Will the New Set of Seven Years on the Jewish Calendar Be Our Last?

(Charisma News archives)
Note: This is the second of a two-part series. For part one, click here.

Beginning at sunset on Sunday, Sept. 25, our Jewish friends (and increasingly many Christians) will begin a two-day celebration of Rosh Hashanah, their time for new beginnings or a "new year." This annual "head of the year" event is one of three biblical festivals appointed by God to be observed in the fall of each year.

They are repeated for seven years as a special "set of years" in God's holy purposes and then a new set or cycle of seven years begins, as prescribed in the Holy Scriptures (Lev. 23:23-25; 25:1-12).

However, despite the many happy wishes and holy expectations of this season, the realities of life and the warnings of the Holy Scriptures alert us to many trials and tribulations which lie ahead, especially for those who seek to live godly lives before a Holy God in an evil world.

Jesus warned His disciples of "birth pangs," plagues and persecution in the end times (Matt. 24:4-14). Those words join other dark prophecies of the last days, found in both the Old and New Testaments (Covenants).

Discerning disciples learn that at a future time—when we least expect it (Matt. 24:44)—Jesus Christ will come and call His saints (both the living and the dead)—to be with Him. This will occur before His terrible wrath ("the day of the Lord") unfolds on His enemies (1 Thess. 4:13-18, 5:11).

Learning from the Past

From the symbolism and signs of the days of creation to the repetitive seasons of "springtime and harvest," we learn that God seems to unfold His major activities among men in recurring cycles, giving perceptive Bible students insight into the future, (they can discern the progression of God's perfect timing in these prophetic end-times by observing His patterns in the past).

Drawing from previous prophetic studies and biblical teachings, I suggest that this year's Jewish fall festivals or holidays signal another seven-year cycle of God's grace on His people has ended and a new one began. This season likely reveals a time of economic reset and new beginnings (Deut. 15:1-6).

They were to use these "new beginnings" to reassess their generosity to the poor (vv. 4, 5 and 7-11). They released their Jewish neighbor's debts every seven years and were required to relate "open-handedly" to their "poor brother," willingly giving or lending him [with no-interest loans] "sufficient for his needs."

Consistent and generous obedience to God's commandments made possible a covenant society in which all poverty was eliminated by God's blessings (Deut. 14:29, 15:4-5). How should this guide us today, as we begin a new set of seven years in serving our Lord?

Insights and New Beginnings

The angel Gabriel appeared to the prophet Daniel to give him "insight and understanding" (Dan. 9:22; NIV) of a vision he had supernaturally observed, while captive in Babylon. This prominent angel (who also appeared to Mary, the mother of Jesus) declared that "a period of 70 sets of seven [490] has been decreed for your people and your holy city..." He went on to explain that a total of 69 sets of seven (understood as weeks of years) will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One comes. (See Dan. 9:24-25; Matt. 21:1-11.)

These 69 sets of seven years each only add up to 483 years, when the Anointed One or "Messiah" would be "cut off" (Dan. 9:26), with the final set of seven years (or "week of years") yet a mystery. However, the angel went on to explain (vv. 26-27) that at the time of the very end, a ruler will arise and make a treaty or some type of defense agreement "with the people for a period of one set of seven" (understood by many as the missing seven years or "week of years"). But, "in the middle of the week" (or after three and a half years) this foreign, false christ "will bring an end to sacrifice and offering" (Dan. 9:27).

Critical Questions

Could our new "week" of seven years (from the fall of 2022 to the fall of 2029) be the years needed to fulfill the final prophecy to Daniel of 490 years (or "70 weeks" of years) predicted for the Hebrew people and their holy city?

Or, what if this next "week of years" is the final set in a series of seven sets, totaling 49 years? The following year (from the fall of 2029 to the fall of 2030) would be the 50th year and is to be declared as "consecrated" or dedicated to the Lord and to be celebrated as a "Year of Jubilee" (Lev. 25:1-12).

Furthermore, since a Year of Jubilee is to commence on Yom Kippur ("the Day of Atonement," Lev. 25:9), it would follow a week and a half of individual, spiritual introspection during the Hebrew "High Holy Days" or "High Holidays." Beginning with the celebration of Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur, these 10 days—where words, deeds and motives are scrutinized and forgiveness sought—are often referred to by modern Jews as the "Days of Awe." Sincere souls commit to deep spiritual reflection, repentance and acts of charity during these significant days, which may prophetically foreshadow the future "coming of the King of all Israel."

The Ultimate Jubilation

As it was in the Shemitah or seventh year of each of the seven cycles, totaling 49 years, the 50th or Jubilee year (Lev. 25:11-12) was to be enjoyed with no farming or even the gathering of crops that grow naturally.

The Year of Jubilee was to be a period of human humility and complete trust in and dependence upon the God of Israel to protect and provide since His people have no other resources to which to turn, as they eagerly watch and wait (Matthew 24:42-44) for our Lord's return.

"And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him," (Heb. 9:27-28, ESV).

He alone is able to forgive and save us from the guilt of past sins, the shame of present sins and the tyranny of future sins. This hope of full and complete deliverance and transference "into the kingdom of the Son of His love" (Col. 1:12-13) will be cause for great spiritual rejoicing and jubilation now and when He comes again!

The Coming of Our "King of Kings and Lord of Lords"

Some believe the Second Coming of Jesus Christ will occur during a future Year of Jubilee, as the ultimate apex for all jubilation. Regardless of the timing, a glorified Jesus of Nazareth will return as the Jewish Messiah, the Gentile's Savior and our mutually victorious "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Rev. 19:11-16)!

The Beast (or Antichrist) and his armies will be defeated (Rev. 19:17-21), Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit for a thousand years (Rev. 20:1-3), and the saints will live and rule with Christ in peace and righteousness for that Millennium (Rev. 20:4)!

Again, we should all say, with John the Revelator, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus!"

Gary Curtis served in full-time ministry for 50 years, the last 27 years of which he was part of the pastoral staff of The Church on The Way, the Van Nuys, California, Foursquare church. Now retired, Gary continues to write a weekly blog at worshipontheway.wordpress.com and frequent articles for digital and print platforms.


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