The pattern of the Week, introduced by the Lord at the beginning of His works, is repetitive. Each complete week is followed by another. Whether we like it or not, the pattern of seven cannot be held to be the ultimate pattern or design, even though the number seven is undoubtedly connected with spiritual perfection. But those who study numbers tell us that eight is the number of resurrection and a new beginning. Let’s see whether another analogy may be helpful here.
Suppose we were to transfer our thinking to that of the diatonic scale on the piano keyboard. If we try to think of the scale in terms of the seven-day week we find immediately that something is missing. One may sing up the scale from Doh, – – Ray, Me, Fah, Soh, La, Te – – – but you cannot stop there. Satisfaction can only be obtained by singing Doh’, an octave higher than the starting point.
It is my own persuasion, based upon the writings of the three men I mentioned in the first chapter, that there is something beyond. One cannot just have a sabbatic week. There has to be yet another period of a thousand years to bring the melody to a satisfactory conclusion. This in no way destroys the concept of the week, but places the week within a larger framework, still based on the septenary design. Just as each week is followed by another week, so each scale from Doh to Te is followed by another series of seven notes. The eighth is therefore tagged on to the previous seven. Some may argue that the diatonic scale is not allowed, having no part in the scriptural record. But may I point out that the scale is not man-made but a naturally occurring fact of music, and like many other naturally occurring phenomena of the created world, may very well carry a revelatory message for those who have ears to hear.
In order to see the Biblical warrant for this line of thinking, namely the occurrence of seven-plus-one, we cannot do better than to look at the symbolism of the days of the Feast of Tabernacles in Leviticus 23:36-39. “Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord; on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation.” See how the eighth day is added to a span of sevenconnected days. It is therefore, in one sense, a part of the Feast, and in another not a part. See how the Lord speaks in verse 41“You shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year.” He did not say eight days, but seven. However, the eighth day, known as “the last day, the great day of the Feast”, as John tells us in his Gospel (7:37) is a High Sabbath. The Jews called the day Shemini Atzeret, (the eighth day of assembly) and there used to be a most elaborate order of events, connected with the pouring out of water from the Pool Siloam. Rejoicing knew no bounds on that day.
Crowds of Jewish worshippers would be in the Temple Court, surrounding the Altar. The water would be brought from Siloam, and the people would wave their Lulav (branches of palm) in their right hands, and hold up their Etrog (citrus fruit) in their left hands, as the water was poured out to the Lord. Then they would sing Psalm 118, the Hallel with great gusto. When all this noisy rejoicing was completed, and whilst they awaited the offering of the special sacrifices of the day, the lone voice of the Son of God cried out in their midst, and every one turned to see who it was. . . . . .
“If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He who believes on me, as the Scripture has said, out of his innermost parts shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38)
John then added a word of explanation about Jesus’ words. He said, “But this He spoke of the Spirit, which those who believe on Him should receive, for the Holy Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
Where else do we read about a river of living water? It is in Revelation 22.1. “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” What is most important to our investigation is what is said later in the chapter, in verse 5. “And they [His servants] shall reign unto the ages of the ages.” But in chapter 20, where a similar reign is mentioned, it was stated that, “they shall reign with Him a thousand years.” In other words, the events of chapter 22 are post-millennial. I should like to suggest that the expression “the ages of the ages” refers to the eighth millennium,as a result of reading these verses. This was the significance of the eighth day of Tabernacles, and our Lord reinforced that understanding when He cried out from the crowd, concerning the rivers of living water. This is our first excursion into the symbolism of the Millennial Octave.
Before concluding the chapter let me say this. I recognise that I have assumed that which I set out to prove, even before any substantive evidence is forthcoming. I would ask my readers to be patient. The evidence will be presented step by step. The assumption I have made in this chapter is based on the meaning of the week, that it represents seven periods of a thousand years, and that the days of Tabernacles provides evidence of a further thousand years. It is just the beginning of an investigation.