What is to be “transformed into the same image” of Christ? (Part 9) – Why we are living in the age of jubilee?

Humans have the ability to experience a joy that is higher than anything this world can offer. This joy will make you “exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Pet. 1:8 – Recovery Version) so that you are beside yourself in joy. Our inner beings hunger for this. The emptiness that we all feel, our thirst for contentment, can finally be fulfilled. We have come to the age of the jubilee.

In the Old Testament, after the children of Israel (God’s people) were delivered by Moses, the deliverer (Christ), out of Egypt (the world), passing them through the Red Sea (baptizing them separating God’s people from the world of sin), they rejoice and sang a song to the Lord (Exo. 15:1-21). The lambs that had shed their blood, painted on their doorposts, had spared them from God’s judgment which passed over them. (Christ became the lamb shedding his blood for us as our Passover.) The bitter water they endured in Egypt became sweet (Exo. 15:22-26) as they were brought into the wilderness (the world, sin, no longer keeps us in bondage as its slaves). In this wilderness, they were fed by God with the bread from heaven (Exo. 16:4) (“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” – John 6:35), transforming them intrinsically so they could enter the good land (the foretaste of heaven itself). While in the wilderness, God gave them his laws defining for them what holiness really is. They needed sacrifices for whatever they did, before they could approach God because in their flesh, they were all unclean. Every expression out of their flesh was unclean. But God was holy. So God purifies them with his burning fire on the altar, burning up the flesh of the offerings, terminating the life of an animal to pay the penalty as a substitute for their own sins. The animals gave their lives for the children of Israel as Christ gave his life for us. They were to rest in God, so every seven days, they had a Sabbath day of complete rest. Every seven years, they had a Sabbath year where they were to do nothing. “For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits, but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord.” (Lev. 25:3-4) Then in the fullness of time, “You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years shall give you forty-nine years…And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all your land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan. That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of itself nor gather the grapes from the undressed vines. For it is a jubilee. It shall be holy to you. You may eat the produce of the land.” (Lev. 25:8-12) On the year of the Jubilee, not only did the children of Israel celebrate with ecstatic joy, but two things happened. All the property you had lost, because you were poor and sold it off, was returned to you. If you had even sold yourself because of your poverty, you were freed to return to your own clan. Every fifty years, on the jubilee year, this was to happen. Again during this year, they were to do no work but only enjoy and celebrate. Today, in the fullness of time, realize we have entered his jubilee.

Repeatedly God tells us there is nothing we could do on his Sabbath. Every multiple of seven, we are to rest and do no labour. On the fiftieth year, we are to have a year of jubilee. Fifty is the Pentecostal year. It foreshadows the day of Pentecost, fifty days after the day Christ resurrected when the Spirit came like a mighty rushing wind. “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one on them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4) In this Pentecostal year, this year of jubilee, liberty has been proclaimed to all the inhabitants of the land. What they had loss of their possessions, it was returned to them (Lev. 25:13, 23-34). Because of their poverty, if they had sold themselves to another clan, the children of Israel were to return to their own clan again (Lev. 25:35-55). What we have lost, is found (Luke 15:32). What we have been enslaved to, we are freed (John 8:34). In Luke 4:16-19, Jesus refers us to Isa. 61:1-3 which says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19). Jesus adds, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:21) Realize we had been sold to sin as a slave of sin. “Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.’” (John 8:24) “For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold into the bondage of sin.” (Rom. 7:14) He has come to proclaim the good news to the poor who have sold themselves into the bondage of sin. He has come to proclaim liberty to those oppressed by sin, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, the year of jubilee.

The loss of our possessions was returned to us on the year of jubilee. What is the greatest possession that man lost? Realize man was created with a God-shaped cavity that was supposed to be filled with God. We were created like a cup, an earthen vessel (2 Cor. 4:7), to contain God on the inside, and to express him on the outside. We were supposed to take from the tree of life so God would be the content filling every human being on this earth. God was supposed to be our possession filling our God-shaped cavity so we would hunger and thirst nevermore. The possession of any earthen vessel is its content. When we ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, we lost our possession. “Then the Lord God said, ‘Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever’—therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.” (Gen. 3:22-24) We where driven out to till the ground ourselves, apart from God and not yoked with Him, and guarded from taking God as our content. We could no longer eat him and assimilate him intrinsically into our inner beings as the tree of life. We lost God as our possession.

When Christ died on the cross for us and resurrected as the life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45), He could enter man once more. Meeting the disciple in the upper room, “He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” (John 20:22) God could enter into man once again providing them with the eternal divine life of God saving them, cleansing them on the inside. Then on the day of Pentecost, He came as a mighty rushing wind and filled the 120 disciples with His Holy Spirit. “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4) God entered into man as the Spirit of power, expressing Himself through man, becoming man’s expression on the outside. God has come back into man as his life and life supply. We can eat Him and assimilate Him intrinsically into us, transforming us to the same image of Christ. God has returned to us as our possession.

This is jubilee.

When we realize this, our spirit will shout with joy. We will be beside ourselves in ecstasy. “Whom having not seen, you love; into whom though not seeing Him at present, yet believing, you exult with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Peter 1:8 – Recovery Version) Our joy is so great it is unspeakable, inexpressible. The whole problem of man’s fall has been resolved! God can come back to us to fill our God-shaped cavity! We have been transformed into the same image of God. We no longer hunger and thirst as Christ has become our possession!

Realize the jubilee is mutual.

God is celebrating with us.

In the parable of the prodigal son, we have “squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him any.” (Luke 15:13-16) When we lose our possession of God, there is always a need inside, a hunger and thirst that this world cannot provide. The world today is in a severe famine because it tries to fill us with everything except God. It cannot fill our God-shaped cavity so we begin to be in need. We sell ourselves to sin in an attempt to fill our God-shaped cavity. We even long for the pods that are given to pigs. This is the extent of human depravity. We become its slaves, living in the bondage of sin and without God.

When we came to our senses, we realized that in My Father’s house, “How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!” (Luke 15:17) When we finally say, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” (Luke 15:18-19), we arose and came to the Father. Then, “while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” (Luke 15:20) When we return to our Father and realize we “have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” (Luke 15:21), we have realized how empty and worthless we are in this world without God. Once we realize this about ourselves, the Father comes into us, coming back into mankind, to be our possession. So the father said, “’Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:22-24) When we realize our worthlessness within our flesh, that we can do nothing apart from Him (John 15:5), and seek the Father’s face, we were made alive in Him. “Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Eph. 2:5-6) Today, we are celebrating with Christ who has come back into our beings as our jubilee. Not only have we received Christ as our possession, but we have come back to the Father as the lost prodigal son, as his possession. “He was lost, and is found.” (Luke 15:24) “Abide in me, and I in you.” (John 5:4) “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) “I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:23) The prodigal son has returned home. We have God as our possession and God has us as his possession. This is the most momentous occurrence of any event in the history of mankind. Let us “bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate” (Luke 15:24) with God in his jubilee. For today, we who were dead in our flesh have been made alive in God. We who were lost to this world, have been found in Him (Phi. 3:9). This is jubilee.

Jubilee is not just a year as in the Old Testament, it is an age, from the day of Pentecost in Acts, through to the fullness of our celebration of Christ at his wedding feast as his Bride in the millennial kingdom, and likely extending to all of eternity.

Jubilee is not just a celebration, it is Christ in us. Realize God has returned into man, into us, as our possession. When that happens, God has filled our God-shaped cavity with Himself. We are not hungry or thirsty anymore because we have been “filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:19) We are contented because now we possess what we were created for. “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Tim. 6:6) Realize possessing God within is contentment within which is of great gain to us. It leads us to “Be anxious for nothing…” (Phi. 4:6) in this world. We have God as our possession and He has us as His possession. “For you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.” (1 Pet. 2:9) That is why we can “Be anxious for nothing…” (Phi. 4:6) “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Phi. 4:11-13) Paul’s secret in living on this earth is Christ in him as his possession. That is Jubilee.

 

At the end of his journey through Egypt, the Passover, the Red Sea, and the wilderness, as Moses reflected on his entire life as he approached the end of his existence on this earth, he said, “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?” (Deu. 4:7) Call on Him, and make Christ your possession.

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