Messiah in the End Times
This is a book I thought I’d never write! For a long time, I had often said, “Most matters about the end times are simply secondary issues. I’d prefer not to cause division over what is not a primary matter of faith.” I felt content with that position, and resisted various efforts for me to at least tell, if not teach on what I believe about the end times.
Oh, I did hold to certain beliefs, but like I said, I thought much of it was simply sincere differences between sincere believers about secondary differences. Then what changed?
Why is this (end times) book different than all the other (end times) books?
Over the last several years, I had heard end times teaching that seemed based more on fear and false prophesies than based on the solid Word of God and the finished work of Yeshua the Messiah. Believers were being frightened into end times positions that did not secure them in the faith but made them even more unsure of God’s will for them in Messiah.
Magnifying the problem, understanding the end times was and is especially inadequate in the Messianic synagogue movement, where the subject was considered too “churchy” on one hand and simply irrelevant in their communities on the other.
Why is this (end times) book different than all the other (end times) books? There are certain matters that are essential to understanding God’s prophetic timeline that other books may recognize but don’t prioritize.
What matters are essential to understanding God’s Prophetic timeline?
The first is the finished work of Messiah. As vital as it is for our salvation, it encompasses more. Everything God has planned is in the Messiah (Eph. 1:3-11) and has nothing outside of Him. Therefore, it is His finished work that is God’s perfect work for all He intended –past, present, and future, for “Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8).
Everything future and forever is within the context of Yeshua and His finished work. This is why the Lamb, the Passover Lamb glorified, is noted 31 times in the book of Revelation. To not prioritize Messiah’s finished work is to not perceive God’s perfected plan in Yeshua.
The second essential matter is the centrality of Israel in the plan of God. The very timing of God for the resurrection (rapture) of the Body of Messiah is relative to Israel signing a seven-year treaty with the man of sin. And everything from there forward is Israel-centric, for the Tribulation is “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7).
The Second Coming of the Messiah is inextricably tied to the repentance of Israel (Acts 3:19-21). The millennial reign of Messiah is over the Kingdom of Israel (Acts 1:6). To enter the New Jerusalem, you must enter one of twelve gates that are named for the tribes of Israel (Rev. 21:12). The very one we exalt is called “the Lion of the Tribe of Judah” (Rev. 5:5). To decentralize Israel is to disregard God’s prophetic plan.
Here’s a brief summary of each chapter:
Chapter 1: My Personal Future
As a basic component in understanding the prophetic future is to understand our personal future in the afterlife. Though the world is confused on the matter of afterlife, there is a biblical certainty based on our response to the Jewish Messiah’s finished work.
Chapter 2: The Rapture/Resurrection of His Community
Most may think that this chapter will cause the most controversy. If one believes in the resurrection, then one must believe in the rapture, for both words speak of that one event. The timing of that event depends on one’s view of Messiah’s finished work and God’s plan for Israel.
Chapter 3: Messiah’s Community in Heaven
Though we don’t become angels upon death, or by going to heaven, nonetheless we are at home with Messiah, blessed with His rewards for our faithfulness, and take part in the “Marriage of the Lamb” –though Messiah taught that there’s no marriage in heaven (Luke 20:35)!
Chapter 4: The Tribulation
This 7-year period of God’s wrath from beginning (Rev. 6:16) to end (Rev. 19:15) is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) and starts with Israel signing the 7-year covenant with the anti-Messiah (Dan. 9:27), so in fact it is wholly Israel centric but for their eventual national restoration.
Chapter 5: The Second Coming of Messiah
He returns as Israel’s Kinsman-Redeemer and then to begin His millennial Kingdom
Chapter 6: The Millennial Kingdom of Israel
Chapter 7: The Great White Throne
Chapter 8: The Eternal State
Chapter 9: The Requirements of His Coming…
To understand “Messiah in the End Times” we need to understand two basics facts: the finished work of Messiah, and the centrality of Israel in the plan of God.
He is the Alef and the Tav…
The total work of God is Yeshua-centered and in the context of God’s calling on Israel. So, our focus of faith is totally Yeshua-centered but our expression of that faith is Israel-centric (i.e., to the Jew first). One day we will see even more clearly that we are forever complete in Messiah because He is the Alef and the Tav, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End! But we must put a finer point on this.
The basic premise for this series is that our assurance in the One who controls the future gives us confidence to live for Him today! So, why have a proper understanding of last days things? Confident spiritual living in the present comes from our understanding of God’s sovereign control of the future in Messiah.
“…So, History is truly His Story”
But if it’s true that He controls the future, then it stands to reason that He must likewise control the past and present (since all of that was once future). So, from beginning to end God has controlled all of creation, time, and space in Messiah, for “Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). And so, history is truly His Story.
Amazing and Thrilling!
With that accepted, to understand God’s total plan for the time/space continuum as He has revealed it in the scriptures (and He has), it’s therefore essential to understand the Messiah. For there is nothing God has done, is doing or will do that He does apart from the Messiah.
All of this is clearly revealed through Paul and stated in his letter to the Ephesians (1:3-11), for everything was done in Him, through Him and by Him. What is being stated here is the divine master plan for all creation and that it’s all intended, purposed, and organized in the Messiah and His atonement! Amazing and thrilling!
His blood assures me…
So, when Yeshua said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), He meant “it is all finished” –not only His death for our sins, but all the work of God in past, present and future is finished. Though it still must work out in the course of time and space, even as He died for your sins 2000 years ago, but you were saved in time only when you trusted in His death.
Thus, all divine matters (past, present, and future) are based on the blood of Messiah. As for each believer, Yeshua’s sacrifice was both perfect and perfecting of all who could be redeemed for all time and eternity, so the finished work of Messiah is the perfect work of God for the whole of creation, redemption, and glorification.
Each of our studies in Messiah in the End Times or Messianic Eschatology (i.e., knowledge of future events) is based on His finished work. As to “life after death,” His blood assures me and all other believers in Yeshua, that we’re redeemed for heaven (not hell), for “you were redeemed …with the precious blood of Messiah, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
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