The Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem’s walls. I snapped this photo myself last year. Few olive trees, many graves. This is the site from which Messiah ascended into heaven, and the site Jews and Christians believe to be Messiah’s Landing, the site of his arrival.
Asks my Messianic friend,
“Where are we on the end-times timeline?”
Where are we on the timeline of Messiah’s arrival? Simple:
The rest is details.
Too broad? Sure, but at least it’s accurate! :-)
(Bonus: I avoided all the religious weird-woo typically associated with such speculation!)
Messianic apologist J.K. McKee offers something more precise:
The real challenge is that we're in the final stages of salvation history, even though we might not quite be at "endgame." Still, it means that the final restoration of Israel's Kingdom, the nations coming to Zion to be taught God's Torah, *and* apostasy will be occurring simultaneously.
Things will get worse, not better.
It’s almost universally accepted in the Messianic and Christian worlds: God’s name has, as prophesied, gone into all nations and he’s drawn a people from the nations. (It’s been pretty marvelous, hasn’t it? God of Heaven, I’m a fan of your work.)
But that wondrous divine promise of old, that promise long hoped for and still not seen in 2000 years – that the Jewish people would return en masse to the Jewish Messiah – that old promise, friends, hasn’t yet come to fruition.
Jews, Christians, and Messianics are waiting for Messiah to show up. It’s all over the Scriptures. And the great thing is, the time is
close closer: Israel’s back in the land, Jerusalem is in Jewish hands, the 2000 year Jewish exile is over, Jewish people are turning to Messiah, and gentiles are turning to Israel’s God through Israel’s Messiah in Israel’s covenant in Torah. Jews and Christians are gaining, for the first time in about 1900 years, softer hearts towards one another.
That’s all empirical God-At-Work, friends. The pieces are coming together.
The Jewish world, too, believes we’re closer to Messiah’s arrival: the restoration of the nation of Israel, Jerusalem in Jewish hands again, the resurrection of the Hebrew language, the ending of the 2000 year exile from Israel are all seen as steps towards the Big Day.
What happens when Messiah arrives?
As best we can tell, it’ll be unlike anything we’ve seen, perhaps beyond human comprehension.
Picture this: Israel is surrounded by numerous enemy nations, and only Jerusalem is left. A global war against Israel. People are starving, houses are burning, the stench of death everywhere. The people cry out in desperation.
From afar, a loud shofar blast heard for miles.
Out of the clouds: the King of Glory, Melech haMashiach, shining like the sun, surrounded by legions of angels, myriads of the saints of old, ancient elders of heaven descending from the clouds to the earth. The whole earth sees this spectacular display of supernatural intervention.
Messiah lands on the Mt. of Olives. It splits.
The graves on the mount, stirred by the quake, open up, and out walk living, breathing human beings.
Messiah heads over to the Golden Gate. He speaks a word, the sealed gates burst. Messiah enters the old city of Jerusalem.
The Jewish people look at Messiah and cry as one cries for an only son. There’s a period of weeping for the whole nation of Israel. The joy of deliverance from certain death and the arrival of Mashiach is tempered by the realization of the Mashiach’s identity – long hidden in Rome and disguised in foreign religion, now revealed in plain sight as one of our own.
Messiah sees all the nations fighting against Israel. God wages war against the nations and wipes out anyone who stands against the divine power.
The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord, the day of vengeance is in full force. Retribution for the rebellious, justice for the humble. Death to workers of evil.
Atheism, idolatry, humanism is removed as the world acknowledges the reality of God on earth. The nations that fought Israel are cursed with disease. Survivors are required to come to Jerusalem annually to celebrate the Scriptural feasts and serve King Mashiach in Jerusalem.
Nations flow to God’s house in Jerusalem. God is recognized as king over all nations. God’s name is one.
Fresh water flows from Jerusalem, the river of the water of life, cleaning the people from sin and impurity. Israel lives in safety. Everything in Israel – down to the smallest cookware – is consecrated to God. All in Israel is called holy to the Lord.
As rebellion ceases, the healing of the nations begins. Generations pass. In time, sin, suffering, disease are taken away. After the final evil is banished for good, a new cosmos, a new Earth, a new Jerusalem of gold descend. All things are made new; a pristine creation. Heaven on earth. God’s will is completed.
Friends, that’s how I see it going down. I don’t have it right; nobody really does. My timing is off, and I’m leaving out so much. The most we can do is look at the Scriptures and estimate where we’re at. This is my estimation.
But one thing is certain: Messiah’s followers have much to look forward to as we witness the restoration of all things, even now in 2013 and the years to come. The last generation, in 1948, witnessed the miracle of the restoration of Israel after 2000 years, so we will witness the miracle of the Jewish people returning to the Jewish Messiah. And, in time, the return of Israel’s Messiah to his own and for his own and all those who call him King.