The weekly Sabbath is a rehearsal for the coming Messianic Kingdom
Q. What is your view of eschatology?
A. I understand eschatology with a Hebraic mindset and that is how I will anser the question. I think that this question is very important so I am going to give some basic understandings and concepts so that you can check them out and hopefully it will help you understand the Scriptures.
When starting out new with someone, there are certain areas that I begin with.
First you start with Time, and that is where your question comes from. You should also know the geography of the land. You should also have a working knowledge of the Temple and its services. In addition you should know Israeli history because it is how the Lord dealt with his people history in the Scriptures. Another thing is to read the Scriptures as if you were Jewish.
Replace the English terms with Hebrew and so on. Also, study the Hebrew language.
Every letter teaches Messiah, there are Torah Codes written into the text, Midrashic Name Derivations (MND’s), Chaistic structure, Gematria, parallelisms and Hebrew poetry.
Most believers today have no concept of what these are but all of these are Biblical and can be found in the text.
God used these concepts in the Bible to communicate.You should also be familiar with the culture and ceremonies outside of Scripture, although they can be found in the Scriptures. These are also called "lifecycles."
This area would include birth ceremonies, names, Jewish weddings, circumcision, redemption of the first-born, death and mouring and so on. All of these, by the way, are related to eschatology and have a role in understanding it.
But, your question relates to the concept of time and that is where we will start.
I am going to give some basic information that you will need to know and I will try and put it in a systematic way so that you can refer back to these things and do your own research to expound on them.
I have never written about some of this so I hope I can communicate it. Some things are much easier to teach in person.
Think of your thoughts as trees in a secret garden. On each tree there are leaves of words and these "leaves" are blown by winds which utter a myriad of meanings. For instance I’m going to give you an exercise in this concept.
I am going to list some things down and you think about who I am talking about. The answer will be very simple. First, I am thinking of someone in history. He left an indelible imprint on mankind.
Without a biological miracle in his mother’s womb his birth would have been impossible. Second, as an infant he was called the Son of God. Third, he was taken to Egypt to preserve life.
Fourth, He returned to the Promised Land and was hated by all those around him, despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrow and acqqquainted with grief. Fifth, he was hated so much he was executed by the Romans. Sixth, he came to life on the third day. Lastly, he will never die again. Now, if you were thinking this applied to Yeshua, you’re right, but it also applies to Israel. You see, these "leaves of words" when blown by the wind has many meanings and one will have to expand out of their little box to get what the Lord is trying to communicate.
This little exercise is meant to convey such a fact in a small way. So, with all that in mind we can go on to the next level and talk about your question and hopefully expand on a few things, and we will start there next week as we let the wind blow our tree with leaves of words and go into understanding the concepts associated with Biblical Eschatology.
This week we are going to continue with our subject of Bibilical Eschatology.
Eschatology is understood in the biblical sense as pertaining to the Messiah and the Redemption of Man and creation.
History is seen as a 7,000 year period, 6,000 years of man’s history from creation to the second coming of the Messiah followed by a 1,000 year Messianic reign of Messiah (Psalm 90.4, 2 Pet 3.8).
The creation week is a blueprint of this 7,000 year plan of God.
Six days (6,000 years) man works and then he rests during the Lord’s Day, or Sabbath of God (1,000 years).
The weekly Sabbath (on the seventh day) is a rehearsal for the coming Messianic Kingdom.
Eschatology and the 7,000 year plan of God is seen from six reference points.
First in the historical sense and that is where you see the Lord working in history as you read the Scriptures, on a literal level.
Second, some Scriptures refer to the Messiah’s first coming. Third, some Scriptures refer to His second coming.
Fourth, other verses refer to the Birthpains of the Messiah or the Tribulation period.
Fifth you read other verses and they refer to the Messianic KIngdom and lastly the Olam Haba or the World to Come, which refers to life on earth after the 7,000 years have been completed.
At this point in man’s history, creation was less than 6000 years ago and we know this because the Messianic Kingdom has not arrived yet. Eschatology is studied from the context of the Biblical Festivals found in Lev 23 and the Temple services.
You will soon come to realize that all of the Tanach, or Old Testament, teaches the Messiah and his coming.
In Jewish thought, the world will endure for six thousand years: two thousand in the age of desolation (tohu), then two thousand in the age of instruction followed by two thousand in days of Messiah.
This was believed well before the coming of Yeshua and that is exactly how it has played out. That is why Jewish calendars number the years from creation, not how they are known on other calendars. The current year is 5771 but we are closer to the year 6000 than people realize. In the book “Seder Olam Rabbah” it says that in counting the years that they did not count the years of the Persian kings not mentioned in Scripture, which was approximately 210-250 years. So that means we are closer to the coming of Messiah in the Rapture than the current year on the Jewish clandar reflects. What that means is when Rosh Ha Shanah comes beginning the year 6001 from creation, the Lord will descend from Heaven and resurrect those who have died in Him and those alive at the time will be changed and meet Him in the air in what is commonly known as the rapture, or the Natzal, if you are familar with Jewish thought. Now, there are some concepts to know if you are going to understand Eschatology.
First, history is unfullfilled prophecy and prophecy is unfullfilled history (Ecc 1.9, 3.15) Second, there is a saying “Here now, but not yet” and that comes from Num 25.17. Third, prophecy is not limited in time, some can have numerous fulfillments. Lastly, you do not look at a prophecy on one level, but four. They are the Peshat, Remez, Drash and Sowd level. When there seems to be a contradiction, it is not seen as that because prophecies are looked at on these different levels Let me illustrate this for you. Say you are in a mall and you are on the ground floor. You look up and there are four stories. All of the action is going on at the same time. If you look at the second level you see a woman with a baby. You see something else on the third floor, and yet something else on the fourth. They all are happening at the same time but it depends on what level you are looking at. It’s the same with prophecy. You may look at the literal event in Scripture like the birth of Isaiah’s son in Ch 8-9 but at another level you see the Messiah.
Yeshua was called the “son of Joseph” on the literal level but at a deeper level that is a Messianic title going back to Joseph, the son of Jacob. When you see the crucifixion on a tree, with thorns and a garden you are on a literal level, but on a deeper level you see the Garden of Eden and on and on it goes throughout Scripture. You must get to know these other levels, the 7000 year plan of God, the festivals and the Temple and Bible prophecy will mean much more and knowing the Word will keep you out of a lot of false interpretations. I can’t tell you how many times it kept me from being disturbed by so called “prophecy experts” over the last 20 years. All I have to do is check into their understanding of the festivals, the Temple and its services, the 7000 year plan of God and other things to find out if they have anything valid to say. In most cases, they haven’t got a clue so I try to rightly divide whaqt they say with the Word of Truth.
There is so much more to this subject and I have not even scratched the surface but hopefully this gives you a starting point in going deeper into this subject and answers your question.