Posts Tagged ‘the face of God’

New Beginnings – The Eighth Day

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer there” (Revelation 21:1).

In the beginning, Elohim created … the Sabbath. The seventh day completed His work of creation and He rested. Without a beginning or an ending – an evening and a morning – the seventh day was an eternal ‘day.’ Then, sin entered the world, Adam and Eve were removed from Gan Eden, and chronological time became the realm in which we live.

“Adonai said to Moshe, “Tell the people of Isra’el, ‘On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of Sukkot for seven days to Adonai.  On the first day there is to be a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work.  For seven days you are to bring an offering made by fire to Adonai; on the eighth day you are to have a holy convocation and bring an offering made by fire to Adonai ; it is a day of public assembly; do not do any kind of ordinary work” (Leviticus 23:33-36).

Within the context of God’s directions for the Feast of Tabernacles there is the mention of a seven-day ‘appointed time’ with an eighth-day holy convocation or mikrah meaning ‘rehearsal.’ This hidden mo’ed is known as Shimini Atzeret.

In Scripture, numbers have significant prophetic value and the number 8 means ‘new beginnings.’ Within the eighth-day celebration, there is vision for something new to begin. Within Jewish and Messianic Jewish congregations, this is the day that the Torah scroll is rolled up and unrolled in order to begin a new yearly cycle of reading first five books of the Bible.

However, there is a hidden gem within the Shimini Atzeret – the promise of new beginnings. Yochanan, the apostle, was given a vision of the eighth day with a new heavens and a new earth. The ‘day’ when all things will be restored to as they were ‘in the beginning’ and should have remained. This is truly the completion of good news of salvation: the restoration of all things.

“He [Messiah Yeshua] has to remain in heaven until the time comes for restoring everything, as God said long ago, when he spoke through the holy prophets” (Acts 3:21).

What will this eighth ‘day’ look like? First, it will be a completely restored eternal Sabbath – a Sabbath without end. However, it will have some order of time according to the prophet Isaiah. There will be delineations for weeks with the Shabbat and months with the Rosh Chodesh. These delineations will be put in place for worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

“For just as the new heavens and the new earth that I am making will continue in my presence,” says Adonai, “so will your descendants and your name continue. Every month on Rosh-Hodesh and every week on Shabbat, everyone living will come to worship in my presence,” says Adonai” (Isaiah 66:22-23).

There we will be a New Jerusalem that comes down from heaven prepared as a Bride. This vision is the culmination of Bride of Messiah becoming resplendent not just before her King as in the Millennial Kingdom, but having an eternal place next to her Bridegroom, Yeshua reigning with him forever.

“Also I saw the holy city, New Yerushalayim, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).

Even more wonderful will be God, Elohim, Ha Shem, El Shaddai, El Gibbor, El Elyon, the Creator of the Universe making His dwelling with His people in the new heaven and new earth. Everyone will see His face, His Glory without fear of death because there will be no more death. The ‘old order’ of things we know now will pass away bringing the Kingdom of God down to us.

“I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “See! God’s Sh’khinah is with mankind, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and he himself, God-with-them, will be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will no longer be any death; and there will no longer be any mourning, crying or pain; because the old order has passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).

“The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.  Night will no longer exist, so they will need neither the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because Adonai, God, will shine upon them. And they will reign as kings forever and ever” (Revelation 22:3-4).

There will be no Temple in the New Jerusalem for Elohim and Yeshua will be its Temple. There will be no sun or moon in the City of the New Jerusalem because the Glory of Elohim and Yeshua will be its light.

“I saw no Temple in the city, for Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, is its Temple, as is the Lamb.  The city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, because God’s Sh’khinah gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. Its gates will never close, they stay open all day because night will not exist there,  and the honor and splendor of the nations will be brought into it” (Revelation 21:22-26).

The nations will walk by this light, earthly kings will bring their splendor into it, the gates of the city will never close because there will be no day or night in the city.

“Next the angel showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing the nations — no longer will there be any curses…” (Revelation 22:1-3).

The river of life, sparkling like crystal, will flow through the New Jerusalem pouring out from the throne of Elohim and Yeshua. Within the New Jerusalem, there will also be the Tree of Life. This Tree will produce a unique fruit each month and its leaves will heal the nations.

The Torah is known as the ‘Tree of Life’ because of its life-giving teachings and instructions from the Creator to His people. This ‘Tree of Life’ was in the center of Gan Eden and Adam and Eve chose not to eat its fruit. With the restoration of all things, there will be a “Tree of Life” in the new heavens and new earth. This ‘Tree of Life’ will be different from the Torah as we know it for it will produce fruit that heals the nations rather than reveal the sin the need for redemption.

“Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah — not until everything that must happen has happened” (Matthew 5:17-18).

Yeshua spoke of the Torah as we know it remaining until the ‘new heavens and earth.’ His words prove the teachings and instructions of Elohim found within the books of Torah are still in effect and will remain ‘the Tree of Life’ until the ‘new heaven and new earth.’ Then, according to the writer of Hebrews that which has been put in process will see its culmination and vanish altogether.

“By using the term, “new,” he [Elohim] has made the first covenant “old”; and something being made old, something in the process of aging, is on its way to vanishing altogether” (Hebrews 8:13).

It is with hope for the new heaven and new earth that the ‘appointed time’ of Shimini Atzeret is celebrated. It is with prophetic vision for a restored “Tree of Life” that transforms words of Toah into the ‘light of the Lamb’ in the New Jerusalem where all nations will walk in its light. It is with great expectation that Shimini Atzeret becomes the new beginnings of time in eternity where Elohim will make His dwelling with His people and we shall see the glory in His presence and see Him face to face.

“For now we see obscurely in a mirror, but then it will be face to face. Now I know partly; then I will know fully, just as God has fully known me” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

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