Deuteronomy 15: Has Earth Entered the “Year of Release”?

(So I actually read this chapter several days ago, but Deuteronomy 15 came back to “haunt” me in a big way today!)

Every now and then, I hear a sermon that tweaks something in my heart and mind, and I have no choice but to ponder, think about and generally process it.  Most times, this processing happens largely between the fingers and the keyboard, but today, before my fingers could even hit the keyboard, I found myself processing with my daughter who actually began the whole snowball herself!

The sermon was taken from 2 Peter 3, discussing the return of Christ as King.  The premise was taken from the verse:

2 Peter 3:3-4  Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,  4  And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.

Peter makes several statements in this chapter, and Pastor Cassidy touched on a few that you can listen to it here:

The first one being the fact that the scoffers had to have something to scoff at, or they wouldn’t be scoffing!  In this case, what is being scoffed at is the promise Christ made of His own return as recorded in John 14.  A second point was taken from verse 8, which says:

2 Peter 3:8  But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

This was where my daughter’s mind began to wander, and driving home from Church, she made a correlation that caused me to make a few more.  We already know from people such as Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn and others that this coming Jewish new year could usher in what is known as the Shmita year or better known as a jubilee year completing a seven-year cycle.  In Deuteronomy 15, the seventh year is called a year of release in the KJV.

Deuteronomy 15:1-2  At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release.  2  And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbour shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbour, or of his brother; because it is called the LORD’S release.

Songdove Books - 10 CommandmentsWe also know that God set up the Sabbath to be observed on the seventh day of the week.  Mention of this is first given in Exodus 16 and later when God gave Moses the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20.  So we have the seventh day being hallowed and the seventh year being a year of release, or the Year of Jubilee as it’s more commonly called.

One more nob must be added to the loom before we begin weaving our thoughts:  Those who espouse the young-earth theory, will often place the age of the earth at anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 years old.  NASA could only account for 10,000 years worth of dust when the Apollo mission touched down on the moon.  However, the most meticulous study of earth’s recorded timeline can only go back maybe 4000 years before Christ.  If we believe there is just 4000 years of Biblically-recorded history of mankind before Christ, and then add 2000 years after Christ to the year 1999, we come up with 6,000 years of total recorded earth history.  This would mean that when we entered the year 2000, guess what?  We entered the seventh millennium!

Now let’s refer back to the above verse in 2 Peter 3:8.  If we believe that to God, 1000 years is as a day and a day as 1000 years, how old is the earth in God’s time-frame?  A rough age of 6 days old!

Songdove Books - January 1stUnderstanding that due to calendars changing over the eons, with days, months and even up to 4 entire years being lost from current dating systems alone, the best statement of accuracy is the word “rough age”.  It is reasonable to assume ballpark figures rather than absolute.  The young earth theory presented in the link above even has a 232 year discrepancy between the 1600’s historian, Ussher, and the historian from Ancient Egypt.  Add to that the fact that Christ is said to be born on year 1 of AD and BC begins at year 1 before counting backwards, year 0 got lost in the shuffle.  The only known certainty we can rely on outside of Julian and Gregorian resources, is the Hebrew Calendar, which itself has gone through changes over the years and has even split a few times.  The longest running and so far the most accurate of the Jewish Calendars is used by Orthodox Jewish rabbis to this day, and many Christian studies using it as their basis have found amazing accuracies when researching Biblical events.

However, one can’t even give a cursory glance at multiple sources discussing the origins of the current Hebrew calendar without coming across controversy.  An article in 2013 posted in the LA Times actually claims only a 160 year difference between Ussher’s date of 4004BC and Rabbi Yosi ben Halfta’s date of 3760BC.   With this year (2015) being 5775 and soon to become 5776 in September, and adding that 160 year difference, there is still a 65 year gap between the two estimations of the earth’s age.  In this LA Times article, the author claims that Ussher was writing about the date when Adam and Eve left Eden, not when they were created.  As I have not read Ussher’s book, “Annals of the World”, I can’t vouch for this apparent change of focus.  I also can’t vouch for the starting point given for the Ancient Egyptian historian whose date is roughly 232 years older than Ussher’s date.  It is reasonable then to assume that we are in the general time frame of having seen 6000 years go by and are now either having entered the 7th millennium, entered it possibly 200 years ago, or will enter it shortly.  If you go by the current Gregorian yearly numbering system, we entered the 7th millennium in the year 2000.  If 1000 years is as one day, then we’re talking a mere 20 minute difference in the time-table God moves by, possibly even less, it might be a 2 minute time difference.

Now let’s start weaving.

If the Jewish people were to rest on the seventh day and hallow it as sacred to the Lord, it is no small wonder then that Jews such as John the Revelator would refer to the day as “The Lord’s Day”.

Revelation 1:10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

My reader may be aware that many of the prophecies in both the Old and New Testament refer to the coming time of Great Tribulation as, “The Day of the Lord”.  Examples of 31 references are:

Isaiah 34:8  For it is the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion.

Zephaniah 2:3  Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.

Acts 2:16-21  But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;  17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:  19  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:  20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:  21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

2 Peter 3:10  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Songdove Books - Flaming EarthThe student of Scripture will come to understand that at times, God will use word-play in order to get a thought, concept, or implication across to the people to whom He was speaking at the time.  Sometimes this occurred via names of people or places, but I am starting to think God also did this with regard to “The Lord’s Day” versus “The Day of the Lord”.

Could it be, that we may be approaching, if not having entered into the earth’s  “”Year” of Jubilee”? Remember that the Year of Jubilee is known as the year of release.  It is the year when land was to return to original owners, when slaves and servants were offered their freedom, and when creditors forgave debts owed to them without asking interest or penalties in the process.  Could it be, that the earth’s entering into its 7th millennium will instigate the return of all that was taken from God and given back to Him?  Could it be, that satan will not engage in this exchange willingly, forcing the showdown mentioned in the pages of Daniel and Revelation where Christ takes him on in battle and binds him for a thousand years?

Songdove Books - LambThat 1000 year reign will be known on one hand, as a millennium of peace.  The lion will lie down with the lamb and swords will be turned into plowshares.  However, it will also be a time of iron rule:

Revelation 19:11-16  And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.  12  His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  13  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  14  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  15  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.  16  And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Earth’s citizens will have the opportunity to see what life is like under the rule of the King of kings for as many generations as can fit into that 1000 year time span.  After that, satan will be released and somehow sway enough people to his side to engage in one final battle, after which the remainder of 2 Peter 3:10 will come to pass.

2 Peter 3:10  … in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

This part somehow strikes me as an act of cleansing!  Any time in the Torah where it was necessary to purge deep-seated household infection, it was done by fire.  Scripture says:

Romans 8:22  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Even the earth and by extension all areas of space touched by man, has been affected by sin and must itself be purged.  Out of this purging will come the new heaven and the new earth and then the New Jerusalem.  All that God created will finally be back under the domain of Jesus Christ!

Do you see the tapestry?  Now of course all of this is assuming more than Peter’s metaphorical statement that God’s timing is not our timing and God’s sense of time is quite different from ours in 2 Peter 3:8.  But it was interesting to think, what would the correlations be if 1000 of earth’s years actually fit into one of God’s personal days.

Take care however not to take this conjecture too far.  Theo-evolutionists have already tried to do this, failing to take into consideration the Hebrew language used in the first three chapters of Genesis.  The original language used is quite specific as to literal human time frames and not the concept of trying to stuff God’s time frames into man’s understanding of a day.  As usual, such folly is forcing God into a man-made box and making Him fit into a so-called easier explanation of creation than what is written in the pages of Genesis.  That “easier” explanation takes more blind faith than the actual account itself using literal days in the original Hebrew language.  So my conjecture is not license to try to fit God’s time frames into man’s.  My conjecture is merely wondering what the end-time calendar looks like when you fit man’s time frame into God’s.  Considering God likes to do things in sevens, these musings may not be too far off the mark.  Time will tell.