Insights, Mistaken Perceptions

You Have Heard It Said – Part Three

When we look at scripture, we readily affirm that idioms and cultural sayings are frequently used and can even have prophetical significance. For instance, the fig tree starting to bloom is an idiom for Israel and the Jews returning to the land. In that day looks prophetically forward to when Messiah comes. Idioms and their prophetical nature become very important when we try to determine what scripture has to say to us about the Imminent Return of Yeshua.

I am about to rattle some cages, upset some carts, and ruffle some feathers, so fasten your seatbelts.

Deuteronomy 19:15 – “A fact must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
2 Corinthians 13:1 – “Every fact must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
No doubt you have heard it said by many Pastors, Teachers, and Biblical Scholars that, “Yeshua can come at any time” often in conjunction with “even while we are speaking, listening, etc.”, and that “Imminent means immediately and instantly”. This paradigm is not at all accurate. I am going to upset a lot of people by declaring “Yeshua can not come at any ol’ time”, and “Imminent does not mean at any time, immediately, or instantly.” To establish this declaration as a fact we will be looking at both scripture and the usage of idioms.

Imminent Is / Is Not
Romans 8:23 – “We groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.”
Imminency, as it relates to Bible prophecy, simply means that the return of Yeshua Ha’Mashiach for his bride is anticipated and approaching. Imminent does not mean it will happen at any time, immediately, or instantly. The word imminent isn’t even used in the entire Bible, except as a synonym for near or coming soon. I say the modern imminent paradigm is nothing more than a concept forced upon scripture by those whose instant gratification expectations have run amok! Let’s examine the scriptures and see just what they do say about Yeshua’s Imminent Return and if it is an event that occurs at the time of Redemption or at the Time of Tribulation.

Redemption – An Idiom
Let’s examine the scriptures further and see what they say about the Imminent Return and Redemption.

Matthew 24:32-33 – “Learn a lesson from the fig tree: When its branches become green and soft and new leaves appear, you know summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things happening, you will know that the time is near, ready to come.”
Luke 21:28 – “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near!

When asked about the signs pointing to his return, Yeshua spoke of many things to watch for: the destruction of the temple, Israel back in the land, many coming in his name, famines, pestilences, wars and rumors of wars, signs in the heavens, and great earthquakes in various places. But these warnings came with a caveat: “but the end will not follow immediately,” and “don’t be deceived.”

Yeshua spoke of the time of redemption, which would happen when all those signs began to appear (Luke 21:28).

Romans 8:23 – “We groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our bodies.”
Paul specifically states that this time of redemption is the redemption of our bodies.
That is the resurrection and change from mortal to immortal which happens at the last trump – in other words at Yom Teruah. Expecting Yeshua to come at any time, was not anticipated by the people of that day. What they did expect was that he would return in their lifetime to fulfill the next moed, Yom Teruah.

This, of course, did not happen, as too many signs had to be evident, and at that time they were not. But today, those many signs are not only evident, but are converging. Neither then, nor nowYeshua can come at any timeis not at all accurate.

Day of the Lord – An Idiom
Finally, let’s examine the scriptures and see what they say about the Imminent Return and the Day of the Lord – yet another idiom – Day of the Lord – in other words, the Tribulation Period.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 – “Now, brothers, we want you to know the truth about those who have died.”
1 Thessalonians 4:16 – “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise; then together we who are still alive will be caught up with them.”
A question arose about those who had died, as well as those who were still living. People were asking Paul if they had already missed the Resurrection and the Rapture: and were now in the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation Period.

The Apostle Paul assured them that the Tribulation Period had not yet begun; the dead must rise first before the living are raptured and the Tribulation Period begins. For more on this, see the article: “You Have Heard it Said

1 Thessalonians 5:1 – “You have no need to have anything written to you . . .when this will happen.”
The Apostle Paul continued and reminded them that he had already taught them about the prophecies embedded in the Moedim. He taught that the first four had been completed, and assured them that the coming moed of Yom Teruah represents the day of the resurrection of the righteous dead, the taking up of the living righteous, and the day of hiding and concealment before the time of tribulation. He taught that the next moed to be fulfilled, Yom Teruah, was still a future, imminent event.
Did you catch that? A future, imminent event!
An event that they were to watch for and anticipate experiencing!

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 – “We ask you not to be easily shaken in your thinking or anxious because of a spirit or a spoken message or a letter supposedly from us claiming that the Day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For the Day will not come unless the departure comes first.”
Somebody must have been in a real hurry to see the final three moedim fulfilled, as the Thessalonians had received a letter from someone claiming that the Day of the Lord had already come – in other words, Yom Teruah had already happened, you guys missed the boat, and now you are in the time of Yom Kippur, the Tribulation Period.

Paul was having nothing to do with that nonsense, saying: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For the Day will not come until after the departure” – in other words, not until the apostasia (apostasy) was in process and Yom Teruah had been fulfilled. The day of the resurrection of the dead had not yet happened, nor had the rapture.

Their imminent expectations were not fulfilled and they were still waiting! “Yeshua could come at any timewas not at all accurate, according to Paul.

Imminent Today
The same holds true for us today. We do not know which Yom Teruah will be THE Yom Teruah to be completed: it could be five years, next year, or even this year on the Biblical Calendar, hence an “imminent” event! An event that we are to watch for and anticipate experiencing. Still, today “Imminent means at any time, immediately, or instantlyis not at all accurate.

Waiting for Yeshua to Imminently Appear
Zechariah 12:3 – “I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth are gathered together against it.”
Acts 1:7 – “Yeshua said ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority’.
Today we are one day closer to the return of Yeshua than we were yesterday. Tomorrow we will be even one more day closer. The fig tree, Israel, has bloomed. The earthquakes have been increasing exponentially since 1948. Wars and rumors of wars are a daily item in the news. Famines and pestilences have been endemic during the last decade. Jerusalem is certainly a burdensome stone for all living today who do not love Israel and Yeshua. The signs are all converging.

Yeshua himself proclaims that we are to look up when we see our “redemption is near” – in other words, when we see signs that we are in the season of the final Yom Teruah.

Paul tells the people of his day that the Day of the Lord had not yet come, that the letter they had received was in error and not a letter he sent.

The Day of the Lord speaks about the Tribulation Period, which cannot happen until the Dead in Yeshua have been raised, the Rapture has occurred, and the apostasia is in full swing.

The Imminent Return we should be looking for is the fulfillment of the Yom Teruah Moed.

The Bible only asks for two witnesses to establish a fact! We have two: Yeshua’s and Paul’s statements about redemption, and Paul’s statements about the Day of the Lord.

Fact: Yeshua can not come at any ol’ time is a fact according to the scriptures – He will come at the time of Redemption – at Yom Teruah – before the Day of the Lord, the time of the Tribulation.

The statement that “Yeshua can come at any timeis not accurate – but Yeshua can not come at any ol’ time is a fact according to the scriptures – He will come at the set time and season. Paul reminds us – “Do not be deceived, Yahweh will not be made a fool” (Galatians 6:7). Scripture commands us – “Listen to Yeshua” (Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35), and Yeshua commands us – “Listen to me” (Mark 7:14) and states that “Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to me” (John 18:37). Listen to Yeshua, not inaccurate paradigms.

Final Thought for 2023
The stage for Yeshua’s return is being set. Prophecy continues to unfold in an escalating pattern as foretold by the Hebrew prophets. The season of the birth pains is here – they are burgeoning and not going away. Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – be sure you have salvation in Yeshua and keep busy reaching the lost.