Moshiach and the Messianic Era according to the Scriptures

Our present state of existence which has both G-d and G-dliness hidden, the powers of evil unchallenged, and wicked people prospering, will not continue for long. At the advent of the Messiah, the world will awaken from its sleep, and will become profoundly aware of the Truth and Reality of all existence. They will then change their behavior accordingly. (1) The world will have then entered the Messianic Era.

As we would expect, G-d spoke extensively through the Prophets and the Rabbis about this time. The following is a sample of what was written as far back as 750 B.C.E., up to 250 years ago.

THE GENERATION OF THE MESSIAH

The Messiah will be revealed when people will be both healthy and brilliant (2) so scientifically and technologically advanced, that they will have the power to destroy the world. (3)

However, the vast majority will be in desperate need of spiritual and moral instruction. (4) They will he shameless and arrogant, (5) and truthfulness will all but disappear. The wickedness of the times will have its effect upon children, who will act brazenly and disrespectfully towards elders, including their parents and parents-in-law. (7) The exemplary behaviour of sin-fearing individuals. who will try to serve G-d, will not be followed. but rather they will be scorned and despised. (8)

Wars, (9) disharmony and social discord will be the order of the (lay, to such an extent that one will have enemies in his own family. (10) The government of Israel will also be a victim of society, and will turn to heresy. (11) and as if this is not bad enough, no one will rebuke them. (12) Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the spiritual decay of that generation, caused it long ago to be compared to the face of a dog. (13) So low will it be, that just as the wicked ways of the people living at the time of Noah brought upon them the flood, so also according to the Divine Attribute of Justice, the generation that will see the Messiah should rightly be destroyed. (14) However, G-d will have mercy upon them, and He will instruct the Messiah to reveal himself, so as to prepare deserving people for their eternal existence on earth. (15) This will happen immediately following a time when the Jewish Nation as a whole will spontaneously repent, and return to G-d and His Torah.(16)

If they do not repent voluntarily, G-d will cause an evil ruler to arise over them, whose harsh decrees will force them to do so. (17)

Considering all of the above, it is safe to assume that we are the people being described. But there is still further evidence.

After having spent trillions of dollars in developing sophisticated weapons, nations are now not only speaking about nuclear disarmament, but are actually destroying their arsenal to some extent. This is a giant leap toward the Messianic Era wherein all peoples will live in peaceful coexistence, totally free of war (18) and destructive weapons. (19)

The miracles of the Jewish people returning to their homeland, (20) and rebuilding it up from wastelands, with the assistance of other nations , (22) have all been foretold. This new reality has set the stage for the time when the Third Temple will be built, and Jerusalem will be the spiritual center of the world. (23) But this is not all. The AIDS epidemic corresponds to predictions of a world-wide contagious plague, (24) and the thinning of the Ozone layer fits the descriptions of the sun’s shield being removed. (25)

There is another most terrifying prophecy that is also to take place immediately before the revelation of the Messiah, and that is the war of Gog and Magog. (26) There are authorities who said that this battle will not happen in the literal sense, (27) but if its description is to be taken literally, then we could shortly expect all the nations to attack Jerusalem, (28) only to find themselves fighting against G-d. The result will be that it will take seven months for the Jews to bury the enemy dead just around Israel’s borders. (29)

The fact that the Jewish Nation at that time will be a reincarnation of the Jews that were in the desert with Moses, (30) will surely be among their many merits that will protect them in this war.

THE MESSIAH

The man who is destined to be the Messiah will be a direct descendant of King David through the family of Solomon, David’s son. (31) Even before the “spirit of the Messiah” descends into him, (32) he will be extremely pious, living in close communion with G-d. When he receives this intense revelation, he will be raised up to an exalted spiritual level:

The Spirit of G-d shall rest on him
The spirit of wisdom and understanding
The spirit of counsel and might
The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the L-rd. (33)

Thus, the individual who is to be the guide for all mankind, and who will cause all the world to serve G-d together, (34)will be wiser than Solomon, (35) greater than the patriarchs and prophets, (36)and more honored than kings; (37) for indeed, he will reign as king of the world. (38) This great revelation will resemble the first time G-d appeared to Moses, at the Burning Bush, and informed him that he had been chosen to redeem the Jewish Nation from Egypt. (39) Moses was then an elderly man of 80 years.(40) And no matter how awesome were the miracles of the exodus, the wonders and lasting significance of this final redemption through the Messiah will overshadow it. (41)

In order to avoid identifying the wrong man as the Messiah a mistake that could have disastrous repercussions), Maimonides in the 12th century C.E. incorporated in his Code of Jewish Law, criteria for establishing the Messiah’s identity: (42)

“If a king arises from the House of David who meditates on the Torah, occupies himself with the commandments as did his ancestor King David, observes the commandments of the Written and Oral Law, prevails upon all Israel to walk in the way of the Torah and to follow its direction, and fights the wars of G-d, it may be assumed that he is the Messiah.

If he does these things and is fully successful, rebuilds the Third Temple on its location, and gathers the exiled Jews, he is beyond doubt the Messiah. But if he is not fully successful, or if he is killed, he is not the Messiah”.

In summary, the Messiah must:

1. Be a King i.e. a spiritually eminent world Jewish leader.
2. Constantly be learning both the Written and Oral Law.
3. Do the commandments that are applicable to him.
4. Cause all Jews to be fully Torah observant.
5. Cause Israel’s hostile neighbors to become friendly, and cooperative.
6. Cause the Third Temple to be built on its site in Jerusalem.
7. Cause all Jews to live in Israel.

THE MESSIANIC ERA

Once G-d and the Messiah are revealed. all the world will turn their attention from worldly pursuits to spiritual matters. The occupation of all the world will be only to know G-d, (43) and to worship Him. (44) For indeed, “The knowledge of G-d will fill the earth as the waters cover the sea.” (45) and all of us will be His servants. (46) In that era, famine. envy, and competition will cease to be, and material goods will be abundant, and available as dust. (47)

However, Jews and non-Jews are not meant to serve G-d identically. The path that each group is to follow was taught to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Written Torah {the first Five Books of the Hebrew Bible} contains the basic commands for Jews to live by and the Oral Torah which explains these directives is the foundation of the Jewish religion.

As a starting point, the Lubavitcher Rebbe has initiated a 10 point program for all Jews:

1. Give charity everyday except on Sabbaths and Jewish Holidays.
2. Have holy Jewish books in your home.
3. Learn these holy books.
4. Give your family a Torah education.
5. Abide by the Family Purity laws.
6. Affix a mezuzah on each of your doorways, except the bathrooms.
7. Love your fellow Jew as yourself.
8. Abide by the Kosher Dietary laws.
9. Females above the age of 3 years should light candles before Sabbath and Jewish Holidays.
10. Males above the age of 13 years should put on Tefillin every day, except Sabbath and Jewish Holidays.

For all non-Jews, Moses received “The Noahide Covenant” (48), also known as ” The 7 Laws of Noah” because this system of behavior stems from 7 basic commands:

1. To establish courts of law.
2. Not to blaspheme.
3. Not to worship idols.
4. Not to murder.
5. Not to commit adultery.
6. Not to steal.
7. Not to eat the limb of a living animal.

When one freely chooses to observe his Code of Law now, prior to the intense revelations of the Messianic Era when Divine Inspiration will be poured upon all mankind, (49) and when death, (50) evil, (51) and the evil inclination (52) in us will be destroyed forever, he purifies his soul and is drawn closer to G-d. Obviously, in the Messianic Era, when only good and truth will exist and everyone will be serving G-d according to His expressed Will on Mount Sinai, the free-will opportunity for elevating ourselves then will not be as it is now. (53)

CONCLUSION

When we consider the accuracy in which our generation is seeing the fulfillment of the numerous Messianic Prophecies, we must conclude that now is the time to prepare ourselves spiritually for the Messiah’s advent. For as the Lubavitcher Rebbe says:

THE TIME OF YOUR REDEMPTION HAS ARRIVED

If you would like to have more information about the themes discussed in this booklet, we suggest:

I. The International Lubavitch (Chabad) Organization in Brooklyn. New York, with branches throughout the world. Teaches Jews and non-Jews their Code of Laws.

2. The B’nei Noah movement, P.O. Box 442 Athens, Tennessee 37303. Disseminates material on the Noahide Covenant.

3. Their Hollow Inheritance, A Comprehensive Refutation of Christian Missionaries. By Michael Drazin. Distributed by Feldheim Publishers, Jerusalem/New York. 220 pages. Extensive information about the Messiah and the Messianic Era, and the Jewish view of Christianity.

4. The Path Of The Righteous Gentile. By Chaim Clorfene. Distributed by Feldheim Publishers, Jerusalem/New York. 150 pages. The laws of the Noahide Covenant in abbreviated form.

Our Chabad House offers daily Torah classes, and counter-missionary lectures/counseling {free of charge}.

References:

1. Midrash Rabbah on Song of Songs 7:l0–6th century C.E.
2. Akedas Yitzhak on Genesis 49:12–15th century C.E.
3. Midrash Rabbah on Song of Songs 2:29–6th century C.E.
4. Amos 8:11–8th century B.C.E.
5. Midrash Rabbah on Song of Songs, 2:29–compiled 6th century C.E.
6. Mishnah Sota 9:15–compiled 3rd century C.E.
7. Ibid.
8. Ibid.
9. Midrash Rabbah on Genesis 42:4– 6th century C.E.
10. Mishnah Sota 0:15–compiled 3rd century B.C.E.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.
13. Ibid.
14. Midrash Rabbah on Song of Songs 2:20–compiled 6th century C.E.
15. Derech HaShem on Redemption by Moshe Chaim Luzzano–18th century C.E.
16. Mishnah Torah Repentance 7:5–2th century C.E.
17. Talmud Sanhedrin –compiled 5th century C.E.
18. Isaiah 2:4–8th century B.C.E.
19. Ezekiel 39:9–6th century B.C.E.
20. Ibid. 37:21
21. Ibid. 16:55
22. Isaiah 60:5, 61, 6-8th century B.C.E.
23. Ibid. 2:2
24. Midrash Rabbah on Song of Song~ 2:13 – compiled 6th century C.E.
25. Talmud Avodah Zorah –compiled 5th century C.E.
26. Ezekiel chapter–6tn century B.C.E.
27. Disciples of BaaI Shem Tov in Shem Mi Shmuel by Shmuel of Sochachov–19th century
28. Zechariah 14:2–6th century B.C.E.
29. Ezekiel 39:12–6th century B.C.E.
30. Arizal in Sha’ar Ha Gilgulum Hakdamah –16th century C.E.
31. Chronicles 22:8- l0–4th century B.C.E
32. Ovadyah of Bartenura on Ruth–15th century C.E.
33. Isaiah 11:2–8th century B.C.E.
34. Mishnah Torah Kings 11:4–12th century C.E.
35. Ibid. Repentance 9:2
36. Agadot on Genesis Chap. 67–10th century C.E.
37. Rambam on Sanhedrin 10–12th century C.E.
38. Pirkei de Rav Eliezer–1st century C.E.
39. Exodus 3:10–14th century B.C.E.
40. Ibid. 7:7
41. Jeremiah 23:7,8–7th century B.C.E.
42. Mishnah Torah Kings 11:4– 12th century C.E.
43. Ibid. 12:5
44. Zechariah 14:16–6th century B.C.E.
45. Isaiah 11:9–8th century B.C.E
46. Mishnah Torah Kings 11:4–12th century C.E.
47. Ibid. 12:5
48. Talmud Sanhedrin–compiled 5th century C.E.
49. Joel 3:1–8th century B.C.E.
50. Isaiah 25:8–8th century B.C.E.
51. Zechariah 13:2– 6th century B.C.E.
52. Talmud Succah–compiled 5th century C.E.
53. Talmud Shabbath 151b–compiled 5th century C.E.

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