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Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Jubilee Cycle

The Jubilee Cycle Video

The Jubilee Cycle is an important principle of bible prophecy first understood by Sir Edward Denny and then developed by many other students of scripture. It is based on the verse in Matthew where Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother. Jesus replies "seventy times seven" which is 490 times.

[Mat 18:21-22 KJV] 21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

In scripture the word "time" sometimes refers to the period of a year as in "time, times and half a time" meaning three and a half years. Consequently the above verse is thought by many to refer to a cycle of forgiveness, or redemption, that lasts 490 years. Sir Edward Denny believed that the whole of history was divided into these 490 year periods of grace. The times when God's people were in rebellion, or out of fellowship, are not counted in God's prophetic timeline and the 490 redemption year periods are the periods when God's purposes are being fulfilled. For more information see the section on Sir Edward Denny

In the 20th century Sir Edward's ideas were taken up by bible believers who wanted to develop them further. A.E.Ware, Frank Paine and others did a lot of work on chronology. A.E. Ware's book "The Restored Vision" and Frank Paine's "Miracle of Time" are both still available. They attempted to fit Sir Edward's Jubilee cycles into a calendar. Time was divided into 490 year Jubilee cycles. These periods did not include times of rebellion against God.

In the bible the year of Jubilee was a year of cancellation of debts and so figuratively a year of grace and forgiveness. 

[Lev 25:10 KJV] 10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout [all] the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

Leviticus 25:9 tells us that the trumpet announcing the Jubilee should be sounded on the tenth day of the seventh month.

[Lev 25:9 KJV] 9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth [day] of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.

In other words the Jubilee did not start at the end of the 49th year it started in the middle (approximately) of the 49th year and continued to the middle of the 50th year which was the first year of the next Jubilee cycle. This meant that while on the Hebrew calendar there were 49 years, on God's calendar there was an extra year. So for God there were 50 years where for the Hebrews there were 49. Similarly where there were 490 years on the Hebrew there were 500 on God's calendar.

A good example of how this Jubilee cycle has been used in bible chronology can be found in Frank Paine's book "The Miracle of Time". Frank Paine was part of a small group of men who worked with Arthur Ware and built on the work of Sir Edward Denny and Grattan Guinness. They called themselves "The Watchmen". One important thing about this group was that they built their chronology on the Hebrew lunar calendar of 354 days believing this to be God's perfect Calendar. In this they differed from Sir Robert Anderson who used a 360 day calendar. For more information on calendars see the section on "calendars".

The watchmen believed that there are years that God recognises on his prophetic calendar which are different from the years that are on any human calendar. They saw at least four different types of year: -

1. God's prophetic years (which include an extra year for every 49 calendar years)

2. Scripture years. these are simply the years which we get by adding up the years recorded in scripture.

3. Calendar years which do not have the extra Jubilee year that God counts. 

4. Unreckoned years. The years when God's people were out of fellowship with Him and which He does not recognise.

One thing to note here is that there are differences of interpretation in bible chronology. Here we see that Frank Paine has 458 BC as the date of Artaxerxes decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem given in Nehemiah 2: 1-8. Sir Robert Anderson dated the same decree in 445 BC. 

Another issue is the use of the 354 day lunar year. Frank Paine and the watchmen arrived at the date of 1933 AD as the final year of the 6,000 years of God's timeline prior to the thousand year millennium. See section on "The Final Hour and Arthur Ware". They took Christ's crucifixion as being 4,000 of God's years from creation (or 3,920 lunar calendar years) and added 2,000 of God's years to it (1,960 lunar calendar years). 1,960 x 354 days is 693,840 days. To get that period in solar years you divide by 365.2422 which comes to  about 1,900 years. Adding 1,900 years to their crucifixion date of 33 AD comes to 1933 AD.

Arthur Ware and the Watchmen had originally been inspired to study God's prophetic timeline by a conviction that the Armistice of 1918 being on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month was a sign from God that mankind was nearing its final hour. I think that Frank Paine did have a lot of insight into God's plan of time and as if to mark this he died in 1983 in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

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