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MBS003 THE BASIS OF THE SECOND COMING OF THE MESSIAH

 In Topics

Arnold FruchtenbaumBy Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum

And all the multitudes were amazed, and said, Can this be the son of David?

Mark 9:23

INTRODUCTION

In examining the conditions and prerequisites to the Second Coming of the Messiah, it is crucial to remember that the Scriptures picture His return as a separate and distinct event from the Rapture. Unlike the Second Coming of the Messiah to the earth, the Rapture of the Church has no preconditions attached to it. It is known from the Scriptures that the Rapture will come some time before the Tribulation, although it cannot be known when or how long before. And, because there are no preconditions attached to it, the Rapture can come at any time. The Second Coming of the Messiah, however, does have a major precondition attached to it. A certain condition must be met before the Messiah will return to establish the Kingdom.

The purpose of this study is to determine the basis of the Second Coming of the Messiah. This study will be discussed in two main divisions: the rejection of the His Messiahship and the prerequisite to the Second Coming.

I. THE REJECTION OF HIS MESSIAHSHIP

To fully understand the basis of His coming, one must first understand what occurred when the Messiahship of Yeshua (Jesus) was rejected. In the layout of the Gospel of Matthew, He began His ministry in chapter 4. From chapter 4 until chapter 12, He is seen going around Israel proclaiming the Kingdom and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of the Jewish prophets and performing many miracles. The purpose of all His miracles between chapters 4 and 12 is to authenticate His Person and His message. They are signs to force the nation of Israel to come to a decision regarding two things: first, His Person, that He is the Messiah; and secondly, His message, the gospel of the Kingdom. Then in Matthew 12, the whole purpose of His miracles and His ministry underwent a radical change. The rejection of His Messiahship occurred in Matthew 12:22–37.

Among the many miracles Yeshua preformed was the casting out of demons. According to verse 27, Judaism also had exorcists. In Jewish exorcism, one first had to establish communication with the demon in order to find out his name. Then using that demon’s name, the exorcist could cast him out. On other occasions Yeshua used the Jewish method, as in Luke 8:30. When demons speak, they use the vocal cords of the person under their control. However, in the case of the dumb demon, Jewish exorcism was to no avail, for communication with that kind of demon was impossible. But Jewish theology taught that the Messiah, when He came, would be able to cast out even that kind of demon. The Jewish observation that dumb demons were different was validated by the Messiah in Mark 9:17–29, particularly in verses 17, 25, and 29.

The Messiah was able to exorcise that kind of demon in verse 22: Then was brought unto him one possessed with a demon, blind and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the dumb man spoke and saw.

This caused the people to begin asking a question in verse 23: And all the multitudes were amazed, and said, Can this be the son of David?

The question was, “Can Yeshua really be the Messiah?” This was one of the key purposes of this miracle, to get them to see that He was indeed the son of David. The people, however, were not willing to judge His Person by themselves, but were looking to their religious leaders, the Pharisees, to come up with some kind of judgment concerning Him. They were waiting for the Pharisees to conclude either that He was the Messiah or that He was not the Messiah. If He was not the Messiah, then the Pharisees must offer some kind of alternative explanation as to how He was able to perform these many miracles, especially the miracles that were supposed to be unique to the Messiah alone.

The Pharisees chose the latter course in verse 24: But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man does not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons.

They refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah because He did not fit the pharisaic mold or idea of what the Messiah was supposed to say and do. Their alternative explanation as to how He was performing His miracles was to say that He Himself was possessed by Beelzebub the prince of demons. This, then, became the official basis of the rejection of the Messiahship of Yeshua. This is the leaven of the Pharisees (Lk. 12:1); the false teaching about which the Messiah would warn His disciples. They were to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees: their claim that Jesus was not the Messiah, rather, He was demon possessed. It was on these grounds that the Pharisees rejected the Messiahship of Yeshua.

The Messiah’s response is recorded in verses 25–29: And knowing their thoughts he said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: and if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

The Messiah responded to this accusation by telling them that their statement could not be true because it would mean that Satan’s kingdom was divided against itself.

And judgment was pronounced on the generation of that day in verses 30–37: He that is not with me is against me, and he that gathers not with me scatters. Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come. Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit. Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of his good treasure brings forth good things: and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil things. And I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.

In verse 31, that generation had committed the unpardonable sin: blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It should be clearly comprehended exactly what the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is in the only context in which it is found, and must be interpreted accordingly. The unpardonable sin is not an individual sin, but a national sin. It was committed by that generation of Israel in Jesus’ day and cannot be applied to subsequent Jewish generations. The content of the unpardonable sin was the national rejection of the Messiahship of Yeshua while He was physically present on the grounds that He was demon possessed. This sin was unpardonable, and judgment was set. The judgment came forty years later in a.d. 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and the worldwide dispersion of the Jewish people. This does not mean that individual members of that generation could not be saved, for many were. It did mean, however, that nothing they could do would avert the coming destruction of Jerusalem.

A. The Sign of the Resurrection—Matthew 12:38–40

Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, Teacher, we would see a sign from you. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet: for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Matthew 12:38–40

The Pharisees were stunned by this pronouncement of judgment. They tried to retake the offensive in verse 38 by demanding a sign, as though the Messiah had done nothing so far to substantiate His Messiahship! But in verse 39, there was a change of policy regarding His signs: from now on, there would be no more signs for the nation, except one. While the Messiah would continue to perform miracles even after chapter 12, the purpose of His miracles had changed. No longer were they for the purpose of authenticating His Person and His message in order to get the nation to come to a decision. That decision had already been made. Rather, His miracles would be for the purpose for training the Twelve Apostles for the new kind of ministry that they would need to conduct as the result of His rejection. It is the ministry the Apostles performed in the Book of Acts.

For that generation, there would be no sign but one, “the sign of Jonah,” the sign of resurrection. It is a sign that would come for Israel on three occasions: at the resurrection of Lazarus (Jn. 11:1–46); at His own resurrection (Mat. 16:1–4); and at the resurrection of the Two Witnesses in the Tribulation (Rev. 11:3–13). The first two signs were rejected. The third will be accepted, for the resurrection of the Two witnesses will lead to the salvation of the Jews of Jerusalem.

B. Swept, Garnished, and Empty—Matthew 12:41–45

The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here. But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and finds it not. Then he says, I will return into my house whence I came out; and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goes he, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation.

Matthew 12:41–45

This passage concludes with more words of judgment for that generation from Yeshua. Notice how often the phrase “this generation” appears in this passage. In verse 41, He compared them with Nineveh and showed why Nineveh will stand in judgment of that generation. The same is true in verse 42 with the Queen of Sheba. The people in both these cases were Gentiles. With much less revelation to go on, they responded even without miracles. But that generation did not.

Then in verses 43–45, the words of judgment conclude with a story about a demon to illustrate what the final outcome of that generation would be. Jesus related the account of a demon who, on his own volition, left a man that he had possessed. But when he was unable to find a new body to indwell and control, he returned to his original abode. Although he found it swept, and garnished, he also found it still empty. The individual never took the opportunity to fill his life with the Holy Spirit. Nor had another demon entered him. So the demon re-entered the man he originally possessed and invited seven other demons to join him. The outcome was that the last state of the man had become worse than the first. He was originally possessed by only one demon. He had the opportunity after the demon left to fill his life with the Spirit of God, but he failed to do so. Now, the last state of the man was worse than the first, because now he was possessed by eight demons.

The point of this story is often missed. The Messiah closed the story with the point that what was true of the man was also true of that particular evil generation. When that generation began, it began with the preaching of John the Baptist. John’s ministry was to prepare the people for the reception of the Messiah. By means of the preaching of John, that generation was swept, and garnished. But now that the Messiah had come, they rejected Him on the basis of demon possession. The nation that was swept and garnished now remained empty on account of the rejection of the Messiahship of Yeshua. And because it remained empty, the last state of that generation was to be worse that the first.

When that generation began, it was under Roman domination. Nevertheless, it had a national entity. It had a semi-autonomous form of government in the Sanhedrin. Jerusalem stood in all its Herodian glory, and the religious worship system in the Temple remained intact. But later, as a result of the rejection and judgment in a.d. 70, the national entity of Israel ceased to exist. In the place of bondage, they were dispersed by the Roman armies. The Temple, the center of Judaism, was completely destroyed so that not one stone stood upon another. Eventually, the Jews were dispersed all over the world. So, indeed, the last state of that generation became worse than the first. They went from bondage to worldwide dispersion.

C. The Sign of Jonah—John 11:1–57

Even after the events in Matthew 12, the Pharisees approached the Messiah demanding a sign to authenticate His Person and His message (Mat. 16:1–4). In each case, He refused to give them any more signs but promised them only the sign of Jonah, which is the sign of resurrection.

The resurrection of Lazarus, recorded in John 11:1–44, is the presentation of the first sign of Jonah. The Messiah had raised others from the dead, yet all of the other resurrections are covered in just a few verses. But here John the Apostle uses 44 verses to give great detail about the resurrection of Lazarus. Why? This is the sign of Jonah that Yeshua had promised.

In verse 42, He made it very clear for whom Lazarus was raised, namely, the Jewish multitudes: And I knew that you heard me always: but because of the multitude that stands around I said it, that they may believe that you did send me.

Then, there is the response of the Jews in verses 45–46: Many therefore of the Jews, who came to Mary and beheld that which he did, believed on him. But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done.

In verse 45, some Jews responded correctly to this first sign of Jonah and believed that Yeshua was who He claimed to be. But in verse 46, others still wanted some kind of word or judgment from their leaders, and so they reported to the Pharisees what Jesus had done. Since this was the sign the Messiah had promised them, they must respond in some way or another.

D. The Sanhedrin’s Verdict—John 11:47–50 and 53

The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, What do we? for this man does many signs. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation. But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor do ye take account that it is expedient for you that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

John 11:47–50

Verse 53 states: So from that day forth they took counsel that they might put him to death.

The Pharisees responded in keeping with their original verdict of Matthew 12. The Sanhedrin gathered together to make a decision as to how to respond to the sign of Jonah given in the resurrection of Lazarus. They issued a decree of rejection and sought an opportunity to put Him to death. The rejection of the Messiahship of Yeshua was now complete. Going beyond the rejection of His Messiahship, they now condemned Him to death.

Verses 54–57 give the results of the Sanhedrin’s verdict. First, in verse 54, the Messiah went into hiding for a short period of time, because the hour of His death was not yet come. Secondly, in verses 55–56, the people still raised questions concerning His Person, a logical thing for them to do in light of the resurrection of Lazarus. And thirdly, the Sanhedrin’s verdict filtered down to the masses in verse 57: Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given commandment, that, if any man knew where he was, he should show it, that they might take him.

They sought an opportunity to put Him to death. The rejection that had occurred in Matthew 12 culminated in John 11 with a decree of death hanging over the Person of the Messiah. The first sign of Jonah, the resurrection of Lazarus, was rejected.

E. The Triumphal Entry—Luke 19:41–44

And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, If you had known in this day, even you, the things which belong unto peace! but now they are hid from your eyes. For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies shall cast up a bank about you, and compass you round, and keep you in on every side, and shall dash you to the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in you one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of your visitation.

Luke 19:41–44

Further light is shed on the nature of the unpardonable sin in the rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus. This passage is in the context of the Triumphal Entry of Yeshua into Jerusalem. In verse 38, thousands of Jews cried out, “Blessed is the King that comes in the name of the Lord,” which, in its Jewish frame of reference, is an official messianic greeting based on the messianic context of Psalm 118:26. The Jewish masses proclaimed His Messiahship as He approached Jerusalem. But the Jewish leaders had already committed the unpardonable sin. Judgment had already been set on that generation. Since the sin was unforgivable, there was no way of alleviating that judgment. So in spite of the masses proclaiming Him to be the Messiah, Jesus pronounced words of judgment upon the City of Jerusalem.

F. The Pharisees Denounced—Matthew 23:1–36

This entire chapter is devoted to a denunciation and condemnation of the Scribes and the Pharisees, the leadership of Israel, for various sins. In verses 1–12, they are condemned for their hypocrisy. In verses 13–14, they are condemned for leading the nation in the rejection of Yeshua’s Messiahship. In verse 15, they are condemned for corrupting the proselytes. In verses 16–22, they are condemned for making the Mosaic Law ineffectual through pharisaic traditions. In verses 23–24, they are condemned for majoring in the minors. In verses 25–28, they are condemned for being concerned with externals only. And in verses 29–36, they are condemned for rejecting the prophets. There are two key sections in this condemnation relevant to this study.

1. Matthew 23:13

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye shut the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye enter not in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering in to enter.

Matthew 23:13

The Pharisees are held accountable not only for their rejection of the Messiahship of Jesus, but also for leading the entire nation to reject His Messiahship. This is an important factor to note in understanding what the basis of the Second Coming of the Messiah will be.

2. Matthew 23:29–36

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and garnish the tombs of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we should not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye witness to yourselves, that ye are sons of them that slew the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye offspring of vipers, how shall ye escape the judgment of hell? Therefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: some of them shall ye kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of Abel the righteous unto the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom ye slew between the sanctuary and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.

Matthew 23:29–36

These verses emphasize the severity of the judgment on that generation. The judgment is primarily upon the leaders, but it is also upon the nation whom the leaders led in the rejection of His Messiahship. Yeshua stated that they were not only to be held accountable for the rejection of His Messiahship, they were also to be held accountable for the blood of all the Old Testament prophets. In the Jewish order of the books of the Old Testament, which Yeshua used, the first book is Genesis, where Abel is mentioned. The last book is 2 Chronicles, where Zechariah is mentioned. Yeshua declared that they were guilty of all the blood from Genesis to 2 Chronicles, much as someone today would say, “from Genesis to Revelation.” So that generation was guilty of the blood of all the prophets. The reason was that everything God intended to say concerning the Messiah had already been said by the Jewish prophets. That generation possessed in their hands the entire Old Testament canon. Furthermore, they had the preaching of John the Baptist announcing the soon coming of the Lord. Finally, they had the physical manifestation and presence of Jesus the Messiah, who came with all the authenticating signs. Nevertheless, they rejected His Messiahship, following the example of their leaders. For this reason, they would be held accountable for the blood of all the prophets who spoke about the Messiah. This is something unique for that generation, as declared in verse 36, “Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.” It is the judgment of the unpardonable sin.

The point made in this study thus far is: the Messiahship of Yeshua was rejected by the Jewish leadership and they led the nation to the rejection of His Messiahship on the basis of demon possession.

A few days after these words were spoken, the second sign of Jonah was given in the resurrection of the Messiah. The second sign of Jonah was rejected in Acts 1–7. The stoning of Stephen by the Sanhedrin in Acts 7 marked the official rejection of the second sign of Jonah. That is why only in Acts 8 does the gospel go out to the non-Jewish world for the first time.

The Book of Hebrews was written to a group of Jewish believers who, because of persecution, were contemplating a return to Judaism. The writer of the Book of Hebrews warned them that they must separate themselves completely from the Judaism that rejected the Messiah. If they failed to do so, they would be caught up in the judgment of a.d. 70 and suffer physical death. Only if they separated themselves from Judaism completely would they have the opportunity of escaping the judgment upon that generation. Of course, from the Book of Hebrews it is not known what the results were, but it is known from Josephus and Eusebius, quoting Hegisippius, a believing Jewish historian of the second century. These men recorded how the Jewish believers, in obedience to the writer of the Book of Hebrews, separated themselves from Judaism. When the revolt against Rome began in a.d. 66, the entire Messianic Jewish community left the country and waited out the war in the town of Pella, on the east bank of the Jordan. Although 1,100,000 Jews died in this Jewish revolt against Rome, not one Jewish believer was killed. Had they not obeyed the writer of the Book of Hebrews, they would have suffered physical death. But since they did obey, they escaped with their lives, and were freed from the judgment upon that generation.

II. THE PREREQUISITE TO THE SECOND COMING

To discover what the basis of the Second Coming is, it will be necessary to look at five more passages of Scripture.

A. Leviticus 26:40–42

And they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, in their trespass which they trespassed against me, and also that, because they walked contrary unto me, I also walked contrary unto them, and brought them into the land of their enemies: if then their uncircumcised heart be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity; then will I remember my covenant with Jacob; and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.

Leviticus 26:40–42

In Leviticus 26, Moses predicted how the Jews would be scattered all over the world because of their disobedience to God’s revealed will. According to the New Testament, this came as a direct result of the rejection of the Messiahship of Yeshua. By verse 39 the worldwide dispersion is a fact. Up to this point, Leviticus 26 has been fulfilled.

In verse 42, Moses states that God has every intention to give Israel all the blessings and promises of the Abrahamic Covenant, especially as the covenant pertains to the Promised Land. But before they can begin to enjoy these blessings during the Messianic Age, it is first necessary for them to fulfill the condition of verse 40, “they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers.” Notice that the word iniquity is singular and that it is specific. There is one specific iniquity that Israel must confess before she can begin to enjoy all of the benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant. This iniquity was committed by their fathers or ancestors, but now must be confessed by a subsequent generation.

B. Jeremiah 3:11–18

And Jehovah said unto me, Backsliding Israel has showed herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, you backsliding Israel, says Jehovah; I will not look in anger upon you; for I am merciful, says Jehovah, I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against Jehovah your God, and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, says Jehovah. Return, O backsliding children, says Jehovah; for I am a husband unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: and I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye are multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says Jehovah, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of Jehovah; neither shall it come to mind; neither shall they remember it; neither shall they miss it; neither shall it be made any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of Jehovah, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the stubbornness of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I gave for an inheritance unto your fathers.

Jeremiah 3:11–18

In verses 14–18, Jeremiah begins to describe the blessings that God has in store for Israel in the Messianic Kingdom. It will be a time of tremendous blessing and restoration for the Jewish people when the Kingdom is established by their Messiah. But all these blessings are conditioned by verse 13, where they must acknowledge or confess one specific iniquity that they committed against Jehovah their God.

C. Zechariah 12:10

Zechariah 12, 13, and 14 are one prophetic revelation, a unit of thought that develops one theme. Chapter 13 speaks of the national cleansing of Israel from their sin. Chapter 14 describes the Second Coming of the Messiah and the establishment of the Kingdom.

But the cleansing of Israel followed by the Second Coming of the Messiah and the Messianic Kingdom are all conditioned on Zechariah 12:10: And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look unto me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.

Before Israel will receive the cleansing of her sin and before the Messiah will return to establish His Kingdom, Israel must first look unto—not upon as in the King James Version—the One whom they have pierced and plead for His return. Once they do this, then, and only then, will they receive their cleansing and begin to enjoy the blessings of the Messianic Age.

D. Hosea 5:15

I will go and return to my place, until they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly.

Hosea 5:15

The One who is speaking throughout this chapter is God Himself. There are certain presuppositions behind the understanding of this verse. Before anyone can go back to a place, he must first leave it. In this passage, God states that He is returning to His place. God’s place is Heaven. Before God can go back to Heaven, He must first leave it. The question is, “When did God ever leave Heaven?” God left Heaven at the Incarnation in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth. Then, because of one specific offense committed against Him, He returned to Heaven at the Ascension from the Mount of Olives. This verse further states that He will not come back to the earth until the offense that caused Him to return to Heaven is acknowledged or confessed. What is that Jewish national offense committed against the Person of Yeshua? It is not, as many believe, the act of killing Him. The actual killing of the Messiah was done by Gentile, not Jewish, hands. He was condemned and sentenced by a Gentile judge. He was crucified by Gentile soldiers. But all this is ultimately irrelevant for, regardless of Jewish acceptance or Jewish rejection, Jesus would have to die anyway to become the sacrifice for sin. The national offense of Israel was in the rejection of His Messiahship. According to this verse, only when this offense is acknowledged or confessed will the Messiah return to the earth.

E. Matthew 23:37–39

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killed the prophets, and stoned them that are sent unto her! how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.

Matthew 23:37–39

As was shown earlier, this chapter contains the Messiah’s denunciation of the Scribes and Pharisees, the Jewish leadership of that day, for leading the nation to the rejection of His Messiahship. Still speaking to the Jewish leadership, Yeshua reiterates in verse 37 His original desire to gather them if they would only accept Him. Because of their rejection of His Messiahship, they will be scattered instead of being gathered. In verse 38, their house, the Jewish Temple, will be left desolate and will be destroyed, with nothing remaining. But then He declares that they will not see Him again until they say, “Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.” This is a messianic greeting, and it will signify their acceptance of His Messiahship.

So Yeshua will not return to the earth until the Jews and the Jewish leaders ask Him to come back. For just as the Jewish leaders once led the nation to the rejection of His Messiahship, they must some day lead the nation to the acceptance of His Messiahship.

It is this fact that explains Satan’s war against the Jews throughout history in general and during the Tribulation in particular. Satan knows that once the Messiah returns, his freedom ends. Satan also knows that Jesus will not come back until the Jewish leaders ask Him to come back. So if Satan can succeed in destroying the Jews once and for all before they come to national repentance, then Yeshua will not come back and Satan’s career is eternally safe. That is why once Satan is confined to his fourth abode and knows his time is short, he expends all of his satanic energies to try to destroy the Jews once and for all. Anti-Semitism in any form, active or passive, whether it is racial, ethnic, national, economic, political, religious, or theological, is all part of the satanic strategy to avoid the Second Coming.

This, then, is the twofold basis of the Second Coming of the Messiah: first, Israel must confess her national sin; secondly, Israel must then plead for Messiah to return, “to mourn for him as one mourns for an only son.”

IF YOU ENJOYED THIS BIBLE STUDY, DR. FRUCHTENBAUM RECOMMENDS:

MBS007 Jews, Gentiles, and Christians

MBS011 The Suffering Messiah of Isaiah 53

MBS012 The Messiah of the Old Testament

MBS013 What the New Testament Says About Jesus

MBS014 Why Did the Messiah Have to Die

MBS016 Nicodemus, A Rabbi’s Quest

MBS026 Zionism What It Is and What It Is Not

MBS087 The Composition of Man

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