Rest, Jubilee, lessons from Shiloh, and the Journey Home

Rest, and His House

“There are seasons of rest, and in Me is Rest”….so says the Lord Jesus Christ

We are His house, and in Christ we have rest. God rests in the house that has rest (in Him). Ponder Hebrews 3 & 4, the essentials of our Christian walk, and particularly the revelations that the promised rest is found in Christ, that He is Shiloh and the Lord of the Sabbath, and we are the house of God as we rest in our Lord Jesus. Christ has built His house…us.

1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. 3 For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honour than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God. 5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward, 6 but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:1-6)

14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end……. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3a For we who have believed do enter that rest…. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. (Hebrews 3:14; 4:2,3a,9,10)

‘Just as God rested from His work of creation, the one who trusts in Christ rests in what God has done for him. He has ceased striving to achieve salvation by his own efforts, and in daily life begun to learn a dependence upon the Holy Spirit’s help.’[1]

We are the house, built by Christ, and in Him we have the rest that causes His manifest presence to rest in us. (1 Corinth. 3:16; 6:19)

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Eph. 2:19-22)

Sabbath and rest are both a gift from the Lord, and part of our creation. In essence we have rest in us by Christ, and this is the true arrival to the promised rest, that is we have rest in God as we come through Jesus, and so truly arriving at our promised land. This is who we are, and by the Holy Spirit can be this rest. The Lord has also commissioned seasons of rest for our body, as an element of the image of God in us…He rested on the seventh day. In summary, we are made in the image of the Lord of the Sabbath, and in God the Creator who rested[2].


Jubilee, the divine period given by God that forshadows on earth the coming Saviour, who will bring rest to all His creation, and restore all things. As we wait for Christ’s final victorious return, we continue to walk about this prophetic promise, which has also being given to us to live. Our soul and spirit, in Christ, lives in rest, and our natural tent and goods over which we have custodianship, are rewarded with the Jubilee on earth as it is in heaven. Jubilee the time of rest and restoration…it is about freedom from all being found in God through Jesus Christ.

8 ‘And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. 9 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. 10 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. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine. 12 For it is the Jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field. 13 ‘In this Year of Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.  (Lev. 25:8-13)

Part of the sense of the Hebrew year 5775 (and 2015) that we have just entered in to in September is ..’a true place of rest, perhaps even from the season of war, where the battle strategy is to rest in Him. Watch for the King of kings entering the open door (and coming with His sword).’ This is partly drawn from the understanding of the double sevens, and the picture of God entering the house (as rests).  To confirm this sense of rest, and particularly Jubilee, this September Abigail turned 50. This occurring very near to the time frame of Rosh Hashanah (New Year for the Jews), and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonment), and also the feast of trumpets…when Jubilee is heralded.  Rosh Hashanah occurs on the 1st day of the seventh months in the Hebrew Calendar, and Day of Atonement on the tenth day of the same month[3].

The ultimate sounding of the trumpet for Jubilee can perhaps be found in the reading of Is. 61 by Christ in the gospels (Matt. 3:17; Luke 4:18). The prophetic declaration by God sounding the fulfilment of Jubilee is found in the Messiah, and the anointing of Him to be God’s rest, restorer, and giver of liberty.

17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” 20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Luke 4:17-21)

Shiloh, Rest and the New Jerusalem

Shiloh, is revealed in the Old Testament to be the place that the children of God decided to place the Tabernacle of Moses, and this was because they would find rest in the promised land, and from their enemies, and indeed no more travelling in the wilderness. It is therefore easy to associate rest with Shiloh, noting too that the Ark of His presence also rested their, however importantly Shiloh was first mentioned as the promised Messiah. One of the meanings of Shiloh being that of tranquillity (happy, prosperity, safety), and peaceful one…it is easy to see why this place was selected for the Tabernacle.

Here are some of the insights for Shiloh:

  • Was selected by the children of God as God’s dwelling place; the place of gathering to His presence; a dwelling place of His presence, where His name could be placed. (Deut. 12). It represented God’s presence resting with them now they were in the land of promises, no longer wanderings in the wilderness, and having rest from their enemies.
  • The Ark of the Covenant was here for about 100 years after the Israelites entered in the Promised Land, before it was taken away after it was captured. (1 Sam. 4:11)
  • The place where the Tabernacle of Meeting (with God) and the ark where to rest in the Promised Land. The Tabernacle (of Moses) remaining there, even after the Ark was removed, until the temple was built by Solomon. (Deut. 12:5; 1 Kings 8:4).
  • Place of gathering to the Lord for Joshua and the tribes (seeking His will, and making judgements). (John 18:1,10; 19:51; 21:2; 22:9; Jer. 7:12). Thus it is the place where leaders, priests, and people are to meet together in God’s presence.
  • Reminds us that God’s presence cannot be used for our gain, and that the hosting of Him requires those who serve Him and dwelling in such a place to have the right heart before God. (Jer. 7:12-15). Sadly, it is a stark example of what happens when we make God’s house a den of thieves, particularly the ministers. (1 Sam. 2:12-17,22-36; 3:12-15; 4:4,12-18).
  • It is the centre of worship for the Israelites (Judges 18:31) as prescribed by the Lord.
  • Signified settlings in to the Promised Land, and the hope of the promised rest. Rest where they dwelt in safety, received the fruit of the land, and having rest on all sides from their enemies. Thus, it is a place of rest.
  • Reminds us that God’s presence rests as we find rest in His promised One.
  • Shiloh (Strong’s H7886 – ‘Shiyloh’) is said to have the meaning of Tranquil (happy, prosper, safety), and is written as such . It is related to another Hebrew word (Strong’s H7887) with a similar meaning.
  • There are also the views that the word is derived from a combination of Hebrew words. One being “shel’ and ‘loh’, and giving the meaning of ‘to whom dominion belongs’; and the other being ‘shay’ and ‘loh’, with the meaning ‘to whom tribute is bought’, or ‘his son’. Thus it is easy to see Shiloh meaning the ‘Peaceful One’.

Shiloh, the location, is situated north of Jerusalem (about 35 miles), and lies between Bethel and Shechem. This physical positioning is significant, with the order and Hebrew characters that form the names of each place bring deeper meaning.

Remember the meanings of Bethel (house of God); Shechem (shoulder, place of burden, rising up early to load up, spur of a hill) and Jerusalem (founded peaceful).  We can see how as you might move closer to your Jerusalem you will pass through a place (Shechem) in the promised land that seems like a burden, even rising early – and yet a place of covenant[4]. You will then find a place of rest (Shiloh), where you learn to rest with God, and move on to see the House of God built in and through you (Bethel); and then on the place of the corporate house of God (city of God), and your destiny..even as a fore runner to the promised new Jerusalem that comes at Christ’s return.

When pondering a little further the physical positioning of the Shiloh, and the other linked known places of Shechem, Bethel, and Jerusalem, one can see a rather interesting story. It would appear that the pictograph letters used in the original Hebrew reveal what Abraham and Jacob may have seen as they traversed from north to south through the Promised Land. Interestingly there appears to be a sense of the building work of God in His people, and perhaps the stages the Lord will take us through as He reveals in us the full mystery of Christ in us the hope of glory, and His final return. These seasons represented by the meanings, and pictures of the words (see next page).

  1. As we enter in to the promises of God we are encouraged by God, and prophesied over declaring who we are in His sight, and caused to be in a place where He works in us this picture, sharpening our sword (rhema word of God), and our warrior spirit. Where the Spirit moves, we are redeemed by blood, and yet chaos seems to exist at times…and life can ‘feel’ like hard work and a burden.
  2. We are then brought in to a place of rest that sees Him breath fresh life in to us, our hearts worshipping Him, and the Lord trains us through a place of peace and honour of Him, as we wait on Him.
  3. Through this time we beginning to truly experience the open gate of heaven, and powerful angelic visitation, and we start to increasingly meet with God face to face. God himself entering in to our place of rest, and showing us how the place of rest built for us is actually His house. We learn the importance of rest as a foundation to building God’s house. The Great Shepherd teaching us through His word, and as we watch Him.
  4. We then are readied to become the city of God, joining together the Shiloh and Bethel in us, with leadership we have in Christ, and the bringing together of others who set their sights alone on Christ, with Him as the cornerstone, building on the foundations of Apostles and Prophets, and recognition that He who is seated on the throne is God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…in you.

I am sure others will see much more, and perhaps find more clarity, when pondering all the above, and others insights, it is clear this story is a multi-level one, bringing historical insight, as well as revealing the walks we have individually with God as He builds us in to His house where He meets closely with us, perfects the Body of Christ, and encourages is to learn to host His presence. This is also the work of the Holy Spirit in preparing the Bride for the Bridegroom.

As you travel from north to south toward Jerusalem you see (from the Hebrew pictographs that make each word):

Shechem (place of burden, rising early, shoulder to the wheel) – מ כ ש[5]:

Shin/shun – ש- picture of: two front teeth; meaning of: sharp, press, eat, two, sharpening sword and tongue,and also said to picture of three kings

Kaph – כ – open palm; bend, open, allow, tame (work)

Mem – מ – water – chaos, might, blood, spirit

Shiloh (place of tranquillity; to whom tribute belongs; His Son) – ה ל י ש:

Shin/shun – ש- picture of: two front teeth; meaning of: sharp, press, eat, two, sharpening sword and tongue, and also said to picture of three kings

Yad/Yod – י – arm and closed hand; work, throw, worship

Lam –  ל – Shepherd staff; teach, yoke, to bind; train

Hey/hei – ה  – man with arm raised; look, reveal, breath (watch, spirit)

Bethel (house of God) – ל א ה י ב:

Bet – ב – picture of: tent floor plan; meaning of: family, house, in

Yad/Yod – י – arm and closed hand; work, throw, worship

Hey/hei – ה  – man with arm raised; look, reveal, breath (watch, spirit)

El – א – oxhead; strong, power, leader (God)

Lam –  ל – Shepherd staff; teach, yoke, to bind; train

Jerusalem (Founded peaceful) – מ ל ש ו ר י:

Yad/Yod – י – picture of: arm and closed hand; meaning of: work, throw, worship

Resh – ר – head of a man; first, top, beginning

Waw/vau – ו – tent peg; add, secure, hook

Shin/shun/sin[6] – ש- picture of: two front teeth; meaning of: sharp, press, eat, two, sharpening sword and tongue, and also said to picture of three kings

Lam –  ל – Shepherd staff; teach, yoke, to bind; train

Mem – מ – water – chaos, might, blood, spirit

Jealous for His House…learn from Shiloh

As we consider Shiloh and the House of God, there is particular lesson that stands out…Christ is jealous for His house, and He is particularly passionate about what happens in it. Shiloh reveals one particular view God has of His house…it will not be turned in to a market place (John 2:26), nor a place of deceit and personal gain. In fact, Christ is so strong about this He will literally cleanse it in order to remove those who use the gathering of His people, and His presence, to make His house a “den of thieves” (Matt. 21:13; Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46).

The link to Shiloh, well this is where the phrase “den of thieves”  comes from to some extent, as in Jeremiah 7:11 we see actions of the priests of the temple, and the people of Israel, compared to those in the days of Eli and his sons in 1 Sam. 2:27. Most concerning is the warning that those who falsely prophecy, and seek to use the House of God as a market opportunity, will see the House lose God’s presence, and even be destroyed. While we might say this is true of the Old Covenant, in the New Testament we see the passion of God has not changed, and Christ again issues the same warning God provided through Jeremiah….His house is His house, the message stays the same.

In the days of Samuel the Prophet, Jeremiah, and Christ (the Prophet) the warning is clear. God’s house is to be a place of His presence, and His worship, word, and prayer…and not a place to make financial or personal gain, or to be used for anything other than God’s house.. While the Bible does make it clear the a worker is worthy of His keep[7], the Apostle Paul also reminds us[8], as does Christ, the heart of work must be for Christ, and His kingdom, and not our personal benefits, and certainly not at the cost of others. That is not to say we need to walk in poverty, and in Christ He does promise abundantly lives, with supernatural blessing, however God examines our hearts, and knows what our true motivation is when serving in His house.

Perhaps most poignantly, we also need to remember that now we are also the House of God (1 Corinth. 3:16; 6:19), and so this message does not just relate to what we do in the church building, or ministry, but also how we are motivated and serve for the sake of Christian service. God exhorts us to be His House of Prayer, and to seek first Him and His presence. Our challenge as we rest in our position in Christ is to continue to place Him first, and to obey the Holy Spirit’s leading, rather than looking to ourselves and seeing how we can benefit from Christ’s presence with us. He will bless us, but not when we seek to use His presence and the drawing of people to us for our own financial gain. This is a real challenge.

The warning is extended to the prophetic ministry, perhaps as a way of clarifying God’s concern, where we see that where the heart deceives and prophets become persuaded by money, this can lead them to prophesying out of their soul, and falsely declaring the “word of God” in order to please those who provide support to them, even to the extent of become a hireling prophet (2 Peter 2:15). Preaching for pay, divining for money (Micah 3:11), perhaps just the further extension of journey that starts when we make His house a market place. We should not underestimate how important[9] this is to God. We do not have to look far to see prophetic words being sold today.

There is a strong sense this same passion for His house is arising, and the Lord once again looks to restore His place..both corporately and individually. He is gracious, and as even revealed in the Old Testament, He sort for many years to see man repent and turn again to honouring His house. So now, under the grace of Christ we are also blessed with such mercy, however the Lord will defend His house, and the construction of the household of God, and there is a stirring of the Holy Spirit to see this same message declared in our midst. Perhaps this is even part of the end time’s move in the preparation for His return.

With all that in mind, it is no wonder we read in the Scriptures….

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? (1 Corinthian 6:19)

Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.  And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’” (Matthew 21:12,13)

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. (Matt. 10:8)

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6)

What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:18)

Most humbling. Our response can only be to ask the Lord to search our heart, and lead us in to the path of His will and passion for the House of God, and clean out that which turns His house in to a den of thieves.

[1] Commentary on Heb. 4:10 – Spirit Filled Life Bible

[2] Genesis 1:27; 2:2; Mark 2:23-3:6

[3] For 2014, Rosh Hashanah falls on 24 September, and Yom Kippur on the 3rd of October.

[4] A place where Abraham first pitched his tent in the Promised Land (Gen. 12:6,7) and God confirming His promise to him.

[5] Remembering that Hebrew is read from right to left.

[6] Hebrew tradition suggests Shin (sound ‘sh’) is said to be picture of three kings and this world; sin (sound ‘s’) addition of a fourth king and speaks of the world to come (when we join with the Lord, the Holy Trinity)

[7] Matt. 10:10; 1 Corinth. 9:14

[8] 1 Corinth. 9:15, 18; 2 Corinth. 11:9

[9] See also Rev. Num. 22:7; Neh. 13:2; Is. 30:10; Jer. 6:13,14; Matt. 21:13; Rev. 2:14

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