New Jerusalem, Lake of fire, Resurrection, 1000 years, one thousand years, Judgement, Gog, Magog, Satan loosed, Last great day, book of life, judgment, judgement, New Age
The very last of the Creator’s special annual occasions is called the Eighth Day. It is known in Hebrew as Shemini Atzeret, the Eighth Assembly. Not much is really said about it in Leviticus 23 where it is instructed by the Creator. Consequently, there are a wide range of opinions as to its meaning or function in His plans. Let’s consider what is said and then see what connections we can find.
Lev 23:34 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) for seven days to the Lord. 35 ‘On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.”
An 8th day requires the existence of seven previous days. So understanding the 8th probably requires at least some understanding of the previous seven. In the seven was a required assembly and so also on the 8th Day. In the seven was an annual Sabbath and so also on the 8th day. In the seven there were animal sacrifices and so also on the 8th day. However, the pattern of sacrifices on the 8th day differed from the previous seven days.
Num 29:12 ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work, and you shall keep a feast to the Lord seven days. 13 ‘You shall present a burnt offering, an offering made by fire as a sweet aroma to the Lord: thirteen young bulls, two rams, and fourteen lambs in their first year. They shall be without blemish….32 ‘On the seventh day present seven bulls, two rams and fourteen lambs in their first year … without blemish, … “
During the seven days of Tabernacles all the offerings were the same except the number of young bulls was decremented by one each day. The number started at 13, but by the 7th day only 7 bulls were offered. However, the offerings on the 8th day did not fit this pattern.
Num 29:35 “On the eighth day you shall have a sacred assembly. You shall do no customary work. 36 You shall present a burnt offering, an offering made by fire as a sweet aroma to the Lord: one bull, one ram, seven lambs in their first year without blemish,…”
Even though some things were the same, the 8th day was not just a continuation of the previous seven. What else was different?
Lev 23:40 “And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before The Lord your God for seven days…42 You shall dwell in booths(Heb. sukkot ) for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: “
The people were to live in their ‘sukkah’ for the seven days, but not necessarily on the 8th day. A ‘sukkah’ is a small hut or similar simple or temporary structure. The Creator evidently wanted to remind Israel that their forefathers were living in temporary homes when He brought them out of Egypt. At that time Israel was living in tents (Num 9:17). Also they were expected to rejoice for the seven previous days, but not necessarily on the 8th day. Aren’t all of God’s special occasions joyous?
Are the Creators occasions joyous?
Lev 23:2 “Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: The appointed seasons (Heb. mo’edim) of The Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My appointed seasons.“ (JPS)
Most Christian Bibles indicate here in verse 2 and verse 4 that the occasions listed in Leviticus 23 are all ‘feasts’. Generally a feast is a joyous occasion. However, the Hebrew original does not use the word “chag“, which indicates a joyous occasion - a feast, but “mo’ed”, which is simply an appointment and may or may not be joyous. Most Jewish versions of Leviticus make the distinction.
Feast is ‘chag’ or ‘hag’ in Hebrew… a joyous occasion. A special appointment is “mo’ed” and not always joyous. All the Creator’s chagim are mo’edim. Not all mo’edim are chagim. Not all the Creator’s appointments are designated as joyous occasions.
The Day of Atonement, Yome Kippor, is a day of fasting, a day to afflict the soul (Lev 23:27). It is obviously not an occasion of joy. The Creator has designated only three occasions as feasts, joyous occasions.
Ex 23:14 "Three times you shall keep a feast [chagag, a verb] to Me in the year: 15 You shall keep the Feast[chag] of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, …16 "and theFeast[chag] of Harvest [Pentecost], the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast[chag] of Ingathering [Sukkot] at the end of the year”
Other 8th Day events
In accord with this lack of an exhortation to rejoice, 8th days in scripture tend to have a down side. They involve a purging or cleaning that can be painful.
Lev 12:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘If a woman has conceived, and borne a male child, then she shall be unclean seven days; as in the days of her customary impurity she shall be unclean. 3 And on the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.’”
In ancient times parents might get together friends and family to celebrate the circumcision of a son. This appears to be the case when John the Baptist was circumcised (Luke 1:58-59). However, rest assured that the guest of honor was not a happy camper. He was feeling pain. Spiritually the circumcision represented a purging of arrogance and stubbornness (Deu 10:16). That process can also be painful, but the end result is a significant improvement.
Special offerings for purging and cleaning were also done on the 8th day after healings of various maladies. This included women’s issues (Lev 15:29), unusual bodily discharges (Lev 15:14), nazirite purification (Num 6:10) and purification from leprosy.
Lev 14:8- "He who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes, shave off all his hair, and wash himself in water, that he may be clean. After that he shall come into the camp, and shall stay outside his tent seven days. 9 But on the seventh day he shall shave all the hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows--all his hair he shall shave off. He shall wash his clothes and wash his body in water, and he shall be clean. 10 And on the eighth day he shall take two male lambs without blemish, one ewe lamb of the first year without blemish, three-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil as a grain offering, and one log of oil... 11 "Then the priest who makes him clean shall present the man who is to be made clean, and those things, before The Lord, at the door of the tabernacle of meeting….. 19 Then the priest shall offer the sin offering, and make atonement for him who is to be cleansed from his uncleanness. Afterward he shall kill the burnt offering. 20 And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. So the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.”
The leper was clean after seven days, but more cleaning needed to be done on the 8th day. Not until that final cleaning by the priest was the person considered fully clean.
Special cleaning also needed to be done on the 8th day for Aaron and his sons when they were consecrated as priests. The tabernacle was also consecrated at this time (Lev 8:10-11).
Lev 8:34 "As he has done this (1st) day, so The Lord has commanded to do, to make atonement for you. 35 Therefore you shall stay at the door of the tabernacle of meeting day and night for seven days, and keep the charge of The Lord, so that you may not die; for so I have been commanded." ... 9:1 It came to pass on the eighth day that Moses called Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. 2 And he said to Aaron, "Take for yourself a young bull as a sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before The Lord. …7 And Moses said to Aaron, "Go to the altar, offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people. Offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as The Lord commanded”… :22 Then Aaron lifted his hand toward the people, blessed them, and came down from offering the sin offering, the burnt offering, and peace offerings.”
Even after seven days of atonement Aaron still needed to offer a sin offering for himself as priest on the 8th day. He could then offer for all the people. This cleared the way for a very special event.
Lev 9:23 “And Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle of meeting, and came out and blessed the people. Then the glory of The Lord appeared to all the people, 24 and fire came out from before The Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.”
The purging had a purpose: preparing for a new thing beginning the 8th day. The Creator is repulsed by corruption and sin. Everyone needed to be cleansed and purified before He would come among the people. The purification of the altar and Aaron’s consecration was complete on the 8th day. Does this relate at all to the 8th day after the Feast of Tabernacles? (see more 8th day events )
Finding the 8th Day
The time pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles is generally understood to end with the end of the millennium that follows the return of Messiah. Throughout Scripture the Millennium is pictured to be a time of peace and plenty for Israel. It begins once Messiah takes control of the earth and binds Satan for 1000 years (Rev 20:3). It ends when the 1000 years is completed.
Rev 20:4 “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years.”
The end of this 1000 years would then end the time pictured by the 7 days of Tabernacles. The 8th day would logically begin as the 7 days of Tabernacles end.
Rev 20:7 “Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Certainly these events are consistent with the purging we saw on other 8th days. Even after 1000 years of rule there will evidently still be people on earth that don’t appreciate what the Creator is trying to do on earth. They will continue in their self seeking mentality and be purged. This rebellion of Gog and Magog is further described in Ezekiel.
Eze 38:14 "Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, Thus says The Lord: "On that day when My people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? 15 Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. 16 You will come up against My people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes." … 21 "I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains," says The Lord. "Every man’s sword will be against his brother. 22 And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. 23 Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am The Lord."’
The Creator is especially concerned about Israel, but also wants to make an impression on other people too. Certainly everyone on earth will hear and fear at this event. Revelation continues describing other events of this time.
Rev 20:11 “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.”
It appears from the context of Revelation that there is a great resurrection along with a final judging of all who have ever lived after Gog’s rebellion. However, this author has been unable to find any direct connection between an 8th day event and a resurrection. However, there is a resurrection foretold in Ezekiel 37.
Eze 37:1 “The hand of the LORD came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones… 4 Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of The Lord! … 7 So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone 8 Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them…10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army…. 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says The Lord: "Behold, O My people,I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 "Then you shall know that I am The Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves…14 "I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, The Lord, have spoken it and performed it," says The Lord.” (see also Isa 11:10-12)
Here the Creator moves through His Spirit to bring all the dead of Israel to life. The Hebrew Scriptures are focused on Israel, but this doesn’t eliminate His concern for all people. We’ll see elsewhere that He will apparently raise all the dead. Notice that He moves to put His spirit in these people. Verse 13 indicates these people didn’t know Him. Now they will know. How does this happen? How long does it take to put His spirit in them?
John 5:28 “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that doing good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that practicing evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (KJV + Scripture4All.org)
All the dead will be awakened. This quote is mainly from the KJV, but the verbs (doing, practicing) came from Scripture4All.org. Scripture4All has a very literal word for word translation of the original Greek. As such it’s not very readable, but it bends over backwards to supply the primary meaning of the Greek. These verbs are Aorist participle. A participle is an action in process. Aorist generally gets its tense from the context.
This very literal translation of these verbs indicates that these resurrected people may actually have an opportunity to be doing good or doing evil. Consider that generally according to the Law if one steals he must repay double. If one does that the Law is kept. The theft is forgotten and everyone moves on.
In the same way, the soul that sins shall die (Eze 18:20). So when sinners die haven’t they paid their penalty? Wouldn’t they come up with a clean slate? Anyone resurrected would need time to establish a new track record. Under Messiah’s 1000 year reign without Satan to distort understanding (Rev 20:2) everyone can be taught the value of righteousness without prejudice. This will take time. There is time in the 1000 year reign of Messiah. It is a time of teaching (Isa 30:21). The examples of Scripture in other 8th days do not indicate any time for teaching or repentance. The final purge certainly takes place on the 8th day, but building a track record would need to happen before that.
Acts 5:32 "And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him."
The Creator doesn’t force His spirit into anyone. People must want it and seek it. This has been the way He has dealt with mankind from the beginning. It will take time for those who do not know the Creator to fully appreciate what He is doing on earth. Humans are slow to change. There is learning taking place in millennial events during the 1000 year reign of Messiah. 8th day examples don’t include a time of teaching.
The context around the resurrection of Ezekiel 37 all seems to include events of Messiah's 1000 year reign. Ezekiel 36 talks of the return of the Israelite captives to their land once Messiah establishes His rule (vs. 24, see also vs. 10). It also indicates His spirit will be instilled in those who return, thus they will obey His statutes and judgments (27). These events appear to be early in Messiah’s reign of 1000 years. He will rebuild Israel (34-36).
Of course, Ezekiel 37 follows with the resurrection of the whole house of Israel. It continues explaining that the two kingdoms of Joseph and Judah will be merged back into one nation (vs.16-17). The battle of Gog and Magog follows that in chapter 38.
So these accounts in Ezekiel place a resurrection during Messiah’s rule before the battle of Gog and Magog. Revelation 20:11-13 seems to place it after that battle. What other indications are there of this resurrection?
Rev 20:4 “…And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.”
This text in Revelation is pretty clear that there is no resurrection until the 1000 year reign of Messiah is finished. However, there is a significant anomaly in verse 5 in some highly respected ancient New Testament texts. The Sinaiticus Greek text and the older Aramaic texts of the Peshitta, read differently.
Rev 20:4 “… lived and reigned with their Christ these thousand years. 5 This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection; over such the second death has no power, but they shall be the priests of God and of his Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years” (Holy Bible, from the Ancient Eastern Text, by G. M. Lamsa, ©1933, renewed 1968 A. J. Holman & Co.)
The phrase “But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished” does not appear in these ancient texts. The original Vaticanus text, which is the only text that really rivals the Sinaiticus, does not include Revelation at all. The lack of support in these texts raises a question about the authenticity of this statement. The flow of thought really is better without the phrase.
Flowing of the Spirit
The Creator and His spirit are certainly moving in powerful ways during the reign of Messiah. Joel describes it as if the Spirit were being poured out from a pitcher.
Joel 2:27 “Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the LORD your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. 28 "And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.”
Peter cited this when he described the giving of the spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:17-18). That was evidently a foreshadow of the full fulfillment in Messiah’s established kingdom during the 1000 years of His direct rule. Messiah will be moving with the Spirit to reach all people, but especially Israel. He wants everyone to know what He is about. Ignorance will not be possible.
Jer 31:33 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34 "No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
Messiah also directly connects the movement of the Spirit with the Feast of Tabernacles. The Spirit would come to the disciples in Acts 2, but John’s account of Messiah’s words directly connects the flow of His Spirit to Tabernacles.
John 7:37 ‘On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.’
The Feast of Tabernacles is consistently seven days in the Hebrew Scriptures. The last day of the Feast is the 7th day of the Feast. The 8th day is not part of the joyous festival of Tabernacles/Sukkot. Jewish tradition has a special name for the 7th day, Hosanna Rabbah, meaning the Great Salvation. They consider that this 7th day is a day when the Spirit of God will move in a very powerful way to bring salvation. For the Jews in New Testament times the 7th day was the climax of the Feast of Tabernacles.
John recognized the last day of the Feast was a special ‘great day’ and preserved a special connection with the pouring out of the Spirit. This was recorded in Messiah’s words of the 7th day of the Feast. Certainly a resurrection and ultimate conversion of Israel would also be a time of special movement of the Spirit. So wouldn’t the resurrection likely be a part of the powerful movement of the Spirit on the 7th day?
Ancient Hebrew Accounts and Timing
Let’s consider something about Hebrew thought and the timing of events. We saw that the presence of God filled the tabernacle on the 8th day of Aaron’s consecration. The tabernacle and especially the altar were also consecrated as Aaron was fulfilling his consecration. An account of this also appears in Exodus 40.
Ex 40:12 "Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the tabernacle of meeting and wash them with water. 13 "You shall put the holy garments on Aaron, and anoint him and consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest… 17 And it came to pass in the first month of the second year, on the first day of the month, that the tabernacle was raised up. 18 So Moses raised up the tabernacle, fastened its sockets, set up its boards, put in its bars, and raised up its pillars…33 And he raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the screen of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. 34 Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of The Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of The Lord filled the tabernacle.”
This account calls out the day the tabernacle was raised up. We assume that everything happened that day unless there is some other indication. There is no other indication here. The arrival of the presence of the Eternal seems to be the same day. Yet Leviticus 9 is clear the presence of the Creator filled the tabernacle 7 days later on the 8th day. This account in Exodus 40 is not concerned about the exact timing of related events. It is only concerned with the date of the completion of the tabernacle.
This lack of concern with timing is not unusual in Old Testament accounts. An article by Ronnie Littlejohn, The Hebrew Concept of Time addresses the matter. Towards the end of the article he summarizes.
“The Hebrews were impressed by the weightiness or significance of things and people, not by how many ticks on a clock went by while doing something. This explains why when scholars study the Old Testament, matters that are revealed by their research to be widely separated with reference to time (our definition) can, if their content coincides, be identified and regarded as simultaneous by the Old Testament (because of their view of time).” (pp. 53-56. Biblical Illustrator, Winter 1999-2000, Nashville, TN. Also available at:http://www.ovrlnd.com/Eschatology/hebrewconceptoftime.html )
Certainly the Creator has His hand in the record of the Old Testament. He also has His hand in the New Testament. It was certainly also a Hebrew mindset that authored Revelation. So the sequential order of things or their proximity to one another in an account doesn’t necessarily guarantee sequence or simultaneous occurrence. The Hebrew mind is more concerned with the weightiness or significance of events, not their timing. So let’s look at some other verses that describe similar events to those of Revelation 20:7-13.
Mat 3:11b “… but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 "His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.“
Certainly, burning the chaff is consistent with the purgings of other 8th day events we examined. However, the time for gathering in is certainly the Feast of Ingathering, Tabernacles. If the crop is harvested and stashed in the barn and the chaff burned, is there anything left to harvest?
Mat 3:39 “…the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father”
The ‘end of the age’ signifies a significant transition. These verses also talk of a thorough purge of the lawless. These verses end with a reference not to the Kingdom of Messiah, but the Father. This mirrors a transition that follows quickly after a final purge. Notice that the offensive people will be gathered from His (Messiah's) kingdom, not the grave. That doesn’t preclude them from having been resurrected earlier and given time to learn and repent.
1Peter 4:17 “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?”
Peter hints at an order of judgment beginning with believers from this life and ending with those who do not obey. As people come to understand and begin to follow Messiah they receive His spirit and are written in the Book of Life. Those who don’t follow Messiah are evidently given more time…until there is no more time or they make themselves intolerable.
Rev 20:14 “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”
So again we see that those who don’t follow Messiah will be purged because they won’t be written in the Book of Life. In verse 14 and 15 we also have an indication that timing is not critical to the author of this account. Certainly those not in the Book of Life must be destroyed before death is destroyed. Yet based on the order of verses 14 and 15 it would be easy to assume this account is saying the opposite. The second death seems to take place before those not in His book are cast into the fire.
How can we reconcile the apparent resurrection and judgment after the rebellion of Gog and Maygog in Revelation with Ezekiel that seems to place it before the rebellion? Generally, Revelation seems to be in sequential order. Certainly the seven seals, seven trumpets and bowl plagues are intended to be understood sequentially. However, other events in Revelation seem to go back and forth from one time period to another.
Revelation 21:5 “Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful." 6 And He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. … 8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Above we see that Messiah is making all things new. However, earlier, verse 21:1 indicated all things were already new when the New Jerusalem descended. In verse 6 He talks of giving of the water of life to those that thirst. This brings to mind Messiah’s words on the great last day of the Feast: "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.” (John 7:37). So this seems to be a time before the 8th day even though verse 1 is talking of the arrival of New Jerusalem which fits the 8th day pattern set at the consecration of Aaron. Finally, in verse 8 above, He indicates the lawless are yet to meet their fate in the Lake of Fire, in which the lawless were already tossed in verse 20:15.
When we consider this in light of Mr. Littlejohn’s statements about Hebrew concepts of time it is no wonder we are confused. We like things organized by time sequence. Hebrew minds didn’t think that way. They organized by relationship and significance. Unfortunately, all the events of Revelation 20:4-15 are related and significant. It should be no great surprise if they are not organized by time sequence.
Indeed, it is somewhat odd that the 1000 year reign of Messiah appears to have only three verses (20:4-6) dedicated to it. (Remember the first phrase of verse 5 is suspect.) Only verse 4 tells us much about the Millennium. Verse 7 jumps beyond it.
Consider that the rebellion of Gog in verse 7 is placed where it is because of its direct connection with the 1000 years rather than it being the next event based on ticks of a clock. If the account of Gog’s rebellion began after verse 13 we would connect the resurrection of the dead with the reign of Messiah and the Saints, which is exactly where Ezekiel seems to put it.
Beginning in Revelation 20:4 the account is concerned with judgment. “I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them…”. Verses 7-10 record the great judgment that will come on Gog and Maygog. Verses 11-13 foretell judgment on everyone else. These events may not necessarily each follow the other, but may include overlap. However, there can’t be a judgment of all the dead without a resurrection of the dead. So resurrection is included, but is not the focus. Judgment is the focus. Some of these dead will evidently be harvested with the wheat at the time of Ingathering. The rest have made themselves tares and chaff.
The apparent discrepancy of resurrection timing can be eliminated if we appreciate that people will not be judged directly on their conduct in this life. They need to build a track record in an environment where truth is available, where they can truly be responsible for their own choices and actions. Resurrection during the time of Ingathering would allow those who will repent to be gathered in with the wheat. Those left will be purged near or with Gog and Maygog on the 8th day.
Once the final purge is accomplished the way is prepared for the arrival of the presence of the Father. The events of Revelation follow the pattern set with the anointing of Aaron and the original tabernacle. The New Jerusalem will descend. A new age is about to begin on the 8th day.
A New Age
Rev 21:10 “And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal…. 22 But I saw no temple in it, for The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of The Lord illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. 24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it. 25 Its gates shall not be shut at all by day (there shall be no night there). 26 And they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it. 27 But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”
Once the rebellious are purged the way is clear for the arrival of the Creator. As His presence filled the Tabernacle on the 8th day of Aaron’s anointing, so He will arrive to dwell with His children in the fulfillment of the 8th Day. Certainly, this will be an occasion of great joy, but it comes at a price.
2Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
‘Willing’ in the above verse is Greek: ‘boulomai’. It means ‘to will deliberately’ or ‘to have a purpose’. The Creator is Creator of all mankind. He isn’t seeking to eliminate anyone, but neither can He repent for them. Everyone must make that decision for themselves. Some will evidently not want to do that.
Eze 33:11 "Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says The Lord, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’
Again this is focused on Israel, but as we saw above He wants all to come to repentance and turn from evil. It is our choice and the choice of all mankind whether they will choose life or death. The Creator is creating a universe of peace and harmony. Those who wish to ignore the standards that make peace and harmony will not be allowed to continue in their contentious ways. Their loss will not be a source of joy, but it will usher in a new age of tranquility, wellbeing and brotherhood beginning the 8th day.
The number 8 in Scripture carries a meaning of a new beginning. The 8th day will see a new heavens and a new earth. There will be no more death, pain or sorrow. The Most High will be among His children in a kingdom of peace.
Rev 21:3 “And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. The Lord Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And The Lord will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away."
One More 8th Day event
Ex 22:29 “You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce and your juices. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to Me. 30 "Likewise you shall do with your oxen and your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me.”
The firstborn belonged to the Creator on the 8th day. Of course in this life our sons are redeemed as are unclean animals. Clean animals were intended to be given directly to Him on the 8th day. Who are the clean and most important firstborn?
Heb 12:22 “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn(plural) who are registered in heaven, to The Lord the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect.”
Those who are of the congregation of Messiah, His body, are a special type of firstborn. Of course Messiah is the first of the firstborn. All firstborn will be delivered to the Father once all enemies are destroyed, purged. That purging is complete on the 8th day.
I Cor 15:24 ‘Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For "He has put all things under His feet…"’
The firstfruits/firstborn will be with Messiah during His 1000 year reign (Rev 14:4). The purging of the 8th day will be a sad event, but it will clear the land of those who would corrupt it for their personal gain. Once the earth is cleansed the Creator of the Universe will make His home with His people. They will all be turned over to the Father likely at His arrival with the New Jerusalem. He will be their God and they will be His children made in His image: not just because they look similar, but because they think alike and walk the same path.