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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Sixty-Seventh (Transitions)

I don't know about you, but this was definitely a challenging week for us. Sometimes it's hard to remember that God's got this when you're deep in the weeds! It's also hard sometimes to pause when you're in the middle of it and take time to study His Word to remind yourself of His promise to take care of us (Luke 12:22-31). The interesting part of that passage is the very last verse: "But seek the Kingdom of Him and these things will be added to you."

The Greek word for seek here is zeteo, and HELPS Word-studies defines it as seek by inquiring, or "getting to the bottom of the matter." But the most interesting definition is, "to investigate to reach a binding (terminal) resolution," isn't it? Resolution is the act of determining, and terminal means leading ultimately to death. So, seeking His Kingdom involves inquiring and investigating it to the point at which you make a determination that leads ultimately to death.

Now, I can see this two different ways, and I think either is a valid way to look at it. First, how do we inquire and investigate His Kingdom? By studying the words that tell us about it, of course! So, one way to look at seeking is when you inquire and investigate His Word to the point at which you are convicted of what's written in them and what you are required to do in order to be counted worthy to enter His Kingdom and you decide to do it until death. The other, deeper way to look at it is that the determination you make leads to the death of your old self and the birth of your new self in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Either way, seeking His Kingdom involves a lasting change, and the result is not only eternal life but He takes care of all your needs!

But as you can see by the title, this week we're talking about transitions. What kind of transitions? All kinds! Transitions are a fact of life. Going from one state to another state requires a transition, and usually the greater the difference between the states the longer the transition is. For example, it takes over an hour for the sky to get dark once the sun has set, and the entire beauty of the sunset once it starts lasts a couple hours. It takes around nine minutes to heat a quart of water to boiling. It takes years for an apple seed to transition to a fruit bearing tree.

Can you see a common thread in these transitions? They all require outside input! Sunsets required Yehovah to set the sun and the earth in motion. If you want to boil water, you need to apply heat to it. If you want to grow an apple tree, you need to water it and make sure its soil has sufficient nutrients for growth. In the intro, we saw that Christ is the input for our personal transition from death to life in Him.

Are there any other transitions we can see in His creation or His plan? Well, I'm in the middle of a very interesting book that includes some revelations about transitions given by Yehovah. Specifically, He gave us a calendar that included a day of transition between the seasons. They are called tekufah, or "turn," in Hebrew. These occur every ninety days, in between each season. In fact, this calendar is based on the sun, much like the Gregorian calendar much of the world uses today, rather than the moon cycles like the Jewish calendar.

When I read this, it made a lot of sense that Yehovah's original direction to man on how to track time because as I tried to make sense of the Jewish method it just seemed a bit messy and subjective. It requires two people to identify and agree on the proper phase of the moon in order to start the new month and marking when the barley was ripe, not to mention determining leaps. Whereas, simply using the number of days, evening and morning, to mark the day of the year leaves less interpretation. Additionally, using the sun, the light, makes more sense for the children of light to use, rather than the moon in darkness.

Interestingly, when you use this method, all feasts of Yehovah fall on the same day of the week each year. This makes more sense when some feasts descriptions talk about sabbaths after the feast, since those would always occur at the same point rather than being sooner or later after the feast depending on what day of the week was decided to be the first of the month. So each year the feast would be celebrated the exact same way, even down to the day of the week. This method of using the sun is also confirmed in Genesis as well as in Jubilees. Both Genesis and Jubilees describe the sun as being used to mark days and seasons, or appointed times (Genesis 1:14-19, Jubilees 2:8-9).

Since we're talking about transitions here, as we zoom out on the calendar we know Yehovah directed certain years to be Jubilee and Sabbath years (Leviticus 25). While there are certain requirements for each of these, the point here is the seventh day of the week rest is mirrored in the seventh year Sabbath year, and also in the seventh seven year period with a Jubilee year. The commandment to observe these Sabbath year rests was so important the Jews were exiled by Yehovah for not observing them and to allow the land to receive the rest it would have received if the Sabbath years had been observed (Leviticus 26:34-35). We can look at these Sabbaths and Jubilees as transitions as well.

Zooming out even further there are periods called Ages. We can see these referenced in scripture, most notably in the New Testament when referring to "the end of the age." Since Jubilees occur on the 50th year, at this level of zoom the multiples are of 50 rather than seven. That's how we get a millennium of 1000 years, and an age of 2000 years; and we know there's seven millennium in Yehovah's plan for this heaven and earth. So, if we take out the seventh, sabbath millennium in which Jesus returns to rule, that leaves us with six millennia, or three ages.

Based on where we are in the timeline, we are approaching the sabbath millennium. However, when we are at the level of Ages, and with the vast difference between the "state" of each Age, the transition period is bound to be long. In that period, we will see changes in the world and in the body of Christ, much like we're seeing now. If we look back to the transition between the Age of sacrifice and the Age of grace, which we're in now, we can see it took about 75 years if you include Jesus' birth. While His death was sometime around 32 AD, with the Holy Spirit arriving shortly thereafter (Acts 2), the destruction of the final Jewish temple in 73 AD and the abolishment of the sacrificial system in 75 AD marked the end of the Age of sacrifice and the full arrival of the Age of grace. Since Yehovah is fond of patterns, we're likely to see a similar type of transition into the Millennial Kingdom.

Perhaps we're just seeing the beginning of this transition with what we see in the world now. Or, perhaps we're in the middle. If we are in the middle, and the transition to the Age of grace is any indication, we may see Jesus' return sometime soon! After all, He made His public appearance right around the middle of that 75 year period! There's no better time to seek His Kingdom than right now!

Shabbat Shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene


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