Mark Chapter 13 Part 3

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Shalom and welcome to V’ahavtah Yisroel, a Hebrew phrase, which means you shall love Israel. We hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at loveisrael.org. That’s one word, loveisrael.org. Now, here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.

Dr. Baruch:

The Bible says, “That we are not children of darkness, but sons of light.” Now, oftentimes in the scripture, that word light has to do with the word of God, with truth, and the illumination of the Holy Spirit and what you and I should want is to walk in the truth empowered by the Holy Spirit, so that we can be positioned where God would have us to be. And here’s the second part, doing the things that he would have us to do. Now, we’ve been talking about the last days and there’s a very important truth concerning the last days. And that is that Messiah warns his followers to be ready, to watch, to be alert. Alert for what? Certain events.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, when we speak about the last days, it’s very common to speak of it as Daniel’s 70th week, we know that there are 70 weeks, according to that prophecy in Daniel chapter nine and verses 24 and following. And here’s something very important. When we hear the word week, oftentimes we think of seven days, but that is the word in the plural [foreign language 00:01:55]. In Daniel chapter nine there’s a change in language. He uses the word [foreign language 00:02:00], which means not seven days, but seven years. So each week is a seven year period. And what we have seen in the scripture is that there is something that begins this time period. What is that? Well, we saw at the first part of Mark chapter 13, when he began this discourse about the last days, there was an emphasis upon the temple. He alluded to it many times.

Dr. Baruch:

So what we know is this, in the last days the Temple’s going to be reestablished in Jerusalem. There will be sacrifices. And when this is beginning, we know that this final week has started, but when will that final week end? That is, what is the event that brings about a transition from that time period known as the last days to the establishment of the kingdom of God. Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

Dr. Baruch:

So take out your Bible and look with me to the book of Mark and chapter 13, the book of Mark and chapter 13. Look with me to verse 24. Now, he’s been speaking in this passage what we’ve talked about last week, mostly apply to the children of Israel. He speaks of them as the chosen ones. And when he’s referring to Israel, he does so in the third person, verse 24 says, “But in those days after the tribulation,” something’s going to happen. And this word tribulation in this context refers to Jacob’s trouble. What we talked about, what is prophesied in the book of Jeremiah in chapter 30, “A time, the worst time of suffering for the children of Israel.” From the time that the world was created until the kingdom, it’s going to be the most difficult time for the children of Israel.

Dr. Baruch:

So it’s called by that word thlípsis in Greek, a time of tribulation. And he says immediately after that time period, at the end of the seven years, what’s going to be the sign? Look, if you would, read on, “and the sun will become black and the moon will not give its light and the stars in the heavens, they are falling. And the powers,” meaning the powers which are in the heavens. It says, “they are going to be shaken.”

Dr. Baruch:

So what we see here is that there’s going to be some very shocking things that’s going to happen in the heavens. Things that man cannot do, but only the sovereign God. And there going to be signs in this context, this sun turning black and the moon not giving its light. These are signs of one specific event. And what is that? Well, if we keep reading, we read these words, verse 26, “And then they shall see.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now here again, we’re still in the third person they, referring to the children of Israel. In fact, all of this verse, verse 26, points to an emphasis upon the children of Israel and the land of Israel. Why do I say that? Look again at verse 26, “And then you shall see, or they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds, with great power and glory.” Now in my Bible, this verse is in the italicize. Why? To let the reader know that it’s a quotation from the old Testament, from the book of Daniel and chapter seven.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, what is the purpose of the statement, “That he’s coming in the clouds with great power and in glory.” Well, it’s not just to tell us that Messiah is going to be coming out of the heaven from the right hand of God the Father, back to earth to establish the kingdom. Now that is true, but that’s not the sum total of information that we glean from that verse. We need to realize that in the original citation from the book of Daniel chapter seven and verse 13, what’s happening here? It’s not speaking about Messiah coming to earth out of the heavens, but it literally says that Messiah, that is the Son of Man, will present himself before the Ancient of Days. Who is the Ancient of Days? It is a Hebrew expression, meaning God, God, the father.

Dr. Baruch:

So the Son Messiah will come before God the Father. And here’s the key. He does so in the clouds, in the heavens, it’s not about coming to earth, but it’s to reveal something to us. Because in the next verse, verse 14, what we see is this, that this son of God, he inherits, he inherits a kingdom. He inherits glory and power. And what’s the outcome of this inheritance? That it says that all peoples, language, tribes and tongues shall worship him.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, the rabbis point out that there’s a problem to say that we are going to worship the Messiah, because you can only worship one, and that is God. That’s true. But Messiah is God. Now many times people ask me, “Do you believe in that doctrine called the Trinity?” Yes, I do. “You mean that three equals one and one equals three?” Yes, indeed. People say, “Well, that doesn’t even make sense.” Well, not in our limited ability to understand God. There’s many things that we in this body in this age, we simply cannot understand about the living God. But one thing that the scripture upholds here is that Messiah is divine. He is the son of God and that all people shall worship him.

Dr. Baruch:

Now I mentioned the rabbi say, “It’s not worship, but it’s the word serve, that’s the best translation.” Well, let me tell you, the translation here, it’s important to realize that this word in the book of Daniel is not Hebrew. If it was the word Hebrew, you see the word [foreign language 00:08:30] in Hebrew can mean serve. Like someone would serve his employer, but this is an Aramaic word. The seventh chapter of Daniel is in Aramaic, and the word here, three Aramaic letters or Hebrew letters, [foreign language 00:08:47]. And that word in the book of Daniel, it has a connotation to it of worship. It can be an adulterous worship, or it can be a glorious worship, but it never means just to serve like a subject would serve his king or an employee would serve his boss. It always has worship attached to it.

Dr. Baruch:

So, what this passage wants us to know, Messiah quotes this verse’s scripture to reinforce, to reveal his identity as the Son of God, as the Divine Son of the living God. Look again at verse 26, “And then they shall see.” Referring to Israel. Now there is, and there has been since verse 14 an emphasis upon the nation of Israel. And I want you to see something, drop down if you would, to verse 27, the next verse. Why do I say that there’s an emphasis upon the children of Israel? Verse 27, “And then he will send his angels,” who’s speaking? Messiah. “He’s going to send his angels and they are going to gather up the chosen ones.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now this is the same word that appears twice in verse 20, oftentimes talked about as the elect, but understand this principle of election. Some people want to put a lot of emphasis on that and say that God, he just simply chose these individuals to be saved. Well, that’s true, but understand, the Bible says, “Many are called and few are chosen.” The literal word in the biblical language is actually two words. It means to be called out. That same word called can be to be invited. So God invites. He speaks to people that they might come out. Like we read in the book of Revelation, “To come out of Babylon.” And by means of doing so, well, there’s only one means, and that’s the gospel.

Dr. Baruch:

So in this passage of scripture, it’s speaking about those who will respond. Those who have been chosen by God. And there’s an inherent relationship between those two things. To respond to God and to be chosen by him. Look again at verse 27, “And then he sends his angels and he gathers the chosen ones,” literally his chosen ones from the four winds from the ends of the earth and the heavens.” That’s a Hebrew idiom. This is Greek, but they were speaking Hebrew. We’ll talk about that in a moment, “from every place.” He’s going to gather up the children of Israel. Why? To keep covenant with them.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, many people today teach incorrectly that God is kind of finished with Israel. I mean, anyone including the Jewish person, they can be saved by faith. But mainly incorrectly teach that God doesn’t have some special relationship with the children of Israel. There’s no longer any significance to the land. Well, this is very problematic. Why? What is Messiah doing? He’s gathering up his chosen ones and we’ve seen it is a reference to the Jewish people. Now, why do we know it’s not the church believers? Very simple. Because this context, remember we talked about the biblical word thlípsis, which means tribulation and hardship.

Dr. Baruch:

In this context it is related to wrath. And we know that that believers, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “We have not been appointed for wrath.” We’re not going to be around. Believers will not be around at this time. So the chosen ones are not those who are believers, but rather those who are part of Abraham’s covenant with the children of Israel, with the lineage of the children of Jacob.

Dr. Baruch:

So we read here about how God’s going to be faithful to that covenant. And there’s another important point. Look onto the next verse, verse 28. Now verse 28 we have a change. No longer is he speaking in the third person. Beginning in verse 28 there begins to be a summarization of this chapter. We can say from verse one up until this verse we see things moving along in an epic of times, one thing after another. But in verse 28 he’s speaking to his disciples, to his followers, and he’s reviewing, summarizing everything that has happened and what our response should be.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, how do we know that? Well, look, if you would, to verse 28, “And from the fig tree,” who’s speaking? Messiah, and he gives a commandment, a commandment that many people sadly overlook. He wants us to learn something, to perceive something and to respond to it. Now, why do we say that? Where he says, “And learn from the fig tree this parable.” And the word here parable has to do with a statement that demands a response. Every time that there’s a parable in the scripture, whether we’re talking about the book of Proverbs or some other place where a parable exists, we know that it’s told so that we can learn and respond in obedience, verse 28, “And from the fig tree.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now I was teaching not too long ago in a congregation. And I mentioned from a different context, a different verse, Israel as a fig tree. And someone came up to me and says, “You know, it’s not saying anywhere in the scripture that Israel is that fig tree.” Oh, really? I give you the book of Hosea chapter nine and verse 10. And what we find there is a very significant passage, maybe not to the church, but very significant in Judaism. So much so that it’s written about in many additional writings. And during this time period, late in the second temple, we know that the fig tree, based upon Hosea chapter nine in verse 10, clearly, clearly relates to Israel. And Messiah is commanding his people. Remember what it says, second person, “You learn,” it’s a command. “You learn from this parable,” the parable of the fig tree.

Dr. Baruch:

So he says, “We need to watch Israel.” Why? Well look again, verse 28. “When you see,” what we read here is, “When you see her branches become soft or moist and she puts forth her leaves, then you shall know that the time of the summer is near.” Now here again, he is speaking primarily here to his Jewish disciples. It’s relevant for every disciple, but he’s speaking, and he’s speaking in my opinion in Hebrew. I believe, just so you know where I’m coming from. I believe that all the new covenant, all the New Testament was written in the Greek language. But when they spoke, when Messiah taught, more than likely he was speaking Hebrew. Some will say Aramaic, I personally believe he was speaking Hebrew.

Dr. Baruch:

And the reason for this is this verse. He says, “When you see this happening to the fig tree,” in a literal sense, “you know that summer is near.” You see, the Hebrew word for summer is kayitz, and the Hebrew word for the end, the very end of something is a word ketz. It’s written very similarly, same letters. So he’s having a play on words. He’s saying, “When you see that a fig tree, its leaves or are there, its branches are moist, you know that summer is near.” Summer is an important time.

Dr. Baruch:

I was teaching earlier today to a different group and there we were studying Joshua chapter three. And we see, remember that is that passage where the children of Israel cross over the Jordan River. And it’s very similar to the crossing of the Red Sea, the Yam Suph. Now what happened? Well, we know how the river was stopped. The sea was dried up in a location and they passed over on dry land. But when the Egyptians entered in, well you know what happens. The water comes back and destroys the Egyptians, but we see something different in Joshua chapter three. It says, “That water, it piled up there like a great mound or wall.” And it was like that, [foreign language 00:18:06], which means, all the days of the harvest. Now the harvest they’re speaking to is a summer harvest, not a fall, a summer.

Dr. Baruch:

And when we look in the scripture, good things happen during the summer. Good things happen in the time of the harvest. And what God is saying here is this, when good things are about ready to happen when we see Israel becoming prosperous. When Israel is back in the land. When Israel is a prosperous nation, and that’s what we’re seeing today. So we should know that what? The time is near.

Dr. Baruch:

Look again, verse 29. He says, “Thus also you,” very carefully, second person. “Thus also you, whenever you see these things coming into being,” now what’s he referring to? What he’s taught about in the first part of Mark chapter 13. “When we see changes in Israel, likewise when we see wars and rumors of war, when we see pestilence and famines and difficult times, persecution of believers,” we know what? We know that the time is near. It says, “It’s at the door.”

Dr. Baruch:

And that door represents here a threshold between this age and what? The Kingdom of God. Move on to verse 30, “Truly I say to you that,” and he uses two words, and they’re two different words, but they mean the same thing, the word no. It’s a double negative, and like we talked about last week. A double negative is to emphasize that absolutely not will something happen. So look again at this passage, “Truly I say to you that absolutely not,” will what? Well, most scripture says this generation, but it does not.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, we need to be very careful and translate words accurately. Because when we don’t, it allows people to come and make statements that would cause others to believe that this book has errors, and it does not. It does not say this generation in the sense that Messiah is teaching that this generation or his generation nearly 2000 years ago will not pass until all these things are fulfilled. That’s not what it says. It says its generation. Not his, not that one, but its generation meaning this, when you begin to see these things taking place, know it’s the final generation. That generation will not pass away, not his 2000 years ago, but when these things begin to happen. When these events, what events? What we’re talking about, the establishing of the temple in Jerusalem, persecution of believers, a time of earthquakes and wars and pestilence and such. “When these things happen, know that it’s the final generation before the establishment of the kingdom.

Dr. Baruch:

Once again, verse 30, “Truly I say to you that absolutely not will its generation pass away until all these things are brought about. Heaven and earth, they may pass away, and they will.” When? Prior to the New Jerusalem, but he makes a very strong statement. He says, “But my word shall never pass away.” Verse 32.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, one of the important things in this passage of scripture, and he’s going to end this chapter with emphasizing it. And that is to look, to be ready, to be alert, to be on guard. Why? To behold something, to be able to perceive the time, the prophetic calendar that we will be living within. So that we can do what? Well, remember the parable. So we can respond with that knowledge in an appropriate way. That we can be what he said earlier, a godly witness, a testimony to those, to know the truth and respond likewise in obedience to it. Verse 32, “But concerning that day and hour,” Now notice, he doesn’t say that decade or that century, but he makes it very specific. He says, “Concerning that day and hour.” Now, what does he say about that time period? Well, he says, “For you do not know the season.” And that’s true at that time.

Dr. Baruch:

When he spoke this, they did not know the season. But understand, because of what he revealed, when that season is at hand, we are going to be able to discern that that day is very near. We won’t know which day. We won’t know what hour, but we’ll know that it’s very near. Verse 32. “Concerning that day and hour, no one knows, not the angels in heaven nor the Son, only the Father.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now, that verse for many is very problematic. Some would want to use it to attack what we talked about earlier, and that’s the divinity of Messiah. Not so. We need to see that the scripture oftentimes says things to emphasize a truth. For example, let me ask you a question. Is God omniscient? Yes, he is. That is, he knows everything. But the scripture says for example in the Book of Jeremiah, when we were talking there in Jeremiah about Israel falling into idolatry and Israel sacrificing their sons and daughters, their baby infants. And doing so to the god of Molech causing them to pass through fire. What does God say? Well to emphasis that he says, “Such evilness did not even come into my mind. I never even thought about it.”

Dr. Baruch:

Well, wait a second. God’s omniscient, but he doesn’t think about it? Well, the point is this, it’s to emphasize how wrong it is. Nothing surprises God, he knew it, but it’s a lesson for us. It’s language to teach a truth. Same here. We need to understand that Messiah, one of the most important passages concerning Messiah is found in the book of Philippians in chapter two. There it talks about Messiah did not think equality with God was something that he had to still. Why? He’s equal with God, the eternal son. But notice something. It says in this passage that he humbled himself. Literally it says before that he emptied himself and became what? He became in the flesh, fully man, fully God. His identity never ceases to be God with us, but he’s fully man in the flesh. And in doing so he demonstrated how we should respond.

Dr. Baruch:

And what it tells us here, the Son, doesn’t say here, “Messiah,” doesn’t say, “God with us.” Doesn’t say, “Teacher.” It says, “Son.” And that’s important. The terminologies for Messiah is important. Son shows an example for us. So in the same way it says that he is waiting. He doesn’t have any more information. That’s what’s being revealed to us. Now he’s also omniscient, but this emptying, he pushes that away. He is waiting for the signs until the Father says, “Move,” and he’s going to respond in obedience. That’s the message for us. We need to respond in obedience to the words of the Father. What he’s revealing in this passage, the signs, the seasons that’s going to take place.

Dr. Baruch:

So it says in the next verse, verse 33, he’s still speaking concerning you and me, believers. And he says, “Look out, be ready, be on guard.” And he gives a reason why. “For you do not know the season.” And he gives an example. “For it’s like a man who leaves on a journey his house. And he gives to his servants authority, each one a certain task. And to the doorkeeper he says,” keep reading, “to the doorkeeper he commands to be alert.” Why? He says, “Therefore you be alert because you do not know the season of his return home.” Now understand the language. What he’s saying is this. In the same way that this doorkeeper, he’s going to be there. If he’s alert, he’s going to see the chariot pull in. He’s going to see him get down. He’s going to see him walk and he’s going to open up on time, there’s signs.

Dr. Baruch:

But if he’s not alert, if he’s sleeping, then what’s going to happen? He’s going to approach and not be ready to the shame of his master, the disappointment of his master, the judgment of his master. So over and over in this passage, it tells us to be ready, to be looking out for events so that we can respond to them. Why? Look at verse 36, “Lest he comes suddenly and finds of sleeping.” Once again he says, “I tell to all what I say to you,” and that is what? Be alert. Well, we’ll close with that until next week.

Speaker 1:

Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with others. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this channel for our broadcast of loveisrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit our website, loveisrael.org. There you’ll find articles and numerous other lectures by Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week. May the Lord bless you in our Messiah Yeshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with him, Shalom from Israel.

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