FIRST POSTED ON 1 JUNE 2019.
Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!
In our opening session, we learnt about God’s concept of time - how earthly time is temporal and is in continual linear motion. We then learnt how God gave us a series of weekly, monthly/annual and sabbatical/jubilee cycles in patterns of 7s as a way for us, who live in earthly time, to understand His eternal will. These were given in the form of religious practices and festivals, as well as national laws and regulations, that Israel was to observe on specific dates. In so doing, Israel was to mark and draw the world’s attention to the sacred or appointed times symbolised by these occasions whereby God would bring about His plan of redemption in His Kairos through the coming and return of Jesus.
Weekly cycle - Sabbath first seen in the 7 Days of Creation points to the 7 millennia (7,000 years) of world history, revolving around the coming of Jesus the Greater Light and His return on the Day of the Lord to inaugurate the Sabbath rest, which is the period of the Millennium. If we understand time as being measured according to the chronology of events and people in the Bible, then we are reaching the end of the sixth millennium in our day. Looking back at the narrative of the 7 Days of Creation, God is telling us that the world is now living under the rule of man - more specifically, one man - the Antichrist. In fact, the Apostle John tells us that the spirit of the Antichrist was already at work in our midst since his time (1 Jn 4:3), but as we approach the end of this Sixth Day of Creation the Antichrist will soon be revealed in the flesh.
Monthly/Annual cycle - 7 High Sabbaths that Israel was to celebrate in the form of 7 Feasts of God over 7 months every year. These High Sabbaths, which can be grouped into the Spring and Fall Feasts according to Israel’s agricultural calendar, point to 7 Kairos events during these 7 millennia of world history. Now, we know that the Spring Feasts have already been fulfilled in God’s Kairos 2,000 years ago with the coming of Jesus. Here, the Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread and Firstfruits to commemorate the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt pointed to Jesus' death and resurrection as our Passover Lamb opening the way for our salvation and escape from the bondage of sin. Meanwhile, the birth of Israel as a nation at Mt Sinai, which took place on the day of Pentecost with the giving of the Law, pointed to the birth of the Church at Mt Zion with the giving of the Holy Spirit. Today, we are reaching the end of the Summer interval - this age of grace and year of the Lord’s favour (Isa 61:1-2a, Lk 4:18-19) more commonly known as the Church Age - before the Fall Feasts arrive in God’s Kairos to mark Jesus’ return and another great exodus - that of the final and complete deliverance of God’s people from His enemies, and ultimately from the judgment of sin which is eternal death.
Sabbatical/Jubilee cycle - God commanded Israel to let the land rest every seventh or Sabbatical year and to further proclaim freedom for the people during the year of Jubilee, which takes place every 50th year - that is, after 7 by 7 or 49 years. This cycle was to start after Israel entered the Promised Land, and points to the spiritual rest and freedom that the world and mankind would ultimately experience during the Millennial Sabbath after 6,000 years of human sin and struggle. We know that, historically, the Promised Land only got its rest after 70 Sabbatical cycles and this during Israel’s exile in Babylon because of her disobedience and unfaithfulness to God (Lev 26:34-35, 2 Chron 36:20-21). Today, we are in the 70th Jubilee cycle from the time Israel first entered the Promised Land. In 2018, Israel celebrated 70 years since its rebirth as a nation. The Israel we know today is far from God and the Church is not doing that much better. All these indicators point to us as being the last generation in God’s Kairos who will witness Jesus’ return to usher in this Millennial rest during a similar end-time Babylonian exile as prophesied in the book of Revelations.
Link to presentation.
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