Mark of the Beast or Seal of the Feasts
Can We Leave the Gates Open on Shabbat and High Sabbaths?
Shabbat and the High Sabbaths of the moedim provide a seamless connection between the six days of work and the Seven. In a fallen world, the gates must be closed in order to stop the fires of commerce from burning within. Review Nehemiah 10, and the precedent for the thematic sevens of Revelation are presented with the problem of Shabbat commerce.
The mark of the beast in Revelation is one that strikes fear even in the hearts of many believers. They fear that without some visible mark, they will not be able to buy or sell...at all. The precedent, however, is more sensible and based on a moed as old as Genesis One: six days to work and a Shabbat.
Nehemiah notes and reprimands the Sabbath-breaking workers and merchants:
In those days I saw in Judah some who were treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads, and they brought them into Jerusalem on the sabbath day. So I admonished them on the day they sold food. (Nehemiah 13:15)
Then I reprimanded the nobles of Judah and said to them, 'What is this evil thing you are doing, by profaning the sabbath day?' (17)
Nehemiah still has a problem. The Sabbath-breakers simply will not cease from their commerce! Hearts have not changed. His solution:
It came about that just as it grew dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and that they should not open them until after the sabbath. Then I stationed some of my servants at the gates so that no load would enter on the sabbath day. (19)
And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come as gatekeepers to sanctify the sabbath day. For this also remember me, O my God, and have compassion on me according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness. (22)
In order to stop the unholy mixture of six working days bleeding into Shabbat, the Levites had to become gatekeepers of Jerusalem. The six and the seven are consecutive and have a relationship to one another, but they are not identical. They are knit together, yet separate! Six is the number of preparation, but seven is the number of celebration in completion. The fabric of the week is beautifully seamless, yet set-apart to achieve the holiness in unity.
Nehemiah reiterates the holiness of Shabbat to the Jews, reminding them that it is not a day to buy and sell. John's symbolism of the 6s and 7s in Revelation is a repetition of this warning, and John's woe to the merchants of Babylon is even longer and more detailed!
Dinah was Leah's seventh child, but unlike her brothers, the rationale behind her name is not given in the Genesis text. The naming of the six brothers preceding her show evidence of Leah's creative thought processes, but in Dinah, the work of naming is concealed, for it simply says she called her daughter Dinah. Later when Dinah is violated, the brothers ask an interesting question, "Should our sister be treated as a harlot?"
Twice in the heart of the Torah, Leviticus 19, keeping Shabbat is mentioned, first in the context of honoring one's mother and father, and second in the context of not degrading one's daughter in order to make her a harlot. The first context, honoring one's mother and father is a reverse of the first giving of the Ten Commandments, which enjoins honoring one's father and mother. The heart of the Torah sets the mother first, equalizing the relationship and the importance of a child learning reverence for Shabbat by honoring the role of both parents equally.
The second context enjoins the prohibition against degrading a daughter in Israel along with the need for keeping Shabbat and reverencing the sanctuary. By viewing a daughter as a precious person, not a commodity, the reverse is true: parents learn reverence for the sanctuary, and therefore they reverence Shabbat, which is characterized by Yirat Adonai (Reverence of Adonai), the Seventh Spirit of Adonai.
Merchandising women was the rule rather than the exception in ancient times, whether for arranged marriages to bring prosperity to the family or selling a daughter into prostitution. Neither practice recognized a woman as anything more than merchandise, which fits nicely into the economic system of the beast.
In the Messianic Kingdom that is all Shabbat, however, there is no room for such a use of a woman's ruach (spirit), nefesh (soul), or guf (body). She is a precious person, more valuable than pearls, not as a medium of exchange, but as part of the crown of Shabbat. The beast's economic system that degrades daughters into harlotry will fall, fall.
In Jewish tradition, Shabbat is special for women, and even the Shabbat Divine Presence is likened to a Queen entering the home. So did Leah give birth to six children or seven? Which child was the crown of Leah's creative efforts with sons? Sukkot, which parallels Shabbat, renders the practical application of the judgments of Yom HaKippurim, the Preparation Day for Sukkot.
In Dinah, the feminine form of judgment is rendered, not the male form of Dan, who is missing from the tribal list in Revelation. Harsh judgment has been rendered upon the Harlot, the Beast, and the Serpent in Revelation, but Dinah is restored in the righteous who do not have the mark of the beast, but the Seven Seals of Shabbat and Sukkot. They have not regarded the daughter as a harlot, but protected their Sister, the righteous judgments of the Torah in kindness and mercy, and therefore they have learned to reverence the Sanctuary of Elohim.
The chronological progression of honor from father first to mother first signals a shift to the emphasis on the mother so that the promise to Sarah, who was one with Abraham (Isaiah 51:2) when he was called, could be fulfilled. Sarah was to be the mother of many nations, not the Harlot, the mother of abominations of the earth.
The daughters of Israel are loved, the Shabbat is cherished and protected in each home, and those who dwell in Israel no longer buy and sell on Shabbat. The gates are not closed day or night in the Lamb's Holy City, for the kings of the earth come in only to bring their glory to the Holy One and the holiness of Shabbat, not to merchandise the souls of men and women.
Shabbat is once again a safe place, for there is no sun or moon to light it. Like every other Shabbat, the light comes from within the prepared homes, just as the Adonai and the Lamb are the Light of the House where He dwells. The Torah is a light and the mitzvah is a lamp. Engage the Ruach and letter of the Torah in its commandments, and one day there will be no need to light Shabbat candles, for those within the House will light it up like the day, just as the Israelites had supernatural light in all their dwellings while the Egyptians lived in thick darkness.
Like this excerpt from Vaetchanan in Creation Gospel Workbook Five Vol 5? You can order it on amazon.com along with Workbook Six, which gives greater detail on the mark of the beast.
Creation Gospel Workbook Five continues to pull the threads from the Rivers of Eden through the Torah portions. It has illustrative stories, wordplay, and thematic explorations of the text and symbols.
The Torah text is traced to its apocalyptic outcomes in some portions, and the literal text is compared and contrast
ed with the figurative language often used in Scripture.
The hermeneutic device of consecutive numbers is explained, and the challenge of ritual and tradition is addressed. The Song of Moses is keyed thematically to the Book of Revelation, and the final Mosaic blessing on the sons of Israel is keyed to the Valorous Woman of Proverbs 31, revealing a secret in blessings, a blessing on the daughters.
Each portion has review questions, bonus discovery questions, and assignments suitable for both individuals and study groups.
The most important objective of the workbook, to encourage individual spiritual transformation from the Word, is included in each Torah portion.
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