THE "BIBLICAL" VIEW OF TIME
(Last update 7/3/00)
The "normal" way most people look at time is linear. The past is
"behind us," and the future "ahead of us." Adam and Eve existed about
6,000 years ago, the Torah came to Moses about 3,300 years ago, and the Messiah came about
2,000 years ago. This is all indeed true, from our point of view, from the
"dimensions" we live in. As we will see however, there are a number of places in
Scripture where things are hard to understand if we hold a linear view of time to be the
The Biblical view of time is different. It is less concerned with
"linear years" as it is with the cycle of events occuring within a year and the
relationship these events have with God's eternal plan (i.e., references to them being a
"picture" of what is in the heavenlies and a "shadow" of what is to
Scripture tells us:
- Time was given for our "benefit" as part of creation
- We are but visitors on this earth. Our real home is in the heavenlies,
"outside of time"
It would seem that we are not to live our lives in a strictly linear fashion (overly
concerned with our "time" on this earth), but with our minds in the heavenlies
(outside of time).
As such, Paul gave this command:
Colossians 3:1-2 - If you then be risen with Messiah, seek those
things which are above, where Messiah sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on
things above, not on things on the earth.
Which raises the questions, HOW does one; Seek those things
which are above and, Set his affection on things above?
("Affection" meaning; to interest oneself with concern or obedience.
The answer begins with, "Study to show thyself approved." (2
Study what? God's Torah. (NOTE: There was no New Testament written when
Paul wrote this.) For it is in the Torah that the foundation lies to understanding the
deep mysteries of God, the heavenlies and His will for our lives.
In the Torah (extended through the whole Tenakh/Old Testament) we learn
about; the Moedim (God's feasts), the Sabbath, the Shmitta and Yovel (Jubilee) years, the
Tabernacle/Temple, the Sacrificial system and priesthood, Creation, the Shekinah and the
unity of God. All of these make up what was, what is and what is to come. They also all
relate to Messiah, who is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
According to Ezekiel, God wants His people to study the
third Temple (Ezekiel chapters 40-48). This is the Millennial Temple. What's the point of
this? Is there some type of "mystery" here? Indeed there is. Ezekiel's Temple is
a "physical parable" given to us to study and understand.
(Yeshua also spoke in parables -- God makes it deliberately
"difficult" to learn about deep spiritual things for a purpose.)
A key point missed in most studies, is that the priests of
the Millenial Temple (which includes gentiles - Isaiah 66:20-21) are in a perpetual
state of Yom Kippur, as they are all dressed in the four linen garments as the High
Priest would be on the Day of Atonement:
Ezekiel 44:17-18 - And it shall come to pass, that when they enter
in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool
shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within.
They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their
loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat.
The same garments are dispensed to those who are killed for
the sake of Torah and Yeshua in the "Great Tribulation." They are now allowed to
serve as priests in the same fashion:
Revelation 6:9-11 - And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw
under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the
testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O
Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the
earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said
unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also
and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
There is an allusion to this union of time (Yom Kippur) and
space (the Temple) in the heavenlies, found in Hebrews. Unfortunately, this book is
consistently misinterpreted, as the fact that it is concerned primarily with the Yom
Kippur sacrifice is not understood. (We will cover this in detail in our upcoming
In Hebrews, we are told that the earthly Yom Kippur
sacrifice (done "in time" as we relate to it, by a tainted priesthood) could
never be the perfect sacrifice that the Yom Kippur sacrifice was, done "outside of
time" (as we relate to it), by a High Priest of the heavenly priesthood:
Hebrews 10:1 - For the law having a shadow of
good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices
which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
The writer of Hebrews looks beyond Yeshua's death on the
cross, as He is called "the Lamb slain since the foundation of the world"
(Hebrews 4:2 and also Revelation 13:8). The atonement He provided was completed since
before man was created.
The Zohar speaks of Messiah's work being from time eternal:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 239b, 240a -
He hath washed his garments in wine, even from the time of the
Creation the reference being to the coming of the Messiah on earth. Wine
indicates the left side, and the blood of grapes the left side below. The
Messiah is destined to rule above over all the forces of the idolatrous nations and to
break their power above and below. We may also explain that as wine brings joyfulness and
yet typifies judgement, so the Messiah will bring gladness to Israel, but judgement to the
Gentiles. The spirit of God which hovered over the face of the waters (Gen. I,
2) is the spirit of the Messiah, and from the time of the Creation he washed
his garments in celestial wine.
This creates some serious topics of discussion. How could
Yeshua already have done this before He "came to the earth?" Why did He have to
come do this "again?"
Similar questions arise from Philippians chapter 2. Here it
speaks of Yeshua receiving a name above all other names, from the Father, following
His death. Did He not always have this name?
Another example is seen in Revelation chapter 12. Here we
read of Satan and his angels being evicted from the heavenly realm of God, during the
period of great tribulation on the earth. But did this not "already happen" a
long time ago? Does it "happen again," or do we need to adjust how we think
about things involving spiritual time and space?
MESSIAH AND THE ALEPH-BET
The simple answer to all of these questions about time, is that from
"God's point of reference," these things are already done as He exists outside
of time. We however, are to experience them "in time," which God created for us.
Recall how Yeshua explains that He is eternal, in the book of Revelation:
Revelation 1:8 - I am Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to
come, the Almighty.
Greek-based Bibles use "Alpha and Omega," which strips away the
depth of Yeshua's words. In the Hebrew, the letters are called the Aleph and the Tav (or
"Tau"). Yeshua (the lamb slain since the foundation of the world), says He is
(presently) the beginning AND the end. This concept is found throughout Jewish literature,
where Aleph and Tav represent a totality without beginning or end.
Here we see the Aleph alone representing the composite unity (echad) of
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 21a - First
of all is Aleph, the beginning and end of all grades, that on which all the grades are
imprinted and which yet is always called one, to show that although the
Godhead contains many forms, it is still only one.
NOTE: Although the Zohar speaks of the Godhead containing many forms or
aspects (in fact three major ones), this is not the same as the idea of the
"Christian Trinity." This will be addressed later in this study.
All of creation is represented by the 22 Hebrew letters from Aleph to Tav:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 30a - The
heavens are the totality of twenty-two letters.
The relationship between male and female is associated with the first two
letters, Aleph and Beth:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 200a - The
aleph is the image of the male principle as against the beth, which is the image of the
NOTE: it is critical to note that these remarks about "male" and
"female" are strictly allegorical. To take them otherwise leads to paganism.
Technically (according to Jewish literature), God began creation of the
earth with the second letter, the "beth," which is "feminine."
"Beth" is the first letter of the first book Bereshith (Genesis).
"Beth" is related to Wisdom, which is directly associated with creation and
therefore with Messiah, through whom all was created.
We see all this in the Zohar along with the unity of God and His creation
expressed through the Aleph:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 3b - Thou
hast already bestowed on the letter Beth this great gift, it is not meet for the Supreme
King to take away the gift which He has made to His servant and give it to another. The
Lord said to her: Aleph, Aleph, although I will begin the creation of the world with the
beth, thou wilt remain the first of the letters. My unity shall not be expressed except
through thee, on thee shall be based all calculations and operations of the world, and
unity shall not be expressed save by the letter Aleph. Then the Holy One, blessed be His
name, made higher-world letters of a large pattern and lower-world letters of a small
pattern. It is therefore that we have here two words beginning with beth (Bereshith bara)
and then two words beginning with aleph (Elohim eth). They represent the higher-world
letters and the lower-world letters, which two operate, above and below, together and as
one. BERESHITH (In the beginning). Said R. Yudai: What is the meaning of
Bereshith? It means with Wisdom, the Wisdom on which the world is
based, and through this it introduces us to deep and recondite mysteries. In it, too, is
the inscription of six chief supernal directions, out of which there issues the
totality of existence.
Psalm 136:5 - To him that by wisdom made
the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Jeremiah 10:12 - He hath made the earth by his power,
he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the
heavens by his discretion.
John 1:1-3 - In the beginning was the Word, and the
Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All
things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
As mentioned earlier in this study, this unity (as expressed in the Shema
- Deuteronomy 6:4, which we will cover later), will be reestablished through Messiah at
the time of the Millennium, where Yeshua is seen proclaiming that He is the Aleph and the
An interesting section in the Zohar has the letters "competing"
for position in the creation process. Again, we remind the reader that this is strictly
Here we have the Tav asking God to be first:
Soncino Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 2b - May it
please Thee, O Lord of the world, to place me first in the creation of the world, seeing
that I am the concluding letter of EMeTh (Truth) which is engraved upon Thy seal, and
seeing that Thou art called by this very name of EMeTh, it is most appropriate for the
King to begin with the final letter of EMeTh and to create with me the world. The Holy
One, blessed be He, said to her: Thou art worthy and deserving, but it is not proper that
I begin with thee the creation of the world, since thou art destined to serve as a
mark on the foreheads of the faithful ones (Ezek. IX, 4) who have kept the Law from Aleph
to Tau, and through the absence of this mark the rest will be killed; and,
further, thou formest the conclusion of MaWeTh (death).
The Zohar's reference to Ezekiel is as follows:
Ezekiel 9:4 - And the LORD said unto him, Go through
the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst
Note that the response from God in the previous paragraphs complements
that found in Revelation. The mark on their heads is the Tav. In both cases, those who
receive this mark (or seal) are the ones who keep the Torah (the Law) and can enter into
the heavenly wedding feast:
Revelation 7:3 - And I saw another angel ascending
from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the
four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the
earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God
in their foreheads.
Revelation 12:17 - And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and
went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God,
and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Revelation 14:12 - Here is the patience of the saints: here are they
that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
Revelation 22:14 - Blessed are they that do his
commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in
through the gates into the city.
COMMENTS: By studying all of these things on a deep level, we see that
time is not only linear. With God in the heavenlies, there is no "past and
future," as they are one. The beginning is the end.
A "visual aid" that
helps in making a contrast between this idea and the more common one of linear time, is
the Mobius Strip.You can create a model of a Mobius Strip by taking a long and
narrow strip of paper and give it a single "twist" before joining it at the
ends. Next, pick any point on the strip and call this your "beginning." If you
start to "follow" the strip from that point, you will reach your end at the same
point you began. The end is the beginning.
Picture along this path with no real beginning or end,
God's eternal Torah, the cycle of His feast days repeating "year after year,"
and the study of His Temple -- the shadows of what is to come.