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The Law of the Eighth Day

Nov 17, 2009

There are many very important truths that are missed when people neglect or refuse to study the books of the law. If Christians studied the story of Israel in the wilderness under Moses, there would be far fewer doctrinal disputes between denominations, because they would see that the disputed doctrines in the church today were clarified in "the church in the wilderness" (Acts 7:38).

Likewise, if men studied Moses and learned about the feast days, it is not likely that we would be divided into Passover Churches, Pentecostal Churches, and Overcomer Churches. Passover churches are those whose message focuses upon the truth of Passover--that is, justification by faith in the blood of the Lamb. Pentecostal churches are those whose message focuses upon the truth of Pentecost--that is, sanctification, holy living, and the law. (These, however, having put away the divine law, usually substitute man's law in its place, legislating on hair style, jewelry, clothing, etc.)

It is important that we maintain a holistic approach to the Scripture. Jesus said in Matt. 4:4, "man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." This was a quotation from Deut. 8:3.

One's approach to the word of God generally determines one's ability to understand (and agree with) the laws of God. Those who reject the law outright cut themselves off from a large volume of revelation. But even those who claim to believe in the validity of the divine law are often blinded by their rejection of certain portions of it.

One such law is the law of the eighth day, which many Sabbatarian believers seem to fear. Many have been taught that any acknowledgement of the eighth day puts them in danger of receiving the "mark of the beast." As a result, they blind themselves to the whole concept of SONSHIP.

The basic law is found in Exodus 22:29, 30,

(29) You shall not delay the offering from your harvest and your vintage. The first-born of your sons you shall give to Me. (30) You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep. It shall be with its mother seven days; on the eighth day you shall give it to Me.

This is why Jesus was taken to the temple when he was eight days old for circumcision (Luke 2:21). His mother had to return on the 40th day for her own purification and to present Him again to the Father (Luke 2:22). The laws of purification have taken a different form under the New Covenant, because now we are cleansed by the water of the Word, rather than by literal water (John 15:3; Eph. 5:26). The law was not put away, but the form changed from Old Covenant to the New.

You see, man is an unclean creature (in his flesh). Man does not have a cloven hoof, chew the cud, nor does he have fins and scales. But if he hears the Word, stands on a double witness, meditates on it ("chews the cud"), and if he relies upon divine guidance ("fins") and the whole armor of God ("scales"), then is he CLEAN.

The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). If a man rejects any portion of the Word, he is unclean to that degree and in need of some further cleansing by the washing of the Word.

The law of the eighth day is one such law. It is the only day on which the first-born sons could be presented to God (Ex. 22:30). That is why Jesus rose from the dead on the wave-sheaf offering, and was presented to the Father the moment the high priest waved the sheaf of barley in the temple. It was "the morrow after the Sabbath" (Lev. 23:11, KJV). Some insist that Jesus was raised from the dead on Saturday evening at sundown. Whether or not that is true, it does not make any real difference from the standpoint of the law. The point is that Jesus could not "ascend" to present Himself to the Father until the eighth day--more precisely, when the priest waved the sheaf of barley at the third hour of the day.

The eighth-day wave sheaf offering also marked the first day of a seven week countdown toward Pentecost (Lev. 23:15). Thus, Pentecost always fell on an eighth day. The Church under Pentecost in Acts 2 was thus presented to God on the eighth day.

This is also why there are eight days in the feast of Tabernacles. The Sons of God must be presented to the Father on an eighth day as well, after being "birthed" on the first day of Tabernacles. After they have been presented to the Father, they must then return to be "manifested" to the people. This is what Paul calls "the manifestation of the sons of God" (Rom. 8:19).

The order of events is: birthing on the first day; presentation on the eighth day, followed by the manifestation.

The law again foreshadows this event in the consecration of the priests (Lev. 8 and 9). It is relevant to us, because we shall be "priests of God and of Christ" (Rev. 20:6). We are a "royal priesthood" (or, a kingdom of priests), as Peter tells us in 1 Pet. 2:9. Though we are of a Melchizedek Order today, the prophetic patterns of consecration were established under the Aaronic Order in Leviticus 8 and 9.

The priests were to remain in the tabernacle of Moses for a full seven days, "day and night" (Lev. 8:35). This prophesies of our own consecration to God in the feast of Tabernacles. Then on the eighth day, the newly consecrated priests emerged (Lev. 9:1), "for today the Lord will appear [manifest] unto you" (9:4). Verse 6 says, "the glory of the Lord shall appear unto you." Verse 23 says that the glory did appear, when the fire came down from heaven to consume the offering on the altar.

This is the Old Covenant portrayal of the divine acceptance of the offering. Under the New Covenant, we are to present our bodies as living sacrifices that are acceptable to God (Rom. 12:1). Though we should do this daily, the ultimate fulfillment of this is when we are offered to God as a perfected offering on the eighth day of Tabernacles.

So in the feast days themselves, we find three distinct eighth-day applications. First was the wave-sheaf offering during the Passover season (feast of unleavened bread); the second was Pentecost (feast of leavened bread); and the third was the eighth day of Tabernacles.

This is the path to Sonship. (It is not the mark of the beast.) Without going through these steps in our relationship with God, we cannot be part of that company of the Sons of God.

In the historical level of fulfillment, which is the longest-term fulfillment of this prophecy, the overcomers from past ages will be raised in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4-6) at the feast of Trumpets, in order to join with those who are "alive and remain" (1 Thess. 4:17). As one body, then, they will be presented to the Father on the eighth day of Tabernacles, which is three weeks after that resurrection.

A thousand years later, when the general resurrection occurs, the rest of the believers will be presented to the Father at the beginning of the eighth millennial "day" in order to fulfill the law. In this resurrection will be both believers and unbelievers, as Jesus explains in John 5:28 and 29. Their rewards will be quite different, of course, but the believers will be given their reward at the same time that the unbelievers receive their reward (Luke 12:46).

The unbelievers will receive judgment in the "lake of fire," the aionian judgment that is clearly explained in Scripture. At the end of that aion (eon) or "age," the Creation Jubilee will be declared, and all of creation will be set free in the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Rom. 8:21). This is the final goal of the divine plan in history. The Jubilee is the 50th year that follows seven sabbatical years. Hence, the Jubilee is the highest fulfillment of the eighth day laws.

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Category: God's Law

Dr. Stephen Jones

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