I have been thinking and praying about the upcoming Year of Jubilee, which will begin September 23, 2015 and lasts for a year. Remember, Jesus began his public ministry by quoting Isaiah 61, as shown in Table 1. God first gave the reason for this Acceptable Year in Leviticus, where He calls it the Jubilee Year –
“Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. ‘And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family.” – Leviticus 25:9, 10
In the post The Acceptable Year to Come I asked the question “Does the 3 1/2 years of Jesus’ ministry during His first advent have anything to do with the first 31/2 years when the Antichrist will be revealed?”. I want to elaborate on that question here.
Although there are many opinions on the length of Jesus’ ministry on earth, some say 1 year, some 2, and some say 3 1/2, I believe the most complete answer that takes in all Scripture, both Old Testament and New Testament, is 3 1/2 years. This date also harmonizes with Daniel 9:25, 26 which accurately predicted the exact date Jesus would arrive in Jerusalem on His Triumphant Entry. But, why is all this important? I will give you my opinion and you can judge for yourself.
Daniel also predicted the arrival and work of the figure known as the Antichrist in the following verses.
“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolation’s are determined.
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.” – Daniel 9:26, 27
Daniel predicted the Messiah would “be cut off” (crucified) and that the people of the “prince who is to come” (Antichrist) should destroy the city (Jerusalem) and the Temple. We know the Romans did just that in 70 A.D. and 134 A.D. Therefore the Antichrist will come out of a future Rome. Daniel also revealed that this future Roman prince would make a 1 week (7 year) covenant with Israel but would break it in “the middle of the week” (3 1/2 years). The first 3 1/2 years will seem to go well but his persecution will begin during the second 3 1/2 years. Jesus called this the “great tribulation” – Matthew 24:21. Now I will answer the question about the 3 1/2 year ministry of Jesus and its connection to the Acceptable Year of the Lord.
Jesus appointed His disciples and taught them to complete the ministry He began. He sent the Holy Spirit 50 days after His resurrection to empower them to do the job, which was the ‘former rain’ of Joel. Now, in these last days we have another Jubilee Year, an Acceptable Year, about to begin. Will this new 50th year initiate the ‘latter rain’ of Joel?
Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit before He began His ministry (John 1:32) and He told His disciples to wait until they were endued with power before beginning their ministries (Acts 1:4-8). The Holy Spirit came on Pentecost which was fifty days after the Feast of First-fruits when Jesus rose from the dead. Surely we need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit to complete the final harvest of souls that James alludes to –
Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. – James 5:7-8
The Four Blood Red Moon Tetrad we are currently in seems to be signaling the lateness of the hour. Israel, like a fig tree is budding (Matthew 24:32) and the nations are gathering for their final assault on her. I expect the Antichrist to come forth anytime to make his offer of peace to Israel. But, God is not surprised. Indeed He is preparing for a supernatural harvest of epic proportions.
“Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “When the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; The mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it. – Amos 9:13
As I see nations turning against God and His Anointed; As I see Christ’s own Church deny Him by accepting the standards of the world when Scriptures declare “friendship with the world is enmity with God”; am I being overly optimistic to believe God would send a deluge of His Holy Spirit into such a climate? I think not! After all, the climate today is no worse than it was when they crucified the Lord of heaven and earth. So, as this next Jubilee approaches I am hoping and praying for the latter rain to fall and I want to be part of it! But, a word of warning – Jesus appeared to over 500 disciples and told them to wait in Jerusalem for the former rain – but only 120 obeyed.
I believe the 3 1/2 year ministry of Jesus represents the Church’s ministry during the first 3 1/2 years of the Antichrist’s appearance. We will be equipped to gather in an abundant harvest for the Lord. And I believe this Jubilee Year may indeed be the signal that the latter rain of Joel is about to fall.