As the Jews rejected Jesus Christ, are they still waiting for a Messiah? – Part 4
We previously looked at the fact that Judaism has been, and is still looking for, a human being to fulfil the role of the “mashaich” who they expect will bring about the millennial prophecies we read in many books in the Old Testament.
Let us continue to look at the website www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm where we read further, as follows:
“When Will the Mashiach Come?
“There are a wide variety of opinions on the subject of when the mashiach will come. Some of Judaism’s greatest minds have cursed those who try to predict the time of the mashiach’s coming, because errors in such predictions could cause people to lose faith in the messianic idea or in Judaism itself. This actually happened in the 17th century, when Shabbatai Tzvi claimed to be the mashiach. When Tzvi converted to Islam under threat of death, many Jews converted with him. Nevertheless, this prohibition has not stopped anyone from speculating about the time when the mashiach will come.
“Although some scholars believed that G-d has set aside a specific date for the coming of the mashiach, most authority suggests that the conduct of mankind will determine the time of the mashiach’s coming.”
We want to interject here that this concept does include elements of truth, but is not entirely correct. We explain in our booklet, “When and How Will Christ Return?,” chapter 4, beginning on page 23, that based on our conduct, we can hasten or delay the coming of the Messiah:
“… we read in 2 Peter 3:12 that we are to be ‘looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God’—the return of Christ… Just as we can hasten Christ’s return, so we can also delay it, to an extent. This can be seen in 2 Peter 3:9: ‘The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance’…
“According to 2 Peter 3:9, God may delay Christ’s coming, if Church members, whom God wants to be in His Kingdom, are not ready, due to a lack of serious repentance…
“Some feel that the precise moment of Christ’s return has been fixed for thousands of years—as the Father ‘knows’ the exact moment of Christ’s Second Coming. They say that according to Christ’s words, the Father knew at least 2,000 years ago exactly when He would send back His Son: ‘But of that day and hour no one KNOWS, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only’ (Matthew 24:36). (Mark 13:32 adds that not even the Son of God—Jesus Christ—knows that exact time.)
“However, in light of the fact that Christ’s return can be delayed or accelerated—at least partially because of human conduct—it is very doubtful that God the Father ‘knew’ the exact day and hour of Christ’s return for thousands of years.
“We should note that, according to the two passages in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32, Christ said that man, angels and Christ do not ‘know,’ but ‘only My Father.’ There is NO VERB here, following ‘My Father,’ so it must be added…
“Acts 1:7 does not say that God ‘knows.’ It only says that it is not for Christ’s disciples to ‘know.’ In regard to the Father, it is stated that He has ‘put this’ in His own power or authority. Reading Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 together with Acts 1:7, it is apparent that the words which need to be supplied in Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 would have to be those showing God’s AUTHORITY to set the date.”
The Luther Bible from 1891 rendered Acts 1:7 in regard to the time of Christ’s coming: “…which the Father has reserved to His power.”
This means then that we can hasten or delay the time of Christ’s coming, until the Father decides that He has waited long enough and that there would be no further delay (compare Revelation 10:6), as otherwise, all of mankind would be destroyed and no one would survive (Matthew 24:22).
Continuing with the quote from the above-mentioned website:
“In general, it is believed that the mashiach will come in a time when he is most needed (because the world is so sinful), or in a time when he is most deserved (because the world is so good). For example, each of the following has been suggested as the time when the mashiach will come:
“if Israel repented a single day;
“if Israel observed a single Shabbat properly;
“if Israel observed two Shabbats in a row properly;
“in a generation that is totally innocent or totally guilty;
“in a generation that loses hope;
“in a generation where children are totally disrespectful towards their parents and elders…”
This is just man’s mind at work and complete speculation. There are no Scriptures to indicate that any of this will happen under the rule of man.
But let us assume that one of these times, as listed above, came to pass. Could Israel – and do they mean the Jewish nation? – all repent in one day? What about everyone else on earth? It’s never happened in 6,000 years and, even when Jesus returns, there will still be those who will still be difficult and disobedient (compare Zechariah 14:16-19).
If Israel (again just the Jews?) observed a single Sabbath properly or two Sabbaths in a row properly, what would that prove? It is impossible at this time that this could ever happen but there is so much more to an obedient God-fearing person than keeping one or two Sabbaths. It is just such a very narrow, restricted activity to be able to make it a possibility for the Messiah to arise. We can liken this to the fact that so many churches and other places of worship were full just after 9/11 when the Twin Towers in New York had been attacked. After a few weeks, things got back to “normal”!
The next qualification would be if a generation is totally innocent or totally guilty. How could a generation all be one way or another? Civilisation over the millennia has shown us that generations are made up of people at different levels – the good, the bad and those in between. To think that a generation could all be one way or another is not consistent with 6,000 years of experience.
We are told that the time of the Messiah’s coming will be like the time of Noah (thoroughly evil and wicked), but—like Noah—there will be some who will be righteous. They are called the elect and it is for their sake that Christ will shorten the days and return so that all of mankind will not be destroyed. This includes many members of the true Church of God prior to and during the Great Tribulation and the conversion of 144,000 Israelites and the great multitude of Gentiles prior to the plagues of the Day of the Lord.
According to the opinion of Judaism, as quoted by the writer in the above-mentioned article, the time when the mashiach could arise is when a generation loses hope. Again, this is given as an all-encompassing requirement which is something that has never happened before as there are always those who have a positive mindset even in the most trying of circumstances.
Following the suggestions of Judaism, the last requirement for the human mashiash to arise is when there is a generation where children are totally disrespectful towards their parents and elders. Again, another all-encompassing situation which could never happen in its entirety. The contrary is clearly revealed in Malachi 4:4-6.
Human nature over a period of 6,000 years has amply proved that this world, being ruled by Satan the Devil, will not change under the leadership of a human being. It is also not possible for human beings to become “totally innocent,” nor will it ever happen, due to God’s merciful intervention, that everyone, without exception, will be “totally guilty,” “totally losing hope,” and totally disrespectful.” But only when someone becomes a Spirit-born member of the Family of God will there be perfection.
The above-quoted article continues:
“What Will the Mashiach Do?
“Before the time of the mashiach, there shall be war and suffering (Ezekiel 38:16).”
To inject right here, even though this is a very common error in Jewish interpretation, the events in Ezekiel 38 and 39 take place AFTER the coming of the Messiah, not before. Compare our free booklet, “Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever.”
“The mashiach will bring about the political and spiritual redemption of the Jewish people by bringing us back to Israel and restoring Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5).”
Just to clarify again, this common false concept of the “Jewish people” is mentioned throughout the article. The Truth is that Christ will not only free the Jews from slavery and bring them back to the Promised Land, but also ALL modern descendants of Jacob or Israel—referred to in the Bible as the houses of Israel AND Judah. Compare again our free booklet, “Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever.”
“He will establish a government in Israel that will be the center of all world government, both for Jews and gentiles (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:10; 42:1). He will rebuild the Temple and re-establish its worship (Jeremiah 33:18). He will restore the religious court system of Israel and establish Jewish law as the law of the land (Jeremiah 33:15).”
The Messiah will not “rebuild” the Temple, but He will cleanse an existing Third Temple and free it from pollution. See, for example, our free booklet, “The Fall and Rise of the Jewish People.” In addition, He will not establish Jewish law as the law of the land, but the law of GOD (much of Judaism or today’s Jewish laws, customs and traditions are totally against the commandments of God.)
“Olam Ha-Ba: The Messianic Age
“The world after the messiah comes is often referred to in Jewish literature as Olam Ha-Ba (oh-LAHM hah-BAH), the World to Come. This term can cause some confusion, because it is also used to refer to a spiritual afterlife. In English, we commonly use the term ‘messianic age’ to refer specifically to the time of the messiah.
“Olam Ha-Ba will be characterized by the peaceful co-existence of all people (Isaiah 2:4). Hatred, intolerance and war will cease to exist. Some authorities suggest that the laws of nature will change, so that predatory beasts will no longer seek prey and agriculture will bring forth supernatural abundance (Isaiah 11:6-11:9). Others, however, say that these statements are merely an allegory for peace and prosperity.”
These changes are to be understood literally, not just allegorically. Continuing with the article:
“All of the Jewish people will return from their exile among the nations to their home in Israel (Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 23:8; 30:3; Hosea 3:4-5). The law of the Jubilee will be reinstated.”
Again, it is all the modern descendants of the houses of Israel and Judah who will have survived the terrible times to come, who will return to the Promised Land. Regarding the law of the Jubilee, see our free booklet, “Old Testament Laws—Still Valid Today?”
“In the Olam Ha-Ba, the whole world will recognize the Jewish G-d as the only true G-d, and the Jewish religion as the only true religion (Isaiah 2:3; 11:10; Micah 4:2-3; Zechariah 14:9). There will be no murder, robbery, competition or jealousy. There will be no sin (Zephaniah 3:13). Sacrifices will continue to be brought in the Temple, but these will be limited to thanksgiving offerings, because there will be no further need for expiatory offerings.”
The world will recognize the God of Israel (not just the Jews) as the one and only true God, but we must understand that God is a Family, presently consisting of the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The world will not totally be without sin, as it is impossible for human beings not to sin, but due to the acceptance of the supreme Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, they will be forgiven of their sin upon repentance and belief.
The idea that the Millennial offerings which will be brought will only be “thanksgiving offerings” is clearly false. In fact, burnt offerings and sin offerings and offerings for atonement are specifically mentioned (Ezekiel 40:38; 43:10, 18, 21, 27; 44:11, 27, 29; 45:15-25). We discuss these temporary animal sacrifices in the Millennium in our free booklet, “Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever.”
“Some gentiles have tried to put an ugly spin on this theology, claiming that Jews plan to force people to convert to our religion, perhaps based on their own religion’s history of doing exactly the same thing. That is not at all how Jews understand the messianic age. We believe that in that future time, everyone will simply know what the truth is, in the same way that we know that 2+2=4, and there will no longer be any reason to argue about it. It is much like a situation I witnessed at work once: two computer programmers were arguing loudly and at length about whether it was possible for a user to input data at a certain point in a program. Finally someone pressed a key and they all saw that nothing happened. Now they knew the truth, end of argument. When mashiach comes, theological truths will be equally obvious to mankind, and there will be no reason to argue about it.”
This conclusion is also wrong. As mentioned before, not everyone will accept the Messiah and God’s Law right away. Some will still want to wage war. Others will at first refuse to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. People will have to be educated about God, the true worship of God, and God’s Way of Life (Isaiah 2:1-4). This understanding will not come “automatically.”
However, much of the above applies to the return of Christ (with our comments), but Judaism teaches that it will be brought about by a man. That truly would not be possible as man’s history clearly shows, nor is it God’s plan to do so.
In Galatians 5:22-23 we read: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” The thought that a man could bring about such fruit of the Spirit in every person on earth is way beyond the bounds of possibility. No man can possibly bring about peace on earth—only the great God Himself can do this. And even then, not everyone will submit to God… some will refuse to repent even after the coming of the Messiah. This is also true for the time before His coming.
We must remember that there will be a time of trouble such as never was before nor will be again (see Daniel 12:1 and Matthew 24:21) which is when the Great Tribulation starts which will include the Day of the Lord and, even with such terrible events, there will be those who will still refuse to repent. “And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. And they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds” (Revelation 16:9-11).
The question has to be asked if there will be those who refuse to repent even under the most painful and excruciating circumstances, how can a mashiach, a human being, succeed in bringing the whole world into subjection? The simple answer is that it will be God the Father, sending His Son, Jesus Christ, back to the earth to set up the Kingdom of God – not a mortal, flesh and blood human being. Only then, most people will be led to repentance… while some rebels will refuse even then.
We read in Matthew 24:21-27 about the time of Christ’s return:
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
It is interesting that false christs and false prophets will arise at the end time (Matthew 24:24) and Jesus will have to return to save mankind from blowing himself off the face of the planet at precisely the right time. And God’s timing is perfect.
It will be achieved by the returning Saviour of mankind, not by some human being for which the task would be impossible.
In addition to the booklets mentioned in this article, we have many more free booklets on the biblical Messiah—the Jesus of the Bible—as well as on prophecy which explain in detail what is just ahead of us now and these are available on request.
(To be continued)
Lead Writers: Brian Gale (United Kingdom) and Norbert Link