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FIRST POSTED ON 1 OCTOBER 2018.

Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!

We believe that the 7 Days of Creation refer to 7 Millennia (or 7,000 years) of world history, as determined by the chronology of people and events in the Bible.

There is a strong biblical basis for this - the Apostle Peter in 2 Pet 3:8 reminded believers “do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The Psalmist in Psalm 90:4 said, “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.” Most importantly, it explains Christ’s Millennial or 1,000-year rule and how the 7th Day of Creation, when God rested in the original Creation account, points to this period when Creation will finally receive its earthly rest.

There is a clear parallel in the Bible between a day in the original Creation Account and each 1000-year period of world history. We will see as we go along how key events that characterise each Day of Creation fit into this seven thousand-year historical framework.

For this reason also, the question is not whether the world was created in 7 literal days as Creationists believe or had evolved over billions of years according to Evolutionists. All these arguments still function within a narrow viewpoint of the world ruled only by Chronos.

As we saw in our earlier sessions, the Creation Account was given to help us understand God’s concept of time and eternity, to recognise the signs when He will act in His Kairos to bring about His eternal will, and to hear His Rhema for His people - in other words, to help us understand the times as they relate to God’s eternal will and know what we should do.

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FIRST POSTED ON 1 & 15 SEPTEMBER 2018.

Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!

If you recall, we said that what God wanted to speak to His people today - His Rhema in this Kairos - could be discerned from the Bible if we approached it through the perspective of the 7 Days of Creation. This was because through the Creation Account, God revealed to us the outworking of His eternal will on this side of time and history. Ultimately, as in the original Creation Account, there would be a future Sabbath or Shabbat when this world would enter into God’s eternal Shalom.

Let us unpack this a bit more.

First, the Creation Account gives us a framework with which to recognise when God will act in His Kairos - His appointed or opportune time. It thus gives us a unique Biblical perspective of world history. History is not just a series of accidents and coincidences or intentional or unintentional human causes and effects. It is His-story - God’s story in action, revealing His sovereign will and hand at work over everything that happens in the world. After all, God is the Creator and hence, has mastery over His creation.

But God doesn’t just want us to see Him at work. He wants to tell us what to do in light of what He is doing in the world. For this reason, the Creation Account also reveals God’s Rhema for us in view of the times that we live in. The Bible is God’s story in revelation. Through the Creation Account, each Kairos generation receives a fresh understanding of the Bible and knowledge of what to do according to His eternal will here on earth.

How God’s Rhema brings about His eternal will in His Kairos is seen in the original Creation account itself. Here, on each appointed day or Kairos, God spoke into being - in other words, He acted by releasing His Rhema to bring about an aspect of the unfolding creation according to His eternal will until all is perfect and He rested. Since then, God not only acts by direct divine intervention in the world but also through His people, by releasing His Rhema to us in His Kairos so that we join together with Him to bring about the outworking of His eternal plan and will until everything is perfect and at rest.

Ultimately though, the Creation Account tell us about Jesus Christ. It reveals how, when God created the world, He had already planned how it would progress and eventually end by bringing all things to perfect completion and rest, forever set apart for Him, in Jesus Christ.

Eph 1:9-10 tells us that “[God] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment [meaning in His Kairos] —to bring unity [that is, Shalom] to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.”

Christ existed from the beginning, came 2,000 years ago to save us, and will return to usher in this seventh or Sabbath Day rest we spoke about earlier. This will happen during His Millennial or 1,000-year reign mentioned in many parts of the Old Testament and especially in Revelations chapter 20.

As we will learn next time, although we may not know the exact year, we do know that Jesus’ coming will take place during the annual Jewish Autumn or Fall Feasts [which for this year began last Sunday and will end on our next session on 1 October - NOTE: THIS RECORDING WAS ORIGINALLY RELEASED ON 15 SEPTEMBER 2018]. These Fall Feasts are part of the 7 annual High Sabbaths mentioned earlier and point to God’s Kairos or appointed time for Jesus’ return.

Before we close, I just want to emphasise at this very early stage, and in fact this will be something that will always be upfront and centre in all our sessions, that everything is - and has to be - only about Jesus. This is what the Gospel and the entire Bible, indeed all of life and creation and history including everyone and every part of us, are about. Any gospel or sermon that puts us - our prosperity, welfare or blessing - or even the Church or our nation or anything or anyone else besides Jesus as the central focus of its message, misses the point and cannot therefore be God’s Rhema for us. May we always remember this, so that Christ is always seated on the throne of our hearts.

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FIRST POSTED ON 1 & 15 AUGUST 2018.

Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!

In this session, I want to talk a bit about how what God wants to say to us today - His Rhema for us in this Kairos moment - can be discerned from His Word when we approach it through the perspective of the 7 Days of Creation.

Now, in order to understand why God used the 7 Days of Creation to speak His Rhema to us from the Bible in His Kairos, we first need to understand how God sees Time.

In the spiritual realm, there is no time. What we see happening on earth - whether in the past, present or future - have all reached completion and are finished. There is no beginning and no end - you could say that all is one and done. Moreover, everything is perfect and at rest. Only God can bring about this perfect unity, because it is an expression of His perfect, complete and finished will.

The Hebrew word that describes this perfect finished state is Shalom. Now, many of us probably associate Shalom with the word “peace.” While Shalom does mean peace, it carries a much greater connotation and speaks also of completeness or wholeness, health and welfare, safety and soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. In short, Shalom is the one word that sums up what it means to be in heaven.

I want to mention two other Hebrew words that are related to the word Shalom. The first is Shelem, which means to pay for, while the other is Shulam, which means to be fully paid. Through these words, God reveals to us that the Shalom of heaven comes with a price. Someone had to pay for our peace, and this was none other than God’s only Son and the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

God gave us Time when He created the Heavens and the Earth. Time is always moving forwards and never stops. It is also temporary - we “run out of time” when we die, and time itself will finally run out when the world ends.

Now, since we live in time, how are we to visualise what eternity and God’s eternal will is like? This spiritual realm where time does not exist and where everything has already reached the state of Shalom completion, perfection and rest? We are like fish trying to imagine what it is like to live on land.

The answer is that we must view eternity - this “forever and ever” - not like an endless straight line but as a cycle, reflecting the nature of eternity which is more like a circle where there is no beginning and no end, where everything is one and done in God and at rest.

This was why God gave us the 7 Days of Creation, this weekly cycle that ends on the Seventh - or Sabbath - Day when God rested. He also gave us the monthly and annual cycles, and what we call the Sabbatical and Jubilee year cycles.

You will notice that each of these cycles follow a pattern of 7 and is connected to the idea of Sabbath - denoting completion, perfection, and rest. The Hebrew word for Sabbath, Shabbat comes from the root word Shin-Beit-Tav, which means “to cease, to end, to rest,” because in Genesis 2:1-3, we were told that after God completed or perfected His work of Creation on the sixth day, He ceased or ended from His work of creating and rested on the seventh [or Sabbath] day.

So besides this weekly Sabbath or Seventh day, we have what we call the 7 annual High Sabbaths - connected to 7 Jewish festivals that God commands Israel to celebrate over 7 months every year - the 7th or Sabbatical year, and 7th by 7th or Jubilee or Sabbatical of Sabbaticals year. We will learn more about their significance next time.

The Jews greet one another Shabbat Shalom, which means wishing you Sabbath peace, when they meet on the Sabbath. This simple greeting actually carries a very profound message, now that we realise that the 7 Days of Creation is God’s means for us to see His eternal will at work on this side of time and history. It tells us that, just as in the original Creation Account, there is a future Sabbath or Shabbat when this world will enter into God’s eternal Shalom. We will talk more about this next time but for now, Shabbat Shalom until we meet again here!

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