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the Coming


"Yeshua went out from the temple, and was going on his way. His talmidim came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, 'Don't you see all of these things? Most assuredly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down.' As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the talmidim came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age'?" Matthew 24:1-3

The Coming of Messiah
Part Four: Yeshua's Prophecy - Matthew 24:30-51


by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
(Ephesians 2:12)

This discussion is a continuation of Yeshua's Prophecy (click on highlighted words to view content) and will be aimed at the latter portion of Matthew 24 which most read as having its placement in some future event when, in fact, by reading these words from the Hebraic perspective they were written from - give us an entirely different meaning. When we consider that every letter of every book in the Book (including all the prophecies of Yeshua) were written by Hebrews from a Hebrew perspective formed out of a Hebrew mindset that was influenced by Hebrew culture and were addressed primarily to a Hebrew audience which understood the nuances of the Hebrew language, then we find these words take on a context different from those of our contemporary culture. Context, context, context. To properly understand the words of scripture, we must always consider the context they are presented in, the context of the Hebrew perspective they are presented from and the audience they are presented to. The first two verses of Matthew 24 present the context Yeshua's subsequent remarks are encased in - His prophecy of the destruction of the Temple which occurred in 70 CE (after the Messianic Letters were written). Looking at the whole historic context, we find Yeshua was answering the question posed to Him by the disciples by speaking to the end of an "age" - not the end of the world. He was speaking to the end of the physical Temple era (verses 1-2). All of this prophecy was fulfilled when the Roman legions re-entered Yerushalyiem in 70 CE. From the previous article, we continue:

"Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man. Then all the tribes of the eretz will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
Matthew 24:30

"Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man..." This has a significant meaning often overlooked because He is not talking about a physical sighting, but His "sign". The English word translated as "sign" comes from the Greek, semeion, which is frequently misunderstood to mean a miracle - like signs and wonders as something externally visible. The primary definition of this Greek word, however, more accurately correlates to being a signature token on the order of the Signet spoken of in the Kinsman Redeemer series of articles - "proof of identity, identifying characteristics, a pattern of events or phenomenon that identifies a point in time, a token that can be used for identity or proof". Therefore, semeion in this passage describes a set of events and phenomenon that would occur where the characteristics are so compelling, unique and identifying that as to make it impossible to deny the identity or purpose or concept of "the son of man". The literal translation of "...and then all the tribes of the Land will mourn..." reads, "all the-ones tribings of-the-one of-a-soil", i.e., the 12 tribes (phyle - meaning "kindred") of the Land (ge) of Israel will mourn because they have been removed (a fulfillment of Zechariah 12:10-12). "...and they will see the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" which is rendered literally in the Greek as "to-coming upon of-the-ones of-cloudings". As previously discussed in the article, the Ascension, scripture frequently refers to "a cloud of witnesses" as being people. While the English word translated "cloud" in Exodus 13:21
abraham's seed
comes from the Hebrew word 'anan and is used of the cloud which led the Israelites in the wilderness (more like a fog than a cloud of shape and form in the sky), it is also used of a vast contingent of people as a "covering for the Land" in Ezekiel 38:9. Paul carries forward this Hebrew simile with his usage of the Greek nephos in reference to a "cloud of witnesses" as a dense multitude, a throng.

"He will send out his messengers with a great sound of a shofar, and they will gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Matthew 24:31

The Greek word translated as the English "angels" in this verse is aggelos whose primary definition is, "a messenger or envoy". Those who carry His Sign within, who have become His Body will be sent out with "a great sound of a shofar" to gather His elect who occupy YHVH's Kingdom of heaven now abiding "within or among" those who have embraced the Life of the Son (Luke 17:20-22). As seen in the article, Where Is Heaven?, heaven is not a place but, rather, a state of being achieved by embracing the Nature of YHVH through the keeping of His Words AND of the Life of Yeshua as the example of how those words are to be kept (Acts 2:21, John 14:23-24). The Greek word, episynago translated "gather together" actually means "to assemble". This word has 3 parts: ago means "to lead", syn means "together" and epi means "at or to" - so, synago means to lead or gather together. The word for assembling (epi-syn-ago), therefore, means a gathering together at... - but it doesn't say where or when. To find out where, we need to turn to 2Thessalonians 2:1. "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the presence (or coming) of our Lord, Yeshua haMashiach (the Messiah), and by our gathering together to Him..." Here, we have the same word episynagoge, but this time it tells us where! We gather together - to Him! He IS the meeting place. Yeshua said that whenever two or more are gathered together in Him - that is the assembly, the gathering place because they are meeting together with Him (Matthew 18:20). This agrees with what Yeshua said in Matthew 11:28. His words were: "Come to me". The assembling of His elect IS His Sign. Who, then, are His "elect"? This word comes from the Greek, eklektos and means, "picked out, chosen" - the same Greek word Yeshua uses in Matthew 20:16 translated "chosen". His elect are His chosen who are assembling in Him. When all of these words are presented from the Hebrew perspective they were originally written from - they embody an entirely different meaning from what our modern culture would try to make them mean. On the day of Shavu'ot, YHVH did a new thing and took up His abode to dwell in the hearts of men - thus fulfilling His Covenant. To allow one's self to be seen, however, does not necessarily mean those watching will recognize what they are seeing.

"Now from the fig tree learn this parable. When its branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near. Even so you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Most assuredly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things are accomplished. Heaven and eretz may pass away, but my words will not pass away."
Matthew 24:32

In this verse, we find the most telling feature of the time frame all of Yeshua's words are encased in - this generation, the generation He is speaking to at the time. The Greek word used here is genea means "the age of people then living". Of the 42 times this word is used in the Messianic Writings, all of them use the word in its normal sense of the sum total of those living at the same time. It always refers to contemporaries. The destruction of the temple was approximately 37 years from the time of this statement - well within the definition of a "generation". To try to "spiritualize" these words into meaning something else is simply disengenuous.

"But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the messengers of heaven, but my Father only As the days of Noach were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noach entered into the teivah, and they didn't know until the flood came, and took them all away..."
Matthew 24:36-39

Some men of great learning and eminence have thought that Yeshua is speaking here, not of the destruction of the temple, but of a more solemn and awful one of some future date. But it is just not conceivable that these Hebrew authors would be such loose, inaccurate writers as to make so sudden and abrupt a transition as they are supposed to do here; much less to break through the fundamental rules of good writing by apparently referring to something which they had said before; when in reality they were beginning a new subject. The absurdity of this supposition appears even more strongly if it is recollected that the original question of the disciples was, "When shall these things be?" (Matthew 24:3). Yeshua's response is direct, "...no one knows of that day and hour, not even the messengers of heaven, but my Father only". Some even question the existence of the passage citing it remarkable that Luke omits the whole of this verse from his gospel. But, since each of the gospel writers have taken notice of some particular event which has not been recorded by others, can it really be questioned whether the sense of this passage is not to be found elsewhere? In Acts 1:7 Yeshua gives the same answer to, essentially, the same question, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has set within His own authority." Although our present day rivals Noah's in corruption and evil prompting an interpretation of imminent doom in the current time, the primary meaning of this part of Matthew 24 is simple: destruction would come at a time when most everyone was busy with its normal activities. The same account in Luke 17:26-30 makes this especially clear. People will be involved in their normal activities, not realizing such a momentous event is about to occur! Paul writes 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" (1Thessalonians 5:2-3). Just when men begin to think they have a handle on society's problems, total chaos and destruction will erupt. Peter also reminds us of scoffers coming in the last days who would say, "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation" (2Peter 3:4). The apostle goes on to cite the example of the Flood, which came on suddenly and unexpectedly, as an event that broke the natural cycle of life (verses 5-6). These are all speaking of the destruction of the temple to come.

This event discussed throughout Matthew 24 will set off a clarion call to those whom He has sent out, His messengers - the "great sound of a shofar" in verse 31 above. As seen in the article, Yom Teruah, an idiom is an expression that does not make sense in any other language than the one being spoken. An idiom in English would be "It is raining cats and dogs outside!". This is a very confusing expression to someone not familiar with the culture associated with the English language. Such is the case with the Hebrew idiom Yeshua imploys for the rest of His Prophecy.

"...so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left; two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken and one will be left. Watch therefore, for you don't know in what hour your Lord comes. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come." Matthew 24:39-42

Inheritance
In ancient Israel, there would be "two witnesses" who would stand on the walls of Jerusalem and "watch" for the first sliver (crescent) of the new moon. When the new moon appeared in the sky then these "two witnesses" would sound the shophar (ram's horn trumpet) and all the people in the city would immediately drop what they were doing and they would begin to move towards the temple for the celebration of "The Day of Blowing" or in Hebrew, "Yom Teruw’ah". The temple doors were only open for a short period of time after sundown (the beginning of the Hebrew "day") - so, anyone failing to make it to the temple before the "doors were shut" were left out of the feast because once they were shut, no one could get in. Because this feast began at sundown, oil lamps had to be full so that they could find their way in the dusk towards the temple. In Matthew 25, we find our Messiah telling us a parable about ten virgins. Only five of these virgins were wise and had their oil lamps filled when the bridegroom came. But the other five foolish virgins had not prepared themselves by filling their lamps with oil. When the "Day That No Man Knows" had arrived, the two witnesses sounded the "trumpet" and the five wise virgins were ready to go into the feast - but the foolish virgins had no oil in their lamps, so they could not see their way around in the dark. The foolish virgins went to buy oil for their lamps causing them to be too late for the feast. When the temple doors were shut, the five foolish virgins were left out. Many of these inhabitants would also be working in the fields or grinding at the mill (Matthew 24:40-42). so that when they heard the sound of the shophar they knew that their work was finished. Our Messiah was also speaking in the language of Feast of Trumpets typology when he said that we must "work while it is yet day, for the night comes when no man can work" (John 9:4). Those who were working in the fields had to hasten toward the temple before the doors were shut. The person who was alert and listening for the sound of the shophar was "taken" by the sound of the trumpet; this was his signal to make haste towards the temple. But the person not alert and not watching would not hear the sound of the trumpet and they would be "left" in the field or still grinding at the mill - unaware the day had come. The rest of the chapter is a reinforcement of "being alert" to the immediate coming days.

There are three things we must remember about Hebrew prophecy. First, since all of the books of the Book were written by Hebrews and were directed to a Hebrew audience, all prophecy in the Book is about and concerning the Hebrew people, not "the world" or "civilization" - and that includes the book of Revelation. Secondly, most Hebrew prophecy is intended never to come true. That is to say, most Hebrew prophecy is conditional. It is warning, not a prediction. When men change their ways, YHVH changes His mind (Jonah 3). Nothing in this type of prophecy is cast in stone. Finally, and probably most importantly, Hebrew prophecy is "rear view mirror" commentary. After the event is over, as it was with the coming of the Son, then you know what happened. When Yeshua came, every single prophecy written about that event came to pass - but, nobody saw it as it was unfolding before them until after it was over and they were granted understanding (Luke 24:45). It is looking at the past with perfect hindsight. Before the lightning strikes, we can't predict from where and when it will come, but after it strikes there is no doubt that it did come. That's what the Day of YHVH will be like. After it happens, you will know. And, there is only one "coming" mentioned in all of scripture - the Day of YHVH. But, this is the mystery of echad - to be one in His Spirit is to be Him in this world (1John 4:17). Just as those embracing the example of Yeshua's Life in their behavior comprise the Body of Yeshua, so Yeshua is the Right Arm of YHVH (Isaiah 52:10, Ephesians 1:20) - not replacing Him, but exemplifying His Nature. So, the "Day of YHVH" will be that time when His Spirit will prevail over the spirit of man. The Spirit of YHVH and those who have become Him, Yeshua and the saints, will be manifest on that Day (Zechariah 14:5, 1Corinthians 6:2, Romans 8:19). But, with YHVH, a day is as a thousand years so that manifestation has been ongoing since the Resurrection of Yeshua which fulfilled the Covenant, i.e., if Yeshua has come to live and abide in you - has He not come to the earth today in you (John 14:23-24)? How long will that last before the Day of YHVH? Only the Father knows (Acts 1:7) - but, perhaps, on the third day.
The Coming of Messiah Series
Part One: Daniel 9
Part Two: Ezekiel's Temple
Part Three: Matthew 24:1-30
Part Four: Matthew 24:30-51
Part Five: Questions and Answers

"Herein (by this) is our love made perfect, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment: because just as He is, even so are we in this world." 1John 4:17

???Questions???
Please feel free to email me at harold@hethathasanear.com. While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to partake with you of what the Spirit is uncovering.
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