On a daily basis I receive text messages and emails about eschatology. Many wanting me to put my stamp of approval on their theories. I have not put a stamp of approval on any of these theories nor do I entertain them. I have heard hundreds of "G-d told me" stories and "it is irrefutable" rhetoric in my days as a teacher of Judaism.
This is nothing new, it has existed during the days of Yeshua, these theories have been thrown around in the Messianic faith and in Christianity as well as Judaism for a long long time. For even the magi were looking for a Messiah during the birth of Yeshua. Yeshua's talmudim even asked him when it was all going down. He said, that he didn't know and only the Father knew. Those are striking words. And I ask, what makes us think we are smarter towards the mind of the Father than he himself? Is it our egotism? Maybe. Is it fear of uncertainty and a psychological method to make us feel we have some sort of control? Possibly. Or is it our mindset? That is very possible.
I have done one episode, that was 2 hours long, of my radio show,on Revelation. Now I take a different approach than most and I look at the Aramaic word play and I look at the numbers mentioned and I have personally concluded a majority of the book of Revelation is not about things happening on the news or around the world, but rather that it is a sod level text that is talking about the battle we face with our own yetzer hara (evil inclination). Am I right? Who knows. I am not a prophecy teacher. Nor do I claim to have an insight into things that people do not also possess.
But when we look at rabbinic writings such as the tractate in the Talmud where it notes Moses being ten cubits tall, or when the man who was with a prostitute was slapped in the face by his tzitziot, we have to ask, how are these to be interpreted? Literally? Or is there a message and a idiomatic and homiletical way in which a premise is being presented to us? We can also see the story of Lilith as such. Not a literal, historical thing but rather a parable.
With sod level texts such as Revelation and Daniel, it is easy to merge our thoughts into those writings and try and make them fit with events happening on the news or the states of nations. It is so easy to take numbers and symbols and say, "this is what is talking about." This is why on YouTube you have over 3,000 candidates for the anti-messiah and each person makes a beautifully produced argument for their theory. But we also have to ask, how much of our western mind are we putting into these theories? Every political figure that ever lived was called the anti-messiah. Every singer, every war general etc.
The fact is when a person immerses themselves into eschatology they are going into a world that is the antithesis of Philippians 4:8, there walk is no longer about how to live for Hashem internally, but rather on secret codes, and searching out evil and chasing evil and condemnation of self and condemnation of others. Especially when a person searches it out not from an internal perspective but as secret codes and targeting their enemies of their ideology and theology and political persuasion. Let us know, that Hashem is not going to pat us on the back if we figure something out in the realm of eschatology instead he will be asking, "why didn't you spend your time learning about me and loving your brother as yourself?".
Every generation since Noah has exclaimed, "we are in the end times", maybe even if we are we use this time to graft ourselves closer to Hashem. If we really want Yeshua to return soon we should make out lives a living sacrifice and become servants as opposed to self professed intellectuals. For in Judaism when we see tribulation come we increase in our tzedakah, we seek out Hashem as opposed to the ones who set out to destroy Him for the Messiah says, "where your treasure is, there is your heart." If one os dead set on searching out evil then the evil is what will attach itself to that person. Live your life for Hashem.
Theological Insights from Rabbi Eved Banah the North American Rebbe of Ani Judaism