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Month 7:22, Week 3:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5940:198 AM
2Exodus 3/40, Yovel - Year 50/50
Gregorian Calendar: Saturday 22 October 2016
Shemini Atseret 2016
First Day of the Millennium

    Continued from Part 7


    Shabbat shalom and chag sameach Shemini Atseret kol beit Yisra'el and Mishpachah Lev-Tsiyon and welcome to the eighth and last day of the Sukkot (Tabernacles) season which corresponds to the First Day of the Millennial Reign of our Messiah, even as it is written:

      "On the eighth day (Shemini Atseret) ye shall have an atseret (assembly); ye shall do no melekhet avodah (laborious work) therein" (Num.29:35, OJB).

    Holding Back an Extra Day

    This is not, as some claim, just an extra day 'tagged onto' Sukkot (Tabernacles). It is a solemn gathering on which no laborious work shall be done because it is a High (Festival) Sabbath. It is a mitzvah (commandment) to 'hold back' (from a root word for ateseret meaning 'assembly') an extra day after the seven day-long Sukkot festival before going home. It exists specifically for the purpose of communal assembly, and indeed under the Old Covenant certain sacrifices were prescribed (v.36).

    Sukkot is Not the End

    Wonderful though a seven day-long Wedding Feast is at the final Sukkot, that is not the 'end' of the cycle of annual festivals. The eighth (shemini) day is. And it signifies a New Millennial Age of shalom (peace) and justice. All of this long cycle of overcoming, as we learn to move from the personal and into the collective (as we discussed yesterday), has a grand purpose.

    The Millennium Agenda

    What do you suppose is going to happen in the Millennium? Well, we knew that the children of the second resurrection are not on the earth then - whether the disobedient saved who must remain as disembodied spirit or the wicked unsaved who must likewise be in a disembodied state but suffer in the hell portion of Hades. These these there remains a long wait. But for the children of the first resurrection, though they will experience a thousand years of shalom (peace) in their souls and shalom (peace) in the world under Yah'shua (Jesus) the King and the Prince mentioned by Ezekiel, as resurrected, physical beings they will be BUSY. They will have a great deal to do.

    Why Two Resurrections Separated by a Thousand Years?

    Why, do you suppose, Yahweh wants one portion of humanity physically resurrected on the earth for a thousand years while the rest must wait as disembodied spirits? Why not just resurrect everybody all at once when Yah'shua (Jesus) returns and be done? Because of justice. All those whose lives were cut short by holocausts and genocides, whether of the unborn (abortion) or the victims of war or terminal disease, must be allowed to come down to earth and live their lives out to the full. They must be given that opportunity. They are not, however, 'teachers pets' but must be tried and tested too, like everyone else, which is why at the end of the Millennium Satan and his demonic hosts must be released one last time so that they be tempted as all other generations have been and be given the opportunity to choose. That, surely, is only fair?

      "And I saw a malak (angel) coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

      "I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Yah'shua (Jesus) and because of the Davar Elohim (Word of God). They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Messiah a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and qadosh (holy, set-apart) are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be cohenim (priests) of Elohim (God) and of Messiah and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

      "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth - Gog and Magog - to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of Elohim's (God's) people, the city He loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulphur, where the beast and the false navi (prophet) had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever ('for the aeons of the aeons' - CLNT)" (Rev.20:1-10, NIV).

    The Man Who Almost Lived for a Millennium

    You will recall that in the patriarchal period, human beings lived to a very great age. Our short lifespans of around 70 years would have been regarded by these ancients as nothing, given that most of them lived many centuries. Methuselah, the longest living man ever, died at the ripe old age of 969 years. He was almost 1,000 years old!

    Limited 'Reincarnation'?

    Those who were cut off in their prime, for whatever reason, in earlier generations will presumably be restored to the earth as mortals and live to a great age. How exactly this will be done, I cannot say. It was suggested in a discussion we had in a recent meeting that they might be born as babies which would suggest reincarnation, though I cannot say for sure whether that would be Yahweh's method or not - personally I am sceptical of it but I cannot rule it out definitely.

    No Classical Reincarnation

    Whatever method Yahweh uses, it will have nothing to do with the occult doctrine of multiple births for the purpose of working out of personal karma since that is not a part of the Besorah (Gospel) Plan. Given that I believe the resurrected will be bringing forth children during the Millennium (and I admit that is only a supposition on my part, though it would seem strange to me that they would not), and given that all spirits from the pre-existence will have incarnated by the time Yah'shua (Jesus) returns (though this too is speculation), anyone coming back to the earth must be those who have already been here but who were cut short.

    Children in the Millennium?

    Now maybe there will be no more birthing of children - perhaps the resurrected cannot do that - in which case I can only suppose that at the same moment - or perhaps interspersed throughout the years of the Millennium - in the same way that those who are alive when Yah'shua (Jesus) returns are resurrected without tasting death "in the twinkling of an eye" (1 Cor.15:52, KJV) will likewise appear but as mortals, presumably in an orderly, sequential fashion across the whole earth and not in some big heap somewhere all at once.

    Different Theological Points-of-View

    As you no doubt have already realised, there is more about the Millennium that we don't know than we do. One school of thought, with a quite reasonable exegesis of whom messianic leader Norman Willis is an able representative, maintains that Yah'shua (Jesus) does not arrive until the end of the Millennium after Satan's final and permanent imprisonment and/or destruction. It applies many of the Scriptures we are expecting to be fulfilled in the next few years to a thousand years' time. They believe that the earth will be ruled by the "Prince" (mentioned in Ezekiel which I apoke of earlier) until Yah'shua (Jesus) physically returns later. I personally do not accept it even if I do understand the grounds for believing this system.

    Various False Millennial Views

    What I do not believe is the absurd claim by Catholics and Preterists that we are already living in the Millennium, or that of the Jehovah's Witnesses who claim Yah'shua (Jesus) returned invisibly in 1914 after various of their prophecies of His physical return failed abysmally. The Seventh-Day Adventists out a different twist on this when their 1844 prophecy of the Second Coming failed and its leader, Ellen White, attemted to wriggle out of her predicament by inventing the sophisticated, yet false, doctrine of the 'investigative judgment' [1]. The Mormons who also made a similar false prophecy claim Yah'shua (Jesus) came secretly to one of their temples and will come a third time. The rapturists - who believe Yah'shua (Jesus) will come to whisk away the elect and take them to Heaven and then return again later also believe in three comings though they will never admit to it. Finally, there are the 'Kingdom Now' folks who believe that Christianity will gradually increase until it prevails across the whole earth and then Christ will return. All the evidence seems to point to the opposite, not to mention Yah'shua's (Jesus') own prophecy that when He returned it would be as it was in the days of Noah with little emunah (faith) in evidence anywhere.

    I Believe...

    I do not claim to have a complete revelation on the Millennium which is why I have engaged in a bit of speculation. Such revelation as I have received does seem to suggest very strongly that Yah'shua (Jesus) will be physically returning to this earth at the beginning of the Millennium [2] and remaining here as Regent for the duration. That said, in dealing with others of a different belief system. I do have to agree with Lance Lambert, who wrote:

      "It is my belief that there will be a millennium. It would not alter my faith or joy in the Lord if there were no such period. I find myself unable to hold such a conviction in an argumentative or hotly dogmatic spirit. If we are honest, both views present us with problems which are not easily answered. The vital need is to be ready for the Lord's coming and for all that will follow it" [3].

    Maintaining Hope After Collapse

    In a very real sense, the Bride of Messiah carries the Millennium within her, as well as the olam haba or world to come after the Millennium, because it is her eternal hope. The Remnant are realists, dealing with the here-and-now, the good and the evil, but we also hold the future very close to our hearts too. For that reason, we can, along with Eric Hoffer, claim that "the hopeful cannot be tragic figures" [4]. Yes, because we are realists and are immersed in a wicked world, we cannot exactly avoid being like Jeremiah but, because our tiqveh (hope) is firmly planted and invested in the future glory, a tragic air is not something we can own. And we certainly cannot own any spirit of hopelessness, for 'Hopelessness', for one thing, is the name of a demon! So we must never accept that we have it, we must never own it. So long as your investment is in Messiah and His eternal Kingdom, you have that necessary tiqveh (hope) that is the foundation of chayim (life). Just because we are about to enter into a 'Lesser Tribulation' does not mean that we should accept death and decay into our life. Perhaps that is why Yahweh gives us this Sukkot Season and Shemini Atseret at the end of the annual cycle of moedim (appointments), to remind us that simcha (joy) is the rightful inheritance of those who believe and are true, no matter what the outer circumstances:

      "Happy is he ... whose tiqveh (hope) is in Yahweh his Elohim (God)" (Ps.146:5, NKJV).


    So whatever happens between sunrise tomorrow (when Shemini Atseret ends) and next spring when the Biblical New Year rolls along again, when there are no annual festivals (save some false ones [5] which we shall ignore) - whether it be economic collapse, martial law, dictatorship, civil war, world war, famine, drought, pestilence, or combination thereof - we shall remember the Festival of the Bride, which is Sukkot, and the First Day of the Millennium to come, and we shall let the Ruach haShibi'i fill us with simcha (joy) and tiqveh (hope) as our minds and hearts remain stayed on Yah'shua (Jesus) our Messiah. So I ask you to take this time with you, and remember, no matter what comes, who you are in Messiah. Shalom (peace) be unto you. Amen.


    [1] Adventists also believe that the earth will be a wasteland after the second coming, inhabited only by demons and that the millennium will be in heaven (see Olive Branch 102. In that respect they share the view of Talmudist Rav Kattina who said the world would be desolate for a thousand years (Sanhedrin 97a)
    [2] See especially Olive Branch 224 which describes the Second Coming as a simultaneous inner (spiritual) and outer (physical) event
    [3] Lance Lambert, Till the Day Dawns (Kingsway Publications, Eastbourne, UK: 1982), p.160
    [4] Eric Hoffer, The passionate State of Mind (Secker & Warburg: 1956), p.112
    [5] Like Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas, the Pagan New Year, Purim and Easter

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