gave the requirement for all of the feasts/holidays, he first mentioned the Sabbath of the seventh day of the week and called it a Sabbath of rest: Shabbat
Shabbaton (Lv 23:3). This is a special emphasis on this particular Sabbath - like saying "ultimate Sabbath." But what is the context of this verse and why is
it a prelude to the other feasts? It is a tie back to God's original creation because God "worked" for six days and then rested (or was satisfied, to be more exact) on the seventh day. Therefore, the weekly Sabbath was to remind the Israelites of God's work of creation - a perfect world of rest. As the feasts
pointed to a future time for Israel so this Sabbath pointed to a future state of
rest and was therefore given the special name of Sabbath of rest.
But this is not the only day with this special title. It is mentioned on the Day of Atonement (Lv 23:32) and the year of Jubilee (Lv 25:4), each of these were called Sabbath of rest. Then there is also the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles. While not called a Sabbath of rest, it is a Sabbath after the "feast unto the Lord seven days." Therefore, it points to something after. It becomes clear when we look at the prophetic nature of these feasts and their connection to creation. The weekly Sabbath looked back to God's original creation. The Day of Atonement points to Christ's second coming which is the beginning of a new Israel and new earth. The Feast of Tabernacles points to the Millennium and so the Sabbath of the eighth day points to something following the Millennium which is the final rest and is then linked to Jubilee which is the final Sabbath of rest which points to the Eternal State
where we will be with the Lord forever.
So what was Jubilee? This was a period of seven Sabbaths of years and therefore occurred every 50 years. The Israelites were to observe a Sabbath year every seven years where the land would be left idle so it could "rest" and replenish itself with nutrients. The people were to depend upon the Lord to increase the bounty of their crops the sixth year to carry them through the Sabbath year and to the time of next harvest (Lv 25:2-7). This was a time of faith for them. However, Scripture never records that Israel ever kept the Sabbath year for the land and their 70-year captivity into Babylon was given because they had not kept this Sabbath for the land (2Ch 36:21).
Then after keeping seven Sabbath years came the year of Jubilee every 50 years (Lv 25). What occurred during this year? Things were to return to their original state: land that had been sold would go back to its original owner or family; those sold into servitude would be released, and all debts would be cancelled. It was like pressing a reset button. It was a cause of much celebration! It pointed to the final state of rest that would occur when their Messiah would come. The weekly Sabbath pointed to the original state of God's perfect creation and rest and Jubilee pointed to the final state of God's perfect creation and rest (Hb 4:9). We have perfect bookends. Jubilee is the End of the Beginning .
This then is another cause to separate the Millennium from the Eternal State as that is how the feasts were arranged. Also, each of these fulfills the ultimate plan of two original purposes declared by God. God placed Adam and Eve in the original garden to have dominion of it but they failed. The Eternal State is the re-creation of that and the fulfillment of what God had originally intended. Can you imagine how thrilled Adam and Eve will be to see this wonderful state again from which they originally inhabited - only better! What about the Millennium? If we look back in Exodus, we see that God had originally established Israel to be a kingdom of priests for the world (Ex 19:6). Although Aaron, his sons, and the Levites were priests for the nation of Israel, the nation of Israel itself was to be the priests to the rest of the world. The blessings that God had promised to Israel if they were obedient (Dt 28) would be a drawing card to all other nations to bring them to God. That also did not occur as originally designed and the Millennium will be the fulfillment of Israel being the priests to the entire world and will lead the world in praise to God (Zc 8:20-23). This is also why we can see that the Millennial temple to which God showed Ezekiel (Ek 40-48) is a literal temple that will be in existence in the Millennium - for cleansing of all implements for holy service and a memorial to the atonement (cleansing) act of Christ for all the world to understand and visually see and comprehend.
It is also an interesting fact that although the physical year started in the first month (Nissan) which contained Passover, but the year of Jubilee started on the tenth day of the seventh month (Tishri): the Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur (Lv 25:9). This again points to why this was a Sabbath of rest (Shabbat Shabbaton) because it started the year of Jubilee and pointed toward the beginning of the future state when Israel will once again become a holy nation. As a side bar, this is likely the reason that the kings of Judah began their reign starting in Tishri rather than in Nissan. They were looking to the future reign of their King of Kings.
We have one more session to go on this topic. I have often heard many pastors say that we will just go from the Millennium where all is joy to the Eternal State, going from happiness to eternal happiness. However, I find that is not really the case. There is a lot of disturbance during this transition period. We will take a look at that next time. I hope you will join me.
 Congdon, Robert, An Appointment with God: The Feasts of the Lord (Bloomington IN: CrossBooks, 2009)
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