Knesset Inaugurates Jerusalem Jubilee Celebration – JewishPress.com

bfb161229-timelineThe Bible contains so many comforting words of assurance that everything will be all right in the end.  It contains a number of frightening words as well, but our preference is to avoid those, thinking that they must apply to someone else.  Consider, for example, this familiar passage by the Apostle Paul:

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you.  For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.  For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman.  And they shall not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.  You are all sons of light and sons of the day.  We are not of the night nor of darkness.  Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.  (I Thessalonians 5:1-6 NKJV)

We like to think of ourselves as those who will not be caught off guard.  After all, what would it mean if we are among those caught unaware when sudden destruction comes?

But what if the apostle’s words are intended to warn those among God’s people who are not paying attention?  Paul seems satisfied that his correspondents in Thessalonica are sufficiently alert, but can he say the same about their brethren elsewhere – or perhaps us today, two thousand years removed from his personal instruction?  His friends in Thessalonica probably understood that his words about those who say, “Peace and safety!” referred to prophecies Jeremiah and Ezekiel had spoken about the people of God who paid no attention to the signs of the times and refused to repent when YHVH sent them warning (see Jeremiah 6:9-15, 8:8-12, and Ezekiel 13:15-16). 

Surely the apostle was also aware of Messiah Yeshua’s parable about the Ten Virgins – all of whom went to sleep while waiting on their Bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13).  The difference between the wise and the foolish was not their degree of vigilance, but their degree of preparation.  That, too, is something we should heed.

Consider what happened on December 23, 2016 (23 Kislev 5777 in the Hebrew calendar).  That was the day United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 declared illegal anything Israeli that exists beyond the 1967 borders of Israel.  That means not just the communities that have grown up on unoccupied and unowned land in Judea and Samaria (commonly called the West Bank), but neighborhoods in the neighborhoods of East Jerusalem where friends of mine live.  It means as well the Temple Mount and the Kotel (Western Wall), the holiest sites in Judaism and the places God Himself has established as His own.

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Radio Station Announces Arrival of Messiah in Jerusalem – Breaking Israel News

Yes, this is a real headline from Breaking Israel News.  But no, Messiah has not actually arrived.  As Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz reports, this was “a clever studio creation, and not an actual news report.”  In that sense, it was much like Orson Welles’ famous 1938 radio drama, War of the Worlds, which frightened Americans with “news” of a Martian invasion of the planet.  In this modern Israeli equivalent, the supposed report from the Western Wall (Kotel) in Jerusalem featured excited Jewish crowds welcoming the long-awaited Messiah at the end of Tisha b’Av, the fast of the 9th of Av which marks the destruction of both Hebrew Temples.

This is one of two significant reports Berkowitz has published this week.  The other article bears the headline, “Is It Time to Reestablish the Davidic Kingdom in Israel?”   It relates the verified existence of hundreds of descendants of King David, many of whom trace their family origins back to Aleppo, Syria – a city much in the news today as a central battleground of that troubled country’s civil war.  The question the article poses is serious, although it is not getting much attention in Israeli governmental and rabbinical circles for what should be obvious reasons.  After all, who would want to relinquish their governmental and religious power to a descendant from a monarchy that has not held any power for 2,500 years?

Except that that is precisely what is to happen, according to the Bible.

What Eliyahu Berkowitz has done with these two articles is highlight the growing interest among religious Jews in the prophecies of Messiah’s coming and the reestablishment of the Davidic kingdom.  There are, of course, some very important differences in the Messianic expectations of Jews and those of Christians and Messianic/Hebrew Roots believers.  What we share in common is that we all expect the Messianic Kingdom to be ruled by the Son of David, but is this Son of David a physical or a spiritual descendant of the great king?  And who or what exactly is Messiah anyway?  

It is a great encouragement and a monumental sign of the times to learn of the excitement building in many of our Jewish brethren about Messiah’s imminent coming – and it is imperative that we begin talking with one another to communicate our different expectations.  This “Messianic expectation management” is essential, not only so that we can understand one another, but also so that we can help each other guard against the deceptions that surely will come at this culmination YHVH’s great redemptive plan.

BFB160818 Shofar at KotelOn Saturday night, a broadcast radio station from Jerusalem interrupted its regular programming for a special newsflash: the Messiah had arrived.  )(Source: Radio Station Announces Arrival of Messiah in Jerusalem – Breaking Israel News)

 

BFB160818 King DavidHundreds of descendants of King David are alive today, with verifiable family trees dating back 90 generations. Could the Davidic Dynasty be reestablished?  (Source: Is It Time to Reestablish the Davidic Kingdom in Israel? – Breaking Israel News)


© Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog, 2016.  Permission to use and/or duplicate original material on The Barking Fox Blog is granted, provided that full and clear credit is given to Albert J. McCarn and The Barking Fox Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.