The law of the Sabbath was not limited to the weekly Sabbath, for every seventh year was designated as a year of rest for the land as well. Even further, God commanded the children of Israel to celebrate a year-long Sabbath following each complete cycle of seven Sabbath years (7 x 7 years = 49 years in all). This fiftieth year was called the Year of Jubilee.
The prophetic significance of this fiftieth year is unparalleled in Scripture. It is the Sabbath of all Sabbaths. The Year of Jubilee was a unique Sabbath in that it expanded the definition of rest to include such themes as redemption, liberation, and restoration. In the Year of Jubilee, debts were cancelled, bondservants were freed, and lost inheritances were redeemed.
The Year of Jubilee is also called “the Acceptable Year of the Lord” (Isaiah 61:2). Jesus deliberately chose this Acceptable Year as His text when He stood up to read in His hometown synagogue towards the beginning of His ministry. When they handed Him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, He unfurled it and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:16-21).
Luke’s account continues, “Then He closed the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him.” It is significant that the Master did not remain standing but sat down before speaking any further. In an obvious posture of rest, He proceeded to announce, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing!”
It is equally significant that Jesus stopped mid-sentence in the text. The rest of the sentence in Isaiah 61:2 & 3 continues: “And the Day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
The Chronos Lesson: Jesus deliberately identified Himself with the Year of Jubilee from the onset of His ministry. Whenever we preach healing, liberty, recovery, and deliverance we are, in essence, preaching God’s Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee is the ultimate Sabbath, for in its ultimate sense and in its fullest expression, it speaks of none other than Jesus Himself. Truly, He is our Year of Jubilee!
Once again, however, this prophetic shadow doesn’t just tell us what Jesus would do, but when it would come to pass. Without going into tedious details, Scripture records that the first Jubilee was celebrated when the Israelites entered the Promised Land. More specifically, when the last trumpet, the 50th blast, brought victory against the fortress of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down, thus began the Jubilee cycles.
It should not surprise us, then, that thirty cycles later signaled another prophetic event in God’s timetable. It happened, not coincidentally, when Jesus was 30 years old—He was anointed for ministry at His baptism. It coincides with the beginning of His earthly ministry in a range of years from 26 to 30 AD (based on the window of years for Jesus’ birth).
According to the biblical chronology, the 70th Jubilee is projected to occur in 2028, which just so happens to fall within the window of time allotted for the beginning of the 7th great Day from Adam. This means that the 7th great Day and the 70th Jubilee will start at the same time! As we might expect, the fifty-year cycles associated with the Year of Jubilee relate to Christ’s first and second appearances.
There was a total of 30 Jubilees until His first appearance; and apparently, there will be another 40 Jubilees until He appears again. Just as Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days in preparation for His earthly ministry, so the Church must spend 40 Jubilees in the wilderness of this world in preparation for our millennial ministry in which we will co-reign with Christ from above in Heaven.
When we are seated as the heavenly court, our ruling declarations will release the trumpet and bowl judgments that constitute God’s vengeance against evil. The primary target of this vengeance? “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming” (2 Thess. 2:8).
As part of the Law, the Israelites were not only instructed to observe a weekly Sabbath rest, but also the sacred holy days associated with the seven Feasts of the Lord outlined in Leviticus 23. These sacred festivals differ from our own secular holy days (holidays) for two reasons. First, they were not placed on the calendar by men, but by God Himself, as they were given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
Second, these Feasts were not designed to commemorate some event from the past, but future events concerning the coming Messiah. God’s Holidays are prophetic shadows of things to come in God’s mystery-plan. They spoke of the Messiah’s mission, ministry, and the chronos of His return. The first four Feasts—Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost—were fulfilled at Christ’s first coming. The three remaining Feasts—Trumpets, Atonement, and Tabernacles—will be fulfilled when He comes again.
The Chronos Lesson: The integration of the element of prophecy with the concept of holidays was a clear invention of the One who “declares the end from the beginning.” It yielded, in effect, a prophetic calendar available for all of mankind to inspect and consider, particularly as certain “Holy days” began to be fulfilled. Furthermore, these Feasts not only prophetically predicted what would be accomplished, but when things would be fulfilled as well.
It has long been understood that the Sabbaths speak of the redemptive work of Christ in bringing rest to mankind. This rest has nothing to do with being tired, but of a completed work—one that is thoroughly finished and that cannot be improved upon. Thus, we can enter into His rest by partaking of the benefits provided by His finished work on the cross. Truly, He is our Sabbath rest in every sense (1 Thess. 5:23)—spirit, soul, and body!
Concerning the mystery of Christ and His Body, Paul wrote: “Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:51-52). Our 3rd Day resurrection will complete our transformation such that we will be fully conformed to Christ’s image—spirit, soul, and body. “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Rom. 8:29).
In general the Church has recognized how the feasts foreshadow Jesus’ ministry and what He would accomplish. Sadly, however, the revelation that the Sabbaths also depict the chronos timing of His return has not been as apparent. The Sabbath not only speaks of rest, but of a designated time for the end as well. It is the seventh and final day in terms of our earthly week. It does not occur until six days of equal duration have transpired first. Therefore the law of the Sabbath prophetically marks the last great Day of God’s Week of Redemption. It points to the coming millennial Sabbath when Jesus Christ will reign over the earth for a thousand years.
Therefore, the prophetic shadows cast by the Sabbath mark His return in terms of the chronos times—that is, on the 7th great Day from Adam. The Sabbaths help us understand what Jesus has done. Yet they also cast a predictive shadow upon our calendars in that they tell us when He will come. For instance, He will return at the sound of the trumpet at the Feast of Trumpets. Stay tuned for more prophetic significance around the Sabbath of all Sabbaths.
When the Seed had grown and was manifest at His baptism, the apostle John wrote: “He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him” (John 1:10-17). Needless to say, the mystery of lawlessness was already at work in the world. So when Jesus came to His own people (the Jews), they did not receive Him. He didn’t fit their image of a Messiah. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
John went on to explain that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
The Chronos Lesson: Near the start of His earthly ministry, Jesus affirmed, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matt. 5:17). Only Satan and his lawlessness seeks to destroy. The Old Testament Law was designed to distinguish between corrupted ground and sacred ground. The Law was given to highlight how living according to God’s kingdom ways separates us from the corrupted ways of knowing evil.
The Law could not make mankind perfect. That could only happen once the Perfect Seed could be planted into the earth and pay the penalty of death on behalf of mankind. But the Law could provide a model of living that would foreshadow the Standard that would come as the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Christ’s earthly ministry showed us the loving and merciful nature of God the Father. Jesus revealed Heaven on the earth. In this sense, He became the sacred ground in which every believer would be planted and thereby experience that Life in us.
The Law showed us that no fallen human could meet the standard. We know evil. Our spirit was corrupted by it, separating us from the Most Holy One. The amazing truth Jesus revealed to us is the power of grace and truth over the inability of the Law and works to perfect us. While we were yet fallen and sinful, His sacrificial love made it possible for us to be reconnected to God the Father (Rom. 5:8). That is, if we acknowledge our need for a Savior.
The Spirit was given to seal our spirits from corruption, and as a seal or guarantee of our future complete redemption at the rapture, including our bodies. Until that glorious moment, we “house” the Spirit and are therefore containers of holiness. We are to learn to walk in that reality as we learn to be lights as He is the Light. This is why continuing to walk in sin is so detrimental to the life of a believer—that sin casts a shadow over our light.
Even more amazing—if that is even possible—we were born into such a time as this that we should be called sons of God and inherit the firstborn blessings of His Son. This blessing not only sustains us in this age and empowers us to fulfill our earthly assignment to preach the Gospel and be lights—albeit imperfect ones. It shall invest us as the immortal government of Heaven over the earth at Christ’s second coming. It shall be our 3rd Day perfection!
John 10:10 tells us that the thief—Satan—comes to steal, kill, and destroy. So it should not surprise us that the forces of evil are working overtime to steal our unity in the Church, in nations, and in the human race. The Creator gave life to just one race of earthly beings—the Adamic race. All human beings are made in the image of God, as spirit beings with a soul and a physical body comprised of the elements of this earth according to a unique genetic design.
Within that human design are all sorts of variations in ethnicity, personality, and talents. All humanity faces the same repercussions of our human ancestors’ choice to disobey God and eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That is, a spirit that is disconnected from God. Every person is capable of doing good and every person is capable of committing evil. What has restrained evil throughout history is a sense of something greater than any one individual. It is the acceptance of the greater heavenly truths encompassed in justice, mercy, and the value of life. It is the nature of lawlessness, sponsored by Satan, to undermine these truths.
The Chronos Lesson: When the Son of God was given to redeem the human race, Ephesians 2:11-16 describes the overcoming power of that first coming. “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (vs.13). Jesus willingly sacrificed His perfect life on behalf of the imperfect human race, thereby overcoming the death sentence from the Fall of mankind. By overcoming death, Christ diluted the significance of our fleshly labels.
Certainly the distinguishing traits of our being remain, such as male/female, extrovert/introvert, nationality, ethnicity, talents/abilities, and occupation. In addition, every person who has accepted Jesus as the Savior likewise carries the distinction of the Holy Spirit abiding within him or her and being members in His Body. It is the Spirit who empowers us to gain intimate understanding of the realities of being in Christ and being servants of God. Whether Jew or Gentile, we are no longer afar off from God. We are no longer aliens to the New Covenant relationship with the Godhead.
This is why Paul could boldly declare: “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39). No matter what lawless things or perilous times or persecution rises up against us, “in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
The only critical truth we need to know about our race is that God created every person, whether or not they acknowledge it. God loves each person perfectly, whether or not they accept it. He longs for every person to be saved. No one aspect of our being, including the color of our skin, condemns a person as being inherently evil—or for that matter, inherently good. For every one of us falls short of the glory of God seen in Christ’s earthly ministry.
Of course it is important to seek justice and try to come against evil, but not as the fallen world defines it. For it is the nature of lawlessness to call that which is evil good, and that which is good evil. At the end of the day and the end of the Days, the one and only distinguishing human trait that matters is if we are “in Christ” and therefore our name is in the Book of Life.
“For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren” (Heb. 2:10-12).