.As a matter of convenience, I use the term “Blessed Time” to describe the 490- year Grace Period leading to the Jubilee. The ten thousand talent debtor in Jesus’ parable represents the nation of Israel when we apply this principle on a national level.
In studying Biblical history, I learned about two other time cycles closely related to Blessed Time. In comparing these three cycles, it is apparent that Blessed Time (490 years) is the grace period that God gives to a nation that is basically obedient to his Law. In other words, it is applicable to God’s “Servant”. The debtor in Jesus’ parable is called the king’s “servant”, and therefore the king does not foreclose until the end of 490 times of forgiveness.
However, not all nations even make the attempt to serve God and cannot rightly be called “servants”. Nations which for one reason or another become liable for obedience to God’s law, but which remain blatantly rebellious and obedient, are not given a full Grace period of 490 years. Instead, their Grace period is shortened to 414 years, which is a cycle I call “cursed Time”. It is important to understand that cursed time is actually a Grace Period, in which God allows a nation 414 years to grace before foreclosing on its debt to the law. The basic principle governing it is the same as Blessed Time: the only difference is that it is 76 years shorter.
There is a third Grace Period for a nation that is obedient, but late. I call it judged time, a period of 434 years (i.e., 62 “weeks”). This time period is applicable specifically to the nation of Israel and Judah from their Jordan crossing to Babylonian captivity. Israel was supposed to enter the Promised Land after being in the wilderness for less than two years. Ten of the 12 spies gave an evil report, causing the people to lose faith. Because of their disobedience, God prohibited them from entering the land for another 38 years. Thus they entered the land late, after spending 40 years in the wilderness. Because of this, God would reckon their account on 434-year cycles, rather than giving them a full 490 years. This show in more detail in a later chapter
When Israel was given the law at the foot of Mount Sinai, the day was thereafter commemorated as the feast of Pentecost. Approximately 490 days later was the 50th jubilee from Adam, when the 12 spies gave their report. If Israel had believed Caleb and Joshua and entered the Promised Land at that time, they would have entered the Promised land at that time, they would have entered on blessed time. Not only would their decision have been made on a 490-day cycle, but they would have returned to their inheritance on the 50th Jubilee from Adam (50×49 years).
shortened to just 434 years. A study of chronology proves this, revealing not only the purpose of Judged Time, but also two distinct ways in which God has reckoned Israel’s account in the past. Understanding these bible principles gives us a wealth of knowledge of God’s ways, which Paul said are “past finding out” (Rom. 11:33). While I realize that we cannot possible comprehend all his ways this side of the glorified body, I note that God “made known His ways unto Moses” (Ps. 103:7). The possibility of knowing at least some of God’s ways encourages us to know Him better.
Why was grace conditional upon forgiving others?
In the parable of Matthew 18:21-35, the servant who refused to forgive the debt of his neighbour found himself likewise no longer forgiven of his 10,000 talent debt. How can this be? To many preachers this is one of those “hard passed” in the Bible, because they attempt to relate it to one’s salvation. In so doing, they end up teaching that if we as Christians do not forgive all those who have wronged us, then we will lose our salvation. The problem with this view is that essentially it demands perfection, and thus puts a burden upon Christians that they are unable to bear. If such a view were correct, who then could be saved?
Christians should certainly learn to forgive, but this is not a quality that Christians always manifest immediately upon their conversion. The ability to forgive is easy only for those who have never been wronged in major ways. For the majority, however, forgiveness is possible only over a period of time as the Holy Spirit works in their lives. Bitterness and unforgiveness do not disappear automatically with salvation, nor should one’s justification be attached to of bitterness in one’s heart.one’s ability to forgive or eradicate years.
Justification is by faith alone. After one is justified, then God begins to work in the heart of the Christian to root out the works of the flesh, the bitterness, and the unforgiveness. This is part of the sanctification process, not justification.
Jesus’ parable is therefore not teaching us about how to “stay saved”. It is not about “falling from Grace”.
It is all about obeying the Holy spirit as He leads us daily to the heart beat of God’s mind. Shalom!