“The Great Day of Judgment” plays an important role in the teachings of Jesus. Everything that happens to people on that day will be based on whether God sees them as being innocent or guilty.
God will punish the guilty and deliver the innocent.
In the Story of the Great Flood, God saw that Noah was innocent (a TZADIQ) and God saw that others were guilty. The guilty were wiped from the face of the earth by a flood. God gave Noah instructions about how to build the thing that would deliver animals and birds, as well as Noah and his family. Noah built the ark and it saved their lives.
As I said in my last email (click here to read), in the teachings of Jesus, the ark is “the Kingdom of God.” It will deliver the innocent from being destroyed like the guilty. The people listening to Jesus wanted to know the answer to one question.
What does one have to do to be in the Kingdom of God?
Jesus said one word and they knew exactly what it meant.
English translations say, “Repent!” The Hebrew word Jesus spoke was “TESHUVAH!” Neither of the English words above communicate an accurate translation of the meaning of the Hebrew word Jesus spoke. As a matter of fact, the English language is incapable of accurately communicating any ancient Hebrew message in a word-for-word translation. We equip Explorers of Biblical Heritages with guidelines and models that remove linguistic and cultural barriers that are between them and the meanings of the ancient Hebrew words.
Thinking in Ancient Hebrew Model #1
● An action is regarded as being either completed or incompleted.
● Hebrew knows of no past, present, or future tense.
● Hebrew has a perfect tense (a completed action) and an imperfect tense (an action that has not been completed).[i]
● Speakers of the English language view the world, and communicate what they see, through past, present, and future tenses. We see the world through time-based models.
● Jesus viewed his world, and communicated what he saw, through actions-based models.
So, the first thing we need to know about the Hebrew word Jesus spoke (TESHUVAH) is this -- What actions must be completed for people to be innocent? The answer to that question is found in the Story of TESHUVAH in Ezekiel 18. Below are verse 26 and 27):
If an innocent person turns from his acts of TZEDAQAH
and commits sin, he will die for it;
because of the sin he has committed he will die.
If a guilty person turns from the acts of RAH (evil) he has committed
and does acts of MISHPAT (justice) and TZEDAQAH,
he will save his life.
TESHUVAH occupied a central place in the Judaisms of the time of Jesus (and still does today). Broadly defined, TESHUVAH is more than “just repentance from sin.”
TESHUVAH is a spiritual reawakening:
a desire to strengthen the connection between oneself and God,
and a desire to strengthen one’s connections to people.
All forms of TESHUVAH, however diverse and complex, have a common core:
The belief that human beings have it in their power
to effect inward change.[ii]
Now let’s apply the information above to the words of Jesus:
Return to God now.
Walk with God every day.
Then when the Great Day of Judgment comes,
you will be in the Kingdom of God and be saved.
TESHUVAH is not a religious ritual. It involves specific steps that must be done in a specific order to become “a completed action.” I will tell you about those steps in my next email.
[ii] TESHUVAH: A Guide for the Newly Observant Jew by Adin Steinsaltz © 1982 by The Domino Press, Jerusalem Israel. Translation © 1987 by The Free Press, a division of Macmillan, Inc., New York, NY; p. 3.