Judging the Time
Vol: 158 Issue: 25 Tuesday, November 25, 2014
“And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness.” (Isaiah 1:27-28)
The Sanhedrin was the Jewish ‘Supreme Court’ — traditionally consisting of seventy-one of Israel’s most revered Torah sages. Cases that were the most difficult or the most critical for the Jewish People were decided by the Sanhedrin. A majority had to be at least two votes.
On the floor of the Sanhedrin were debated the fundamental principles of the Torah, and the result was established by majority vote. After the Temple was destroyed, the Sanhedrin moved from place to place in Israel.
It finally was dissolved when, in the absence of the greatest Sages of Israel, the Institution of Semichah could no longer be applied.
The Sanhedrin originally convened in the Temple area, in the Chamber of Cut Stones (Lishkat HaGazit). This was a chamber built into the north wall of the Temple, half inside the sanctuary and half outside, with doors providing access both to the Temple and to the outside.
Every member of the Sanhedrin must be ordained, following a tradition from Moses. Ordination must be conferred by a court of three, containing at least one ordained member.
It can be done either in person, or by messenger or letter. A single court can ordain many individuals at once. Ordination can only be conferred in the Land of Israel. To qualify for ordination, one must be expert in all areas of Torah law.
The traditional ordination was abolished in the year 358 AD during the Jewish persecutions under Constantine. The Sanhedrin and other duly constituted courts cannot be established until this ordination is reinstituted.
Jewish tradition holds that it will be in Tiberias that the Sanhedrin will be restored, since it was Tiberias that hosted the last meeting of the Sanhedrin, 1600 years ago.
Religious Jews believe that the restoration of the Sanhedrin will precede the coming of the Jewish Messiah. (Isaiah 1:27-28)
The Messiah, the Jewish sages say, will be the King of Israel, and as such, can only be recognized by a duly ordained Sanhedrin court.
Jewish tradition says the Sanhedrin will be restored after a partial ingathering of the Jewish exile, before Jerusalem is rebuilt and restored.
There is also a tradition that Elijah will present himself before a duly- ordained Sanhedrin when he announces the coming of the Messiah.
Like all events in the Messianic outline, the restoration of the Sanhedrin can only occur at the time decreed by God.
In October, 2004, seventy-one Jewish sages were ordained to the restored Jewish Sanhedrin in Tiberias.
“There is a special mitzvah [commandment], not connected to time, but tied to our presence in Israel, to establish a Sanhedrin,” Rabbi Meir HaLevi, one of the 71 members of the new Sanhedrin, told Israel National Radio’s Weekend Edition.
Those behind the revival of the Sanhedrin stress that the revival of the legal body is not optional, but mandated by the Torah.
“We don’t have a choice,” says Rabbi Chaim Richman, head of the Temple Mount Institute and also a member of the new Sanhedrin. “It is a religious mandate for us to establish a Sanhedrin.”
I met Rabbi Richman in Jerusalem in 1992 and was given a special tour of the Temple Mount Institute. The TMI exists for the express purpose of restoring the Jewish Temple to the Temple Mount and reinstituting Temple Mount worship.
To that end, the TMI has recreated all the implements of worship required, from ceremonial lavers to special tools for sacrifice, including, at that time, a perfect ‘red heifer’ to be sacrificed so its ashes can be used to purify the Temple Mount.
Nine red heifers were born during the entire time of the Tabernacle and two Temples. The tenth, according to this tradition, will be born in the end-times for the Third Temple. Since the destruction of the Second Temple, no red heifers have been born — until this generation.
Jewish law requires that a red heifer must be raised in a very special way like a holy thing which is completely dedicated to God.
It must be raised in a very special, clean stall and fed special food. She cannot be raised with other calves, especially males. It is forbidden to use her for any work or any other needs of the rancher.
In the late 1990’s, two thousand years after the last perfect red heifer that met the stringent requirements set forth in Numbers 19:2-10, two perfect red heifers were born in Israel and a third born on a ranch in Texas. And a ranch in Mississippi has begun BREEDING perfect red heifers for use by Temple priests.
The two red heifers born in Israel have already been dedicated by the Temple Mount and Land of Israel Faithful Movement.
Members of the Temple Mount Institute and the Temple Mount Faithful Movement are convinced that the Messiah will appear in Israel in this generation.
Rabbi Chaim Richman and TMF founder, Gershon Salomon, have dedicated their lives to the restoration of the Jewish Temple and reinstituting Jewish worship in a restored Temple located on Temple Mount.
I’ve spoken at length with both men, especially Gershon Salomon, (who once graciously invited me to a Sabbath dinner at his home in Jerusalem), and they are utterly convinced the Jewish Messiah will be ordained as King in Jerusalem in their lifetimes.
Every year during the Jewish feast day of Tisha B’av (commemorating the destruction of both the First and Second Temples), Gershon’s group attempts to lay a new cornerstone for a Third Temple on Temple Mount.
Each time, they’ve been blocked by nervous Israeli politicians from doing so, but every year, they make a new attempt.
The reestablishment of the Sanhedrin took 1600 years to accomplish, but, in this generation, for the first time in 1600 years, it is a reality in Israel.
Every obstacle to the restoration of Temple worship has now been overcome — excepting, of course, the pesky problem of the al Aqsa Mosque that now sits over the Jewish Holy of Holies.
According to the New Testament, the messiah that Israel will crown king isn’t Jesus, but rather, according to the Apostle Paul, that ‘Wicked’ one who is introduced in 2nd Thessalonians;
“Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)
Israel awaits her messiah, not knowing that He was the One Who prophesied 2000 years ago, “I am come in My Father’s Name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43)
The messiah figure for whom all these preparations are being made in Israel is not the Messiah Jesus, but, in terms of Bible prophecy, that is not as relevant as the fact the preparations are already being made.
Although the first messiah-figure that comes is not the Messiah-King, his arrival comes only seven years before the real Messiah returns at the conclusion of the Tribulation Period.
What it all means is this. Israel is looking for a Messiah in earnest — so much so, that the Sanhedrin has been restored after 1600 years of waiting — for the express purpose of crowning the Messiah king when he does come.
The Bible says that when Israel does accept the false messiah, it signals the final seven year ‘Time of Jacob’s Trouble’ — which culminates in Israel’s national redemption at the 2nd Coming.
How close is the Rapture? Watch Israel.
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)
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