Tuesday, May 31, 2016

After the Tribulation, Connecting the Testaments

In the Gospel of Matthew, the now famous chapter twenty-four, verses 29-31, Y'shua tells us:

“And immediately after the tribulation of those days, 
‘the sun will be darkened 
and the moon will not give its light, 
and the stars will fall from heaven, 
and the powers of heaven will be shaken.’

And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man arriving on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect together from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other end of it.

Was Yeshua (Jesus) making a new claim, or reinforcing an old Israelite hope?
What did the Rabbi Shaul (aka apostle Paul), teach?  
We see in a letter to the believers in Thessalonica:

"For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who remain, will be snatched away at the same time together with them in the clouds for a meeting with the Lord in the air, and thus we will be together with the Lord always." 1 Thess. 4:16-17

Zechariah 8:2-8 2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.' 3 "Thus says the LORD, 'I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.' 4 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. 5 'And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.' 6 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?' declares the LORD of hosts. 7 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; 8 and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.'

So we see, reading our Bibles contextually, that Y'shua did come to fulfill the Messianic hope.  He is both Messiah ben Josef, and Messiah ben David, still to come in glory and conquering power!  The Protestant and Catholic churches have been steeped in the tradition of men for so long that there is a difference, a separation between the first and the Renewed Covenant (Jer. 31:31-33), that for many, the Old Testament is not a serious object of inquiry (to their own destruction).

But in truth, the Bible contextually has one theme throughout, and Yeshua came to restore the lost ten tribes (Mat. 15:25, 10:6), to reunify the tribes of Israel (Ezekiel 36:22-28)) under Torah (Zech. 14:16: Is. 2:3; Mic. 4:2).

The Gentile Church is not a separate people from the Jews, nor should it be.  Any simple student of history can verify that Sunday observance by the Church shifted formally under the reign of Constantine.  The early church kept Sabbath, observed Yahweh's feasts (Lev. 23) and observed the teaching of the clean and the unclean.  Who the Gentiles are... is that they are now the prophetic fulfillment of Ephraim, who was prophesied by our father Jacob to be the "fullness of the Gentiles" (Gen. 48:19).  As the one who received the blessing of the firstborn (along with Judah), Ephraim was also known as the head of the ten northern tribes (the "lost tribes").

This is why, Jeremiah tells us, the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-33) is for the house of Israel and the house of Judah (no one else is named).  But the tribes were to be dispersed through all the world and mixed with all the peoples (Hos. 8:7) so that they could be brought back in to Covenant with Yhwh, and walk in His commandments (1 John 2:6).

Y'shua lived a sinless life, by walking according to the words of life, Torah (Deut. 30:15,16).  All who follow Him are commanded to walk as He walked (1 John 2:6).

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