The Ordained Time for Messiah’s Return — Part 1
Some expect King Messiah to come; others to return. We should not be surprised if we all are awaiting the same person. But is there an ordained time in the Scripture for the Messiah’s revelation and can we know it?
Throughout history Israel has eagerly awaited the ultimate redemption through the Messiah, and the return of the exile to the Land to become again one nation — this time forever. The Messiah, the prophet Mosheh bade Israel to await, has been seen as the figure who will bring all these aspirations of the people to fulfilment.
The Sages teach that when King Messiah comes (Melech Mashiach), he will restore Israel’s former glory of all. Maimonides writes,
Moshiach will arise and restore the sovereignty of David to its former glory and power, build the Holy Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel. In his days, all the laws will be restored: we will offer the sacrifices and enact the sabbatical and jubilee years as commanded by the Torah.
For the last 2,000 years the prophecies have been sealed, the Messiah has been risen to heavens, and it seems like nothing else has been left for The Age of the Messiah (4001-6000) to be fulfilled.
The words in Tanna Devei Eliyahu speak of the long-awaited Messianic era,
The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation; two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era, but through our many iniquities all these years have been lost [He should have come at the beginning of the last two thousand years; the delay is due to our sins].
In Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 98A, the Sages identified two times for the coming of Mashiach — the preordained time by the Creator, and a hastened revelation before the destined time. We read in Isa 60 regarding the return of Israel to the Land and the commencement of the Messianic era thus,
No longer is the sun your light by day, nor does the moon give light to you for brightness, but Yehovah shall be to you an everlasting light, and your Elohim your comeliness. No longer does your sun go down, nor your moon withdraw itself, for Yehovah shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended. And your people, all of them righteous, shall inherit the land forever – a branch of My planting, a work of My hands, to be adorned. The little shall become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation.
The above passage of the prophecy undoubtedly speaks of the coming Messianic era that shall be hastened when its time comes, as we read on,
I, Yehovah, shall hasten it in its time. (Isa 60:19-22)
The Sages interpreted the phrase in question “I, Yehovah, shall hasten it in its time” thus: If Israel is worthy of the Messiah, He will hasten it; if not, it will be in its due time.
As we explained in the book The Reckoning of Time, the predetermined time has been set for 6,000 years unconditionally: it does not depend on Israel’s merit, as it is said, “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it…” (Isa 48:11).
However, “I, Yehovah, shall hasten it in its time” sets a day that may occur earlier, that is, before its predetermined time.
The prophet Habakkuk further wrote that this appointed time for the Messiah’s arrival will not be late,
The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it, for it will surely come, it will not be late! (Hab 2:3).
“Though it tarry, it will not be late!”
In Time of Reckoning Ministry, we have the strong reason to believe that the foretold coming of the Messiah may take place according to the two possible scenarios which we explained in detail in the aforesaid book and various articles. Here in this study, however, we will put together what we have already learned.
King Messiah will come suddenly
In Chapter The Redemption Plan of YHVH of the book Reckoning of Time, we explained that there are two ordained times for the Messiah’s coming: (1) the preordained time (6,000 years set unconditionally for mankind to labor), and (2) a hastened revelation before the destined time.
According to the Book of Jubilees 3:17-32, Adam sinned at the Tree of knowledge of good and evil on the 17th day of the second month of the eighth year from his creation. If so, then YHVH’s Redemption Plan must have commenced that year: the eighth year since the Creation.
Hence, we used two reckonings of time for the purpose of our study: (1) “The Labor of Man” that started from Day One of the creation, and “The Redemption Plan” that started from Year 8 (see Jubilees Table).
Accordingly, since the Creator has set 6,000 years for mankind, the Messiah may have been set to return either in the 6,000th (per “The Labor of Man” plan), or in the 6,007th year (per “the Redemption Plan”).
Yet, the Creator said, “I, Yehovah, shall hasten it in its time.” What does this mean?
There is an explicit verse in Mal 3:1 that says, “The lord whom you seek (the King Messiah) will suddenly come to his palace …”. This verse implies that there is a predetermined time for the coming of King Messiah, and a sudden one. Could this sudden coming of King Messiah be referring to the hastened time in Isa 60:19-22?
Indeed, Yeshua the Messiah has told us that we need to be found worthy of his coming. Hence, if Israel’s labor is found worthy, the return of the Messiah may be hastened, and he may come seven years earlier in the 6,000th year than the predetermined time in the 6,007th year per the Redemption Plan.
Which of these reckonings, “The Labor of Man” or “The Redemption Plan”, the Highest will consider for the return of His Messiah? Indeed, the Messiah will return but the timing of his return may depend on Israel’s repentance.
Is there any clue in the Scripture that can hint on the timing of the Messiah’s return?
In Time of Reckoning Ministry, we believe, and we have some proof that Yeshua indeed will come back in the hastened rather than the predetermine time.
In the following study, we will explain what one needs to know about the return of the Messiah in its hastened time. For the sake of this study, we will use the Book of Ezekiel, as we will start rewinding the prophecy section by section.
The hints in the Book of Ezekiel
The prophecies in Ezekiel falls into two main divisions: (1) Announcements of judgment upon Israel and the heathen nations in Ezekiel 1-33, and (2) Announcements of salvation of Israel in Ezekiel 34-48.
The prophecies of the first division had been already been fulfilled with the exile of Judah in Babylon, while those of the second division still lie in the future.
The Millennial Kingdom in Ezekiel 40-48
The literal interpretation of the prophecy in Ezekiel 34-48 remained for a long time peculiar to the Sages, who expect the Messiah to come commence the Millennial Kingdom of the Highest. How are we to understand the vision of the Kingdom of Elohim in Ezekiel 40-48?
The literal reading of Ezekiel 40-48 will convince even the doubter that the prophecy in the last section of the second division refer to the restoration of Israel to the Promised Land, the rebuilding of the Third, and consequently the renewal of the Torah as the law of the land.
Rambam writes in the first chapter of Hilchot Beit HaBechirah 32 that the people who built the Second Temple built it like the Temple King Shlomoh built, and similar to what was explicit in Ezekiel’s vision.
They did not build the Second Temple entirely according to Ezekiel’s vision, because they knew that this was not the time for that structure to be built. Nevertheless, they included certain aspects of Ezekiel’s vision in the Second Temple.
Ezekiel sees the Temple as a finished structure whose parts are measured before his eyes.
The vision of the Millennial Temple commences with a description of the courts, with their gates (Ezekiel 40:5-47). It then turns to the description of the Temple itself, with the porch and side-building (Ezekiel 40:48-41:26), and also of the cells in the outer court set apart for the sacrificial meals of the priests, and proceeds to define the extent of the outer circumference of the structure (Ezekiel 42).
Then, the prophet was given to see the glory of YHVH enter the Temple and dwell there forever (Eze 43:1-12). It closes with the consecration of the temple (Eze 43:1-12).
Ezekiel 44 positions the guardians of the duty of the House in relation to the new Sanctuary: the priests and the Levites (Eze 44:4-16).
With the consecration of the altar the way is opened for the congregation of Israel to appear in the sanctuary before YHVH, to serve Him with sacrifices. The prophet was also told that no son of a foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and in flesh, would come into Temple. See also Jer 9:25.
Ezekiel 47-48. A stream of living water was shown to Ezekiel, proceeding from the threshold of the Temple, and emptying itself into the Dead Sea (Eze 47:1-12). And finally, the command is communicated to the prophet concerning the boundaries of the Land, its distribution among the twelve tribes of Israel, and the building of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 47:13-48:35).
The War of Gog of Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39—the immersion in fire
The Bible prophecy alludes to two scenarios for the war of Gog of Magog, the final war in this world. Two main Biblical prophets – Zechariah and Ezekiel – foretold messages about the war of Gog of Magog.
In chapter “Two Scenarios for the War of Gog of Magog” from the book The Reckoning of Time, the present author suggested that the prophecies in Ezekiel 38-39 and Zechariah 12-14 speak of one war known as the war of Gog of Magog, and that these two prophecies are two scenarios of the war of Gog of Magog, as the scenario in Zec 12-14 is the darkest of the two.
The present author also suggested a third scenario of the war of Gog of Magog, as depicted in Zechariah 9-11 and Isaiah 29. This scenario differs from the other two, being a variant of the War of Gog of Magog in Zec 12-14, although not in such a dark portrayal.
But for more insight of the war of Gog of Magog, the reader is encouraged to refer to the series of articles The War of Gog of Magog – Time of Reckoning Ministry.
The very words of Yeshua haMashiach,
I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have an immersion to be immersed with, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you think that I came to give peace on earth? I say to you, no, but rather division. (Luk 12:49-51)
The second part of the statement above “and how I wish it were already kindled” is very emblematic and most definitely is referring to a future event, that of His return, for it has yet to be fulfilled.
But notice the past tense Yeshua used in the prophecy: “I came to send fire”. Why did Yeshua use a past tense, as if He had already fulfilled it?
It is quite common for the Scripture to employ the past tense in the prophecy instead of the future tense for events that will take place in the future; this is the so-called “past tense in the future” in Hebrew. When used in such a manner, it denotes certainty of the prophecy in its fulfilment.
In this case, it is very clear what Yeshua was referring to an immersion in fire that will be certainly fulfilled at His return.
The siege that will last nine months—the prophecy in Micah
But you, Beyth Lechem Ephrathah, you who are little among the clans of Yehudah out of you shall come forth to Me the One to become ruler in Israel. And His comings forth are of old, from everlasting. Therefore, He shall give them up, until the time that she who is in labor has given birth, and the remnant of His brothers return to the children of Israel. (Mic 5:2-3) (5:1-2 in JPS)
Interestingly, Targum Jonathan (Aramaic paraphrases of the Hebrew Scripture) paraphrases one in the above verse as “the Messiah”. And where it is said “His comings forth are of old, from everlasting” we should note that “comings” is plural in Hebrew referring to more than one coming, as foretold in the prophecy in Gen 3:15.
Rav said in Sanhedrin 98b commenting on Mic 5:3 this,
The son of David [Mashiach] will not come until the [Roman] power enfolds Israel for nine months, as it is written. Therefore, will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.
If this interpretation of Sages is correct, then it seems that the siege against Israel by foreign armies in the war of Gog of Magog will take place about nine months (until the time that she who is in labor has given birth) before the lost tribes of Israel return home (the remnant of His brothers returns to the children of Israel).
Therefore, according to this interpretation, the prophecy in Micah places the coming of the son of David in the scenario according to which he will return after the War of Gog of Magog.
Resurrection of Israel to life in Ezekiel 37
Ezekiel was shown in a vision the resurrection of dry bones of Israel to a new life, and the reunion of the divided kingdoms into a single nation under the reign of King David. The prophecy begins thus,
The hand of Yehovah was upon me and took me out by the wind of Yehovah and set me down in the midst of the valley. And it was filled with bones. (Eze 37:1)
Then, YHVH asked Ezekiel whether the dry bones in the valley of the dead could live again (Eze 37:3). Then, He prophesied to the bones,
Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. And I shall lay sinews on you and bring flesh in you and cover you with skin and put breath in you, and you shall live. And you shall know that I am Yehovah. (Eze 37:5-6)
But there is not yet any life in them. To give them life, the prophet was to prophesy again, this time to Ruach Chayim, “Living Breath”, so that they would live (Eze 37:9).
But the vision Ezekiel received does not set forth the resurrection of the dead in general, because there are certain features that do not apply to it. In this vision there was indeed shown the resurrection of the dry bones, but the occasion, the cause, and the context of this vision were the resurrection of the nation of Israel to a new life.
One of these features is that Ezekiel sees the resurrection of the dry bones in one particular valley (Eze 37:1-2), and not the dead of the whole earth. This is expressed in the fact that in Eze 37:9 those who are to be raised to life are called “slain”, a word which does not apply to the dead in general, but simply to those who have been slain, perished in wars, famine, or by some other violent death: the slain of Israel.
We derive this from the statement that the dead bones are called the “whole house of Israel”, Judah and Ephraim, that has been given up to death. We should not err and conclude from the word “slain” that this refers to the slain in the war of Gog of Magog, as this would not agree with the context employed here, but to the mass destruction and loss of life by fire, famine, and violence of six million Jews in the Nazi Holocaust.
Once the slain of Judah and Ephraim have been brought to life, they will be reunited as one nation so that no longer two they will be two separate nations. Then, many will marvel and ask, “Will you not tell us what you mean by these?” (Eze 37:18) And thus said the Master YHVH,
Behold, I am taking the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and shall gather them from all around, and I shall bring them into their land. And I shall make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and let them no longer be two nations, and let them no longer be divided into two reigns. … And they shall be My people, and I be their Elohim, while David My servant is king over them. And they shall all have one shepherd and walk in My ordinances and guard My laws, and shall do them. (Eze 37:21-24)
Thus, reunited in one nation under King David, YHVH will make an everlasting covenant of peace with Israel for the dismay of the nations, so that they will know that YHVH will be Israel’s forever (Eze 37:26-28).
Still on the same line of words, regarding the resurrection of the nation of Israel, we are moving backwards to what will take place in Chapter 36 of Ezekiel.
The renewal of the Covenant and the restoration of Israel in Ezekiel 36
Israel defiled the Land of YHVH by its sins, and He scattered them among the heathen. Upon seeing the vacated land, the nations of the world gloated over it and said, “Aha! The heights of old have become our possession” (Eze 36:2). And they occupied the land for the next 1,800 years—empires, Crusades, Khalifates—one after the other.
But this is what Adonai YHVH said, “I have lifted My hand in an oath that the nations that are around you shall bear their own shame.” (Eze 36:7)
Then Ezekiel was told that in exile Israel would profane His Name (Eze 36:16-21). These words of YHVH are very much misunderstood.
There can be no greater desecration of YHVH than to witness His people in exile, dispossessed of their Promised Land. The Sages taught that Elohim accompanied the exile and overheard the nations saying that the Jews were God’s people yet even He could not save them and bring them back to their homeland.
Then, the heathen concluded that the exile was a sign of the rejection of their God to defend His people, and ultimately the rejection of Israel as His people.
The so-called Church fathers came to this exact conclusion when they interpreted the punishment of the Jews as a rejection and concluded that the Church had superseded Israel: “God had rejected Israel for the Church and replaced “the Old Testament” with “the New Testament”.
This false doctrine resulted in the so-called “Replacement Theology” and persecution of the Jews. Adonai YHVH called this the profanation of His Name because He was seen as the “God” who rejected His people with whom He had an everlasting covenant and promise.
This is what the desecration of YHVH means. The only way in which Elohim could destroy this delusion would be by manifesting Himself to the nations through the redemption and glorification of His people Israel.
The founding of the State of Israel in 1948 and the return of the Jewish people from exile proved the Christian theologians and the nations wrong, as it became clear to everyone that He had kept His promise to restore them as a nation in the Promised Land. Thus, YHVH Himself will set His great Name apart by gathering His people as one nation and renewing them by breathing a new breath within them.
And I shall set apart My great Name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. And the nations shall know that I am Yehovah, declares the Lord Yehovah, when I am set-apart in you before their eyes. And I shall take you from among the nations, and I shall gather you out of all lands, and I shall bring you into your own land. And I shall sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your filthiness and from all your idols I cleanse you. And I shall give you a new heart and put a new breath within you. And I shall take the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I shall give you a heart of flesh, and put My Breath within you. And I shall cause you to walk in My laws and guard My ordinances and shall do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. And you shall be My people, and I shall be your Elohim. (Eze 36:23-28)
This is what Chapter 36 is all about: bringing Israel to a renewed condition to serve YHVH and guard His Torah.
But Ezekiel was not the only prophet who spoke regarding the restoration of Israel to a new life.
Behold, the days are coming, declares Yehovah, when I shall make a Renewed Covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I strengthened their hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, declares Yehovah. For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Israel after those days, declares Yehovah: I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts. And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. (Jer 31:31-33)
The Covenant at Sinai was broken, and the necessity of its renewal has been in the Redemption Plan of YHVH. This redemption results not in the replacement of the “Old Covenant” with a “New Covenant”, as if a defect had been found in the everlasting Covenant; nor in the replacement of His people with new people, as if He had changed His mind, but due to virtue of His unchangeable faithfulness and unbreakable promises, YHVH Elohim would renew His Covenant with Israel by putting His Torah in the hearts of Israel and in the hearts of the foreigners who join the nation, according to His promise to the former gentiles in Isa 56:1-8. Read more in the article Who is “the Eunuch” in Isaiah 56? – Time of Reckoning Ministry.
May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days.