There is much talk about WWIII, Gog and Magog, the return of the Messiah and other “related” issues in toady’s circles. What do we know about the return of the Messiah, what clues did He give us about His return? Let’s discuss one of them.
Yeshua’s statement as recorded by Matthew, “For I tell you, from now on you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the L-RD.” (Baruch haba b’shem ADONAI), tells us that His return will not take place until His brothers proclaim this about Him.
Hebrews/Jews who today do not accept Yeshua crying “Baruch haba b’shem ADONAI”? What must take place before this can happen? This is wedding terminology – this is what you say when the bridegroom is coming for his bride.
First of all, I believe that the most important thing that needs to take place is that Yeshua be represented properly and accurately before all men. He has not been properly represented for a very long time – since the majority of the Church has consisted of gentiles who were without a strong foundation in the Torah. You see, as the group of believers grew there came a time when those in leadership were not learned in the Scriptures, their understanding was greater in their own customs and the pagan understandings of the day. (see Paul and the Early Church Fathers and The Growing Split between Synagogue and Church in the 1st Century by Christopher O’Quin at the end of this article) Just like us today, we tend to have a better understanding of current media than we do of Scripture. How can lawless and unlearned men represent the Lawful and Wise One? Young (newer) believers are discouraged from becoming teachers for good reason. However we accepted young teachers – teachers who were young in their understanding of the whole of the Scriptures and began to mix their own understandings with the Holy Word. Because of that, Yeshua’s Name/Reputation began to look very gentile and very anti-torah and then very anti-Semitic. There is no wonder at all that His brothers would reject Him.
Why is Yeshua not recognized as the Sent One – the Messiah? The answer is that for almost 2,000 years Jesus/Yeshua has been recognized by His brothers as a false prophet. Why is that? It’s because we, as believers, have not worn His reputation – His Name – properly. We have taken His Name in vain. We have misunderstood who He is and what He did and then we have taught these lessons out of context and completely backwards at times. We have done some horrid things in the name of Jesus, things which the true messiah would have NEVER called good or righteous or in any way honoring to the Father. We have misrepresented Him in the very same way that He has been misrepresented to us. We have inherited lies and have been guilty of passing those lies on to our children and grandchildren. The Messiah spoken of in the Torah and the Christ preached on Sunday mornings don’t line up – we messengers have mixed things up. We need to admit our responsibility in this, turn from it and seek forgiveness. We need to make changes to our daily lives and to our understanding of Who He is, why He came and what it is that His coming affected.
Let’s Look at Yeshua’s family
Yosef/Joseph, “a righteous man” (Matthew 1:19) which is to say he was a Tzaddik. Tzaddik means righteous or just. To be called a tzaddik is an honor. Miryam/Mary is called a “highly favored one” (Luke 1:28) when the angel visited her to reveal to her HaShem’s plan for her life. She submitted herself fully to HaShem even though it would “ruin her life” to be known of as the young lady who was found pregnant before she was married. Yosef/Joseph wanted to do right by his betrothed wife, Miryam/Mary, when he learned that she was pregnant and put her away quietly. He did not want to dishonor her or to ruin her future any further. When the angel of the L-RD came to assure him that Miryam/Mary was indeed pure and that the child was conceived of the Holy Spirit/Ruach HaKodesh he decided to continue on with her as his wife, knowing that there would always be whispers and stares. Later another angelic visit would have Joseph and his young family steal away in the night to avoid the death of the young child, Yeshua. Yosef/Joseph was quick to obey the messenger of the L-RD without question, and Miryam/Mary was as well. These are traits of righteous people.
We see that Yosef and Miryam ensured that the baby Yeshua was circumcised on the eighth day and that they attended the Temple when the days of Miryam’s purification were complete to offer the prescribed sacrifices. We read that Yosef and Miryam attended the Pesach/Passover festival in Jerusalem as a family at least once, whether or not they went every year as a family we do not know. These are deeds of observant and righteous parents who were leading and teaching their children the ways of the L-RD. Of course this is the case, if we stop and think about it for a minute. Would HaShem really send His Son to be raised by anything less than obedient parents?
Ya’akov/James, the brother of Yeshua, inherited his father’s status as a Tzaddik. Church history as well as Jewish history recalls Jacob (James) as “James the Just” (see Passover and the Death of James). Jewish born 1st century historian Hegesippus writes regarding James,
“James drank no wine or intoxicating liquor and ate no animal food; no razor came near his head; he did not smear himself with oil, and took no baths. He alone was permitted to enter the Holy Place, for his garments were not of wool but of linen. He used to enter the Sanctuary alone, and was often found on his knees beseeching forgiveness for the people…”
It is understood through both the Apostolic Writings and through other historical documents that the family Yeshua grew up in was indeed a righteous and observant family. The fruit of their lives bear this out as well. Even the Talmud holds Yaakov HaTzaddik in high regard.
What do we do now?
How do we begin to accurately portray Yeshua as other than a false prophet? We begin to walk in His footsteps. We do what He did – we keep Torah in light of Yeshua as the Messiah. We do what He said and what He did. We need to begin to view our Master through the lens of Scripture instead of the lens of tradition. I believe, strongly believe, that when the world begins to see followers of the Master living lives that are set apart, unique, and obedient that they will sit up and take notice. Not only will the world sit up and take notice, but our Masters brothers will too.
One reason that His brothers do not recognize Him is because His followers say that they believe in the Holy Scriptures and yet their lives don’t bear it out. You see, many of them test everything against the Scriptures as their fathers have taught them to do. When they test the theology and actions of believers against Scripture, we often come out sorely lacking. They can not see the “signature” of HaShem in the lives of most believers, generally speaking. Sure there is love (sometimes) and patience (sometimes) and charity (sometimes). But there isn’t anything that sets apart a believer from a non-believer except for maybe a bumper sticker or some popular catch-phrase. It is by our love and by our fruit that others will know that we belong to the Master. We are to carefully inspect the fruit the lives of those we consider leaders and teachers. When the fruit does not line up with what HaShem has outlined, what else are they to think?
If we are ever to hear “Baruch haba b’shem ADONAI” from the mouths of the Masters brothers regarding Him, we need to begin to portray Him accurately. We need to get back to the basics of Scripture and test our theories and teachings against what the very Word of G-d says. There will come a time when we will find ourselves sitting up late at night rethinking everything we’ve been taught. And that is good! We need to test everything against the Scriptures so that we do not find ourselves as one who has been deceived. Nobody wants to be misled and nobody really wants to mislead. But it happens. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living G-d, we must be careful to wear His Name and the Name of His Son with care. When the Torah was found in the days of King Josiah his response upon hearing the words of the Torah were: “Oh, ADONAI must be furious with us since our ancestors did not listen to everything that was written in this scroll that concerns us.” We need to repent of our wandering away even though we did not know how far away we had wandered. Then, and only then, I believe the message of the Master will begin to be taken seriously. It will be a difficult task but the Word of the L-RD never returns void and He is zealous for His treasured children – all of them. We need to be zealous for HaShem and His reputation. We need to get back to accurately representing Him and His Son. Father, forgive us for straying so far…