Universal Salvation: The Plan of God Part Five
THE GREAT LAST DAY
Notice this about the Feast of Tabernacles. Leviticus 23:33-36 says: "33 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 'Speak to the children of Israel, saying: "The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the LORD. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord..." ' "
Can you see that? The Feast of Tabernacles was to be for seven days.
Leviticus 23:36 goes on to say: "…On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it."
This eighth day was the last annual feast, and was so close to the Feast of Tabernacles that it became associated with it. In later years, it became known in Christian circles as The Great Last Day.
John 7:37 tells us: "On the last day, that great day of the feast…"
This was no ordinary day; it was a great day. It was to supersede all other days and all other feasts, because it foreshadowed the fulfilment of the Great Plan of God. This was it! This foreshadowed the results of God's work. And consider this: since the Feast of Tabernacles foreshadowed Jesus' rule of one thousand years, the Great Last Day pictures what happens after the millennial rule of Jesus. How about that? It follows on from the Millennium. We can now get information of what happens after the one-thousand year rule of Jesus ends.
Firstly, let me fill you in with some of the background to the period foreshadowed by the Great Last Day. The Great Last Day is another period of one thousand years, as it is a Jubilee. To explain it all, I would like to look at two periodic Festivals. The weekly Sabbath, and the Jubilee Year: both of which are shadows of things to come.
The weekly Sabbath was a Saturday; it came at the end of the week. It was a commandment. Exodus 20:8-11 reads: 8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labour and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it."
Can you see? God had set this pattern in creation.
"But since we are no longer under the old Law, how can the Sabbath be a pattern for us today and evermore?"
When the Holy Spirit came to be in us at Pentecost, the Sabbath day was no longer a shadow, but became a reality. At that time, people were drawn to Jesus, came out of sin, and got baptised: they ceased from their works of sin, and were born into God's Sabbath. Being a Christian does not mean being holy just for one day a week; it is a way of life. It means being holy and serving God every second of every day, because every second of every day is holy time. When you become baptised, you are baptised into God's Sabbath, and you then have to walk in that Sabbath with Jesus: Jesus being the Lord of the Sabbath. Ceasing from sin is now part of your Sabbath walk.
In fact, did you know that God's Sabbath rest is to be 7,000 years long?
Let us have a look.
Genesis 2:3 has this to say: "Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made."
And Hebrews 3:7-11 says this: "7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: 'Today, if you will hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, And saw My works forty years. 10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, And said, "They always go astray in their heart, And they have not known My ways." 11 So I swore in My wrath, "They shall not enter My rest." ' "
This was a quote from psalm 95:7-11.
Hebrews 4:1-11 shows that, some 4,000 years later, God was still in His Sabbath rest: "1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: 'So I swore in My wrath, "They shall not enter My rest," ' although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: 'And God rested on the seventh day from all His works'; 5 and again in this place: 'They shall not enter My rest.' 6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, 'Today,' after such a long time, as it has been said: 'Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.' 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. 11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience."
Note verses 9,10: "9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His."
The Greek word there for "rest" at Hebrews 4:9, is sabbatismos, and means "a Sabbath keeping". It is ongoing for people baptised into God's Sabbath rest.
"But when do you cease from your works?"
When you come out of sin, and are baptised with the Holy Spirit.
"How does it work?"
Romans 6:1-11 shows you how: "1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God."
When we are baptised, we die with Him on the cross, we lie with Him in death, and we are raised with Him in His resurrection, as a new creation into God's Sabbath rest. It is after this that we all must endeavour to walk the walk with our Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus. Therefore we now live our lives to God.
So we see that God was still in His Sabbath rest some 4,000 years later. It is now some six thousand years later, and we can still enter that Sabbath rest. And since sin will still be around during the Millennium, it will still be possible to enter that rest. But after the Millennium, sin will no longer be around: therefore it is reasonable to believe that God's Sabbath rest will end, making it a total of 7,000 years long.
Go back to the seven-day week of creation: if God's Sabbath rest which is the seventh day, is 7,000 years long, then all of the other days of creation must also have been 7,000 years long. Which means we now have the seven days of creation as follows:
|First Day:||7,000 years long||(7,000 yrs)|
|Second Day:||7,000 years long||(14,000 yrs)|
|Third Day:||7,000 years long||(21,000 yrs)|
|Fourth Day:||7,000 years long||(28,000 yrs)|
|Fifth Day:||7,000 years long||(35,000 yrs)|
|Sixth Day:||7,000 years long||(42,000 yrs)|
|Seventh Day:||7,000 years long||(49,000 yrs)|
So the days of creation add up to 49,000 years long. And that takes us up to the end of the Millennium. The next 1,000-year period makes 50,000 years, and that means it is a Jubilee 1,000 years. Therefore, the thousand years after the Millennium is a Jubilee, which corresponds with The Great Last Day……..To be continued.
Next article: The Plan of God Part Six