see redemption almost entirely from a more secular meaning of the concept:
“To free from what distresses or harms; to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental; to change for the better; to get or win back.” (Webster’s Dictionary).
Thus, redemption to them means freedom from the constant distress and brutal harm from Palestinian terrorist attacks. They long for peace to overcome and replace the incessant detrimental threats of entire Muslim nations seeking Israel’s annihilation. They seek to exchange the relentless BDS actions against them for a better life of personal and national well-being and security. Some want to get back all of the land that has been given to them by God, himself, some 4000 years ago—the entire Promised Land of Israel, including but not limited to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).
There is one common dream, one prevailing hope, one unified passion: Messiah will ultimately redeem Israel and Jews the world over. And the time is near … so very near.
The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur in Hebrew), the Sixth Jewish Festival
Yom Kippur took place this past Wednesday and Thursday (sundown to sundown, October 12th and 13th). Though it may not be the most often observed of the Jewish festivals, it certainly is the High Holy Day most solemnly reflected on by those Jews who keep it.
If you haven’t you may want/need to read the previous three Eye of Prophecy articles, concerning the first five Jewish Festivals. As indicated, all of the Seven Festivals are patterns and types that point to the Messiah. In astounding fashion, Jesus fulfilled the first four and will complete the last three upon his return … Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot.
Let’s read some of God’s instructions to Moses and the people concerning the Day of Atonement from the chapter that lists all seven festivals.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Be careful to celebrate the Day of Atonement on the tenth day of that same month—nine days after the Festival of Trumpets. You must observe it as an official day for holy assembly, a day to deny yourselves, and present special gifts to the Lord. Do no work during that entire day because it is the Day of Atonement when offerings of purification are made for you, making you right with the Lord your God’” (Leviticus 23:26-28).
Of paramount importance is that offerings (sacrificial slaying of innocent animals) must be made for the purpose of making the people right with the Lord your God. It’s abundantly evident that these offerings were a source of on-going redemption for God’s people UNTIL the New Covenant would be initiated by God with the Jews that, unlike the Old Covenant, would also extend (universally, not just in Israel) to the Gentiles. Although the New Covenant wouldn’t be specifically mentioned for several generations—through Isaiah and Jeremiah directly and many other prophets indirectly—the Lord told Moses that the building of the tabernacle, all the furniture and instruments therein, and the entire Levitical System of Atonement were to be patterned precisely after God’s (heavenly) model.
“Have the people of Israel build me a holy sanctuary so I can live among them. You must build this Tabernacle and its furnishings exactly according to the pattern I will show you” (Exodus 25:8-9).
If there had been no higher Prototype (purpose), there would have been no reason for the Lord to even mention this to Moses.
During the rebuilding of the second Temple under the supervision of the new Governor, Zerubbabel, the encouragement of the post-exile prophets Haggai and Zechariah, and the spiritual leadership of the High Priest, Jeshua, the Lord said:
“Listen to me, O Jeshua the high priest and all you other priests. You are symbols of things to come. Soon I am going to bring my servant, the Branch … and I will remove the sins of this land in a single day” (Zechariah 3:8-9).
Generations earlier, both Isaiah and Jeremiah had prophesied about “the Branch,” who was none other than the coming Messiah. In fact, after introducing the New Covenant that God would make with his people (to replace the Old Covenant that the people couldn’t and wouldn’t keep) in Jeremiah Chapter 31, Jeremiah provided more details on The Branch:
“When those days come, at that time, I will cause to spring up for David a Branch of Righteousness. He will do what is just and right in the land. When those days come, Y’hudah will be saved, Yerushalayim will live if safety, and the name given to her will be Adonai Tzidkenu [Adonai our Righteousness] (Jeremiah 33:15-16, Complete Jewish Bible).
The Branch and the Temple
The coming Messiah would do something unheard of … in fact, prohibited by God until Messiah arrived: The Branch would be both King and High Priest of Israel and the whole world!
“…This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Here is the man called the Branch. He will branch out from where he is and build the Temple of the Lord. Yes, he will build the Temple of the Lord. Then he will receive royal honor and will rule as king from his throne. He will also serve as priest from his throne, and there will be perfect harmony between his two roles” (Zechariah 6:12-13).
Notice that Zechariah doesn’t say rebuild the Temple, which could also apply prophetically to the Third Temple (literally) as prophesied by Ezekiel. Since the second Temple was already under construction and considering the fact that the preliminary and primary purpose of the Branch (Messiah) was to first save his people from their sins, the Temple mentioned by Zechariah is the spiritual Temple of the Lord, composed of all believers in Messiah (Jesus) both Jew and Gentile. This is the heavenly model, the real thing that would be the new and permanent promise and reality that members (believers) of this heavenly Temple can directly enter the Holy of Holies and meet with God personally.
This application to a spiritual Temple is reinforced by the words, “he will branch out from where he is and build the Temple of the Lord.” Which also indicates that the Temple (body of Christ or the true Church) isn’t confined to one place, but will branch out; later confirmed by Messiah Jesus’s words to his disciples (all believers) shortly before he ascended back to heaven:
“…And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Written to all believers in Yeshua, the Apostle Peter said:
“You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God” (I Peter 2:4-5).
Then again from the book of Hebrews that provides a marvelous consummate contrast between the Old and New Covenants, not the least of which is the completion and replacement of the Levitical Sacrificial System by the once for all supreme sacrifice of God’s anointed High Priest (chosen after the higher order of the eternal King/Priest Melchizedek) … His very son, Messiah Jesus. (See Hebrews 7 and Psalm 110:4).
“Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands” (Hebrews 8:1-2).
Then commenting on the many Levitical priests of the Old Covenant, the author of Hebrews states:
“They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: ‘Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.’ But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises” (Hebrews 8:5-6).
More Details on Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement
The very core of the Day of Atonement constituted the Lord’s annual forgiveness of the sins of Israel as a whole … as a nation. With emphasis placed on those sins that the people had not confessed throughout the year. Kippur comes from the Hebrew word, kapara, which means atonement. Yom means day in Hebrew.
Most Jews, many Christians, and even some Gentile unbelievers know or have heard about the Scapegoat sacrifice that took place on the Day of Atonement. Or at least they know what a “scapegoat” is. The term scapegoat is commonly used even in modern vernacular, enough so that the word made it to Webster’s dictionary.
Scapegoat: “1: A goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people after which he is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony of Yom Kippur. 2: a person or thing bearing the blame for others.”
A detailed description of the Day of Atonement can be found in Leviticus Chapter 16, with the much shorter summary reminder in Leviticus Chapter 23. I would encourage you to read the entire 16th chapter.
In summary, there was one ram and two goats sacrificed during this annual Holy Day. It was the one day of the year that (only) the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies. The ram sacrificed would purify the High Priest (forgiveness of sins) himself. The blood from one of the two goats, along with the ram’s sacrifice, would purify the Inner Sanctuary (Most Holy Place) and would also forgive/purify the people of Israel.
The second goat was not killed; instead it was released into the wilderness to symbolize complete removal of the people’s sin, guilt, and shame. It was a culmination of the total cleansing of Israel’s sins for that year. The scapegoat was a sign that Israel’s rebellion through their sins had been transferred out of their lives … banished as it were from the congregation of the people. The slain goat was one of forgiveness. The scapegoat was one of removal (carrying away).
This was heartbreakingly, but beautifully completed and perfected by Messiah’s sacrifice that purchased the once for all forgiveness of our sins through his death. Then removal of the guilt and penalty for sin through his astounding resurrection.
And to this day: Our Redeemer Lives! In heaven, not in the wilderness!
However, as we know, Yom Kippur had to be repeated under the Mosaic Covenant, for purification of the people, individually and nationally, “…making them right with the Lord each year…” (Leviticus 16:34).
As tragic as it was to the Jews when their temple was destroyed yet a second time and they had to compensate with extra-Biblical Jewish traditions to somehow keep and explain the purpose for Yom Kippur (and other Jewish Festivals) minus the God-required sacrificial offerings, all this was foreseen by and part of God’s majestic plan to give his people a much better and longer lasting (as in permanent) New Covenant.
It was a covenant that would enduringly perfect and forever fulfill the temporary purpose of the Old Covenant, both the Law of Moses and the sacrificial system that commenced with Aaron.
I’ve quoted it before, but it bears any amount of repetition necessary to get the attention of Judaism, of all religions of the world … anyone who questions whether their sins can be forgiven and removed forever by the Lord God. Did I say forgiven and removed? How remiss of me to forget to say that the Lord will also FORGET our sins forever.
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord. I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people … And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins” (Jeremiah 31:33-34).
God forget? Yes, that’s exactly what he said he would do! Can you and I forget the wrong things that we’ve done and have been done to us? Forgive, yes … we should. But forget…?
Forgetting is equivalent to an eternal pardon of sin and guilt. Under the Old Covenant, God forgave and removed but did not forget. Thus, Atonement was an ongoing process. Not so under the New Covenant. Forgive, remove, and above all … Forget! As in, ONCE FOR ALL TIME.
Paul quotes the New Covenant promise in Jeremiah, preceded by: “…Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved. As the Scriptures say…” (Romans 11:25-26). Then Paul quotes from Jeremiah 31.
Yom Kippur in Today’s Judaism
Regarding observance of Yom Kippur, there is a vast difference between keeping this God-ordained Holy Day since the second Temple was destroyed, many Jews killed with the survivors exiled by the Romans from Israel, and the Levitical sacrificial system brought to a crushing end; compared to the original instructions given by the Lord outlining the meticulous requirements on the Day of Atonement.
Since then, Judaism has been in denial that it can continue to function without the compulsory sacrificial system mandated by God, himself. Please see the Eye of Prophecy trilogy of articles entitled: Where is the Temple, Part I, II, & III? (Posted 11-29, 12-6, and 12-13-14). Here is an excerpt from the basic premise of those articles that encapsulates the essence of the problem.
No Temple, no sacrificial offerings. No sacrifices, no atonement forgiveness of sins. No forgiveness, no redemption. No redemption, no right standing with God.
The period of time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is called the Ten Days of Awe or Days of Repentance. Many Israelis, even the secular among them, visit the Jewish Quarter of Old Jerusalem and the Western Wall as much or more during this time of the year. Many thousands attend the Selichot (penitential) prayer service presided over by Israel’s Chief Rabbis.
For sake of time/space, we’ll condense the present day keeping and emphasis of Yom Kippur to the following three power points:
Reflection, Repentance, and Renewal (in the “Book of Life”). Yet this renewal can only be questionably hoped for, as Jews don’t know for sure if their standing in the Book of Life will be initiated, then renewed each year during the Day of Atonement.
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently said to his staff after a press conference that lamented the recent death of two more Israelis at the hand of a Palestinian lone-wolf assassin:
“May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.” This saying is prevalent among Jews during Yom Kippur.
Messiah and Yom Kippur … They Go Together!
There is a Book of Life, as mentioned in Revelation Chapter 20. But it’s all too evident throughout the New Testament (Covenant) writings that only those who have been redeemed on their day of atonement (whatever day they accept Messiah Jesus as personal Savior) will be found in this book.
Of our High Priest and King Christ Jesus, the Bible states:
“He is … the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all kings of the world. All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made as a Kingdom of priests for our God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen” (Revelation 1:5-6).
Indeed, repentance is a key ingredient in Yom Kippur, but in and of itself it is not enough. It is good to reflect, repent, and renew. But none of these will result in atonement without the shedding of innocent blood to make the people “right with God” which was the very heart of Yom Kippur. Not enough, that is, until the final once for all supreme sacrifice of God’s own Son to complete and perfect; and to, therefore, replace the ongoing animal sacrifices that were intended only to be a shadow of the Ultimate Sacrifice to come.
“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be made whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him (Messiah) the sins of us all” (Isaiah 53:4-6).
Then, “When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins” (Verse 11, italics for emphasis).
ALL their sins. Not just the ones from the past year.
As the devout Jewish Pharisee Saul (later called Paul)—who had an attitude-altering encounter with the risen Messiah Jesus—said about his brothers in the flesh (Jews):
“Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (Romans 10:1-4).
Paul’s passion is also mine. That is why I write so much about my love for Israel and her people, both Israelis and Jews the world over. Yet it must be tough love, to help shake them out of their denial over the loss of the sacrificial offerings—thinking they can still be made right with God through good works and keeping the Mosaic Law. The Lord himself said they couldn’t and wouldn’t keep it; therefore, he gave them the New Covenant of Grace, which is God’s gift of the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son for their (our) sins.
That is how we are made right with God. Thus, the only repentance God requires of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (indeed, of the whole world) is to change our mind about the life-giving, life-changing, destiny-altering final sacrifice of Messiah Jesus for the human race. To turn from unbelief, and believe that Jesus is Messiah … to open our hearts to him.
“Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent’” (John 6:29).
We can reflect all we want to on whatever we think needs reflected on; we can express sorrow for (repent) every sin we can think of; we can renew our thoughts, promises, and charitable acts hoping that the Lord will somehow accept that our good deeds will outweigh the bad and grant us status in the “Book of Life” for the time being. But none of that will assure us of God’s ultimate pardon for our sins and the penalty of those sins—eternal separation from the Lord.
Only one thing will seal the deal. Only One Person can guarantee our eternal salvation, our permanent record in the Book of Life. And it’s not just a matter of wishing. It is a matter of fact … of knowing. Listen to the assurance given to all who believe and receive Messiah Jesus as Savior:
“But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31, NASB).
Again John the Jewish disciple writes: “And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life. I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (I John 5:11-13, italics for emphasis).
Not thinking, or wishing, or wondering, or even hoping for the best.
We can KNOW our sins are forgiven, removed, and forgotten by the Lord; that we have absolute assurance of eternal life in Christ Jesus. God himself has testified to this, as we just read. Moreover, this testimony was confirmed beyond any doubt, whatsoever, when Messiah Jesus arose from the dead.
Yom Kippur was originally designed by the Lord to be an example, a forerunner, and a temporary model of what would be the final Day of Atonement. This ultimate Day of Atonement, exclusively through faith in God’s gracious gift of his son for redemption, began when Messiah Jesus came to earth the first time.
The prophet Daniel gave us a spectacular prophecy concerning the triumphant culmination of so great a salvation when he says about Israel:
“A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place” (Daniel 9:24).
He goes on to announce the coming of Messiah that would take place BEFORE the destruction of the second Temple (which hadn’t yet been rebuilt in Daniel’s time!), the killing of Messiah, and the destruction of the Temple by the armies of the ruler who would come … the Roman Emperor, Nero. And this same ruler would make a seven-year treaty with Israel, which meant (as explained in great detail in my book, Out of the Abyss and several Eye of Prophecy articles) that Nero must return from the Abyss (Revelation 17:8).
Well, I’ve done it again. Plain and simple … not enough time and space to do justice to the seventh and final Jewish Festival, Sukkot—The Feast of Tabernacles. No other choice but to make it the topic of next week’s Eye of Prophecy article.
Things to Ponder
We who love Israel will continue to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalms 122:6). Praying for peace is the same as praying that all Israel will someday soon be saved (Romans 10:1).
For until and unless Israel comes to a saving knowledge of Messiah Jesus and is made right with God by believing and accepting him as God’s only remedy for sin, individually and as a nation, there will be no peace with God. Unless there is Shalom with God, there cannot be real peace between peoples.
When all of Israel is saved by changing their minds and hearts about Messiah (who he is and what he has done and will do for them), then the Jews will have accomplished the very purpose for God choosing them as his special possession. Which is to be a source of light to the Gentiles: through the Promised Messiah from the tribe of Judah and the genealogy of King David—descended from Isaac, the promised son of Abraham.
Says the Lord about his Messiah: “…You will do more than restore the people of Israel to me. I will make you a light to the Gentiles, and you will bring my salvation to the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).
While in the rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus said: “…I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12).
For a brief, shining moment, Christ Jesus while on this earth brought back the Shekinah glory of God to the Temple. And he will do so again upon his imminent arrival to this war-torn, wicked, and weary world.
Yes, Israel, your Messiah has already come. And he will return soon in great glory and power (Matthew 24:30).
If only you could see that. If only you could somehow realize that the horrible things that men have done to you were not Christian (Christ ones) at all—who misused and abused and distorted the true Christian faith. Also, there are some Christians who have misapplied the Scriptures; who have erred grievously in thinking that the true Church (body of Messiah) has replaced Israel. We have not. Rather, we are a product of and a partner in the fulfillment of Israel’s destiny. We have seen the light that God has shone through the Jewish Messiah.
To believe in Yeshua as your Messiah is the most Jewish thing you could ever do or be.
We, who have truly been born again by the precious blood of Messiah Jesus, love you and long for your Day of Atonement.
But most of all, Hashem, the Lord your God loves you. So much so that he sent his beloved Son, to die for you. (Isaiah 53 & John 3).
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