The Millennial Day Concept

By on April 5, 2010

Each of the Six Days of Creation Represents a thousand years of Human activity on this Earth – then the Judgment will come.
It has been six thousand years since the creation of Adam and the seventh millennium is rolling in upon us. The twentieth century was beset with two world wars, widespread famine and disease, an increase in earthquake activity, and the revival of Israel. It seems more than a coincidence that these events occurred around the dawning of the seventh millennium.

Some first, second and third-century theologians taught that Christ would return at the end of 6,000 years, and though He has not yet come, many Christians still agree. Not enough years have passed since the turn of the millennium to dissuade us of that view. Even if we considered the proposed timing of the early church fathers to be only approxi-mate, we are still inclined to agree. We can see the prophetic Scriptures being fulfilled around us today.

Irenaeus

Irenaeus (born A.D. 140) wrote a treatise on the virtues of the Christian faith, in which is found this statement:

“For in so many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded … and God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth day the works He made … This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come … in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end after six thousand years.”

According to Irenaeus (one among many who held this view) the history of the human race from creation to the consummation will span a 7,000-year period of time. The seventh millennium is to be the reign of Christ.

Irenaeus was not alone in this belief. There are several other ancient writings that concur. Among them are The Secrets of Enoch, The Epistle of Barnabas, The Testament of Adam and other writings of early Christian and Jewish scholars.

The Secrets of Enoch

The Secrets of Enoch, dating from at least the first century A.D. (also called II Enoch), was trans-lated from Slavonic. In this ancient writing, God is said to have shown Enoch the age of the world and its existence over a period of 7,000 years:

“And I appointed the eighth day also, that the eighth day should be the first-created after my work, and that the first seven revolve in the form of the seventh thousand, and that at the beginning of the eighth thousand there should be a time of not-counting — endless ….”

The Epistle of Barnabas

The Epistle of Barnabas was found among a col-lection of New Testament books, bound in a single volume, and dubbed, “The Sinaiticus.” It was discovered in 1844 at the monastery of Saint Catherine, located at the foot of the traditional Mount Sinai. It dates to at least the fourth century A.D. and reflects the views of many early Christian theologians:

“And God made in six days the works of his hands; and he finished them on the seventh day, and he rested the seventh day, and sanctified it. Consider, my children, what that signifies, he fin-ished them in six days. The meaning of it is this; that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end. For with him one day is a thousand years; as himself testifieth, saying, Be-hold this day shall be as a thousand years. There-fore, children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, shall all things be accomplished. And what is that he saith, And he rested the seventh day: he meaneth this; that when his Son shall come, and abolish the season of the Wicked One, and judge the ungodly; and shall change the sun and the moon, and the stars; then shall gloriously rest in that seventh day.”

The Testament of Adam

In The Testament of Adam (dating back to the middle or late third century) the career of the world is said to last for 6,000 years after the Flood, or, presumably, for 7,000 years in all. Seth, the supposed author, writes about the deathbed testimony of his father Adam:

“You have heard, my son Seth, that a Flood is coming and will wash the whole Earth because of the daughters of Cain, your brother, who killed your brother Abel out of passion for your sister Lebuda, since sins had been created through your mother, Eve. And after the Flood there will be six thousand years (left) to the form of the world, and then its end will come.”

Talmudic Writings

In an article entitled “Chronomessianism,” pub-lished in 1976 in the Hebrew Union College an-nual yearbook, Rabbi Ben Zion Wacholder quoted a statement from the ancient Talmud: “Just as the seventh offers a release to the Jew, so the world will be released during the seventh millennium.”

The Jewish Talmud, written in the second century A.D., records the following: “The world is to stand 6,000 years, viz., 2,000 confusion and void, 2,000 with the law, and 2,000 as the time of the Messiah.”

The seventh millennium was predicted to be the “exaltation of Messiah.” When this prediction was recorded, rabbis noted that the third 2,000-year period had arrived and the Messiah had not come. The question “Where is the Messiah?” was answered in the same Talmudic passage: “He did come, but because of our sins, he went away.”

Rashi, an eleventh-century rabbi said, “After the second 2,000 years, the Messiah must have come and the wicked kingdom should have been destroyed.” Around the beginning of the third 2,000-year period, Bar Kochba led a Jewish revolt against the Romans (A.D. 135). Israel’s high priest was convinced that Bar Kochba was the Messiah. Unfortunately, Kochba was killed; the revolt was crushed; and the Jews were scattered to the slave markets of the world.

The Millennial Day

According to these early Jewish sages, seven mil-lennia of world history are somehow related to the seven days of Creation. Those days were thought to prophetically represent seven one-thou-sand-year periods of human history. Moses, who gave us the story of the Creation week, established the concept of the millennial day in Psalm 90:

“For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yes-terday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4).

The Apostle Peter was evidently drawing upon this verse when he wrote in the third chapter of his second epistle that the “day of the Lord” was rep-resented by 1,000 years duration:

“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (II Peter 3:8,10).

The “day of the Lord” implies a final Sabbath, the seventh millennium of human history. According to Peter, it should begin as “a thief in the night” and conclude 1,000 years later as “the heavens pass away and the elements melt with fervent heat.” This is consistent with other prophecies in the Bible and the book of Revelation in particular. After the millennial reign of Christ, God will renovate the Earth and the heavens with fire. He will create new heavens and a new Earth “wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

Peter spoke about scoffers who would deny the millennial/day concept:

“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,

“And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” (II Pe-ter 3:3-4).

Notice, he used the words “last days.” Perhaps these represent the last two “days” of human history just before the seventh “day” (or “day of the Lord”) takes effect. This appears to be a clue that the dispensa-tion of Grace will last for two thousand years. It has been almost 2,000 years since the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Soon we shall know if those early theolo-gians were correct.

Peter seemed to be referring to these “last days” as representing two millennia by saying: “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thou-sand years as one day.” We have only to check the calendar to see that it has indeed been the case.

Listed Six Times in Revelation 20

In the book of Revelation, the millennial reign of Christ is stated six times to be 1,000 years in length:

“And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years [number 1],

“And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should de-ceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled [number 2]: and after that he must be loosed a little season.

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not wor-shipped the beast, neither his image, neither had re-ceived his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years [number 3].

“But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished [number 4]. This is the first resurrection.

“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years [number 5].

“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison [number 6]” (Revelation 20:2-7).

It seems to be more than a coincidence that the mil-lennial reign of Christ is repeated six times. The implication is obvious. From the creation of Adam to the Second Coming of Christ, God has apparently de-termined six 1,000-year periods of human history.

Peter’s reference to the “day of the Lord” was also used by nine Old Testament prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Zephaniah, Zechariah, and Malachi. Some examples are:

“Behold the day of the LORD cometh” (Zechariah 14:1).

“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand” (Joel 2:1).

“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it” (Isaiah 13:9).

“For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the hea-then” (Ezekiel 30:3).

In Hebrews 4, this future millennium is re-ferred to as a Sabbath rest:

“For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

“And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

“Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must en-ter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 4:4-6).

According to these verses, the millennial reign is considered to be more than just a rest. It is a Sabbath rest. Furthermore, the Jewish people in Jesus’ day were not allowed to enter into that rest because of their unbelief:

“For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day” (Hebrews 4:8).

They must await the duration of what the Bible calls “the last days.” That would be at least two millennial days — the dispensation of Grace. Days FIVE and SIX must transpire before day SEVEN can begin. Bear in mind, each of these days are considered to be 1,000 years in length. Hebrews 4 leads us to only one conclusion — from the time of the creation of Adam until the end of the “day of the Lord” must be 7,000 years. That great Sabbath rest is implied to be the SEVENTH millennium.

Creation Week

Let us, therefore, consider the six days of Cre-ation recorded in the first chapter of Genesis to see what kind of prophetic scenario we can find taught by each of these days. If early theologians were correct, we should be able to point out a prophetic overview of each millennium of human history.

The First Day

Let us begin with the first Creation day:

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep, And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

“And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

“And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:2-5).

There are two things about this first day of Cre-ation of which we should take note.  First, God said, “Let there be light,” and second, He divided the light from the darkness. He called the light good, implying that darkness represents evil.

In like manner, God put man in the Garden of Eden, and gave him a choice between the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Light Represents Good

Consider the definition of “light.” I think it will explain why light is a type of that which is good and why darkness is a type of evil.

The entrance of light into the universe came at the instant God spoke. It was an active energy issu-ing from the voice of God. According to scientific definition, there are two possible explanations: First, light could be a disturbance of the continuum. Perhaps it can best be described as the effect one gets when a pebble is dropped into a pond of water. The impact of the pebble upon the pond creates a set of waves, issuing from the point of impact — a disturbance of the continuum.

Another theory is that light is made up of parti-cles with each little package being jostled against the other creating a domino effect — as one domino would fall against the other and so on down the line. Perhaps, it can best be understood by saying that the dominoes represent the continuum and the entrance of light creates a disturbance of that continuum. Perhaps the dominoes do not repre-sent the light, they simply represent the contin-uum. The knocking over of the first domino repre-sents the entrance of a disturbance to that contin-uum — active energy.

Light, therefore, is the creation of energy. As long as the continuum remains undisturbed, there is no light. Once the continuum is disturbed, however, that energy source becomes measurable. Perhaps that is why the Scripture says, “The en-trance of thy word giveth light.” That is why Jesus, who is the logos, the Word of God, said, “I am the light of the world.” The Gospel of John puts it this way:

“In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

“And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:4,5).

In the beginning of Creation, the Earth was with-out form and void. Darkness was upon the face of the deep. There was no disturbance for the contin-uum of the universe, when suddenly God spoke, and the very entrance of His word gave light! It was a disturbance of the continuum, the entrance of an energy source — and it was good!

This teaches us that good is active and the oppo-site of good (evil) is simply a lack of activity. For example, if you are active, you are happy and productive. But if you are lazy, then you are neither happy nor productive. When God spoke on that first Creation day, the entrance of His word into the continuum of this universe cre-ated an active energy source. The Bible calls it “light.” But, of course, this was no ordinary light. The rabbis have written that God produced the “Primeval Light” — an extension of all that He is, and the source of all life. This Primeval Light was used for the first three days of the Creation week, until God replaced it with the light of the sun and stars. At that time, God withdrew the Primeval Light from this universe. However, it remains the unseen source of all life.

Light is far more than meets the eye. The visible light spectrum is but a tiny portion of the overall definition of what we call energy. The visible light spectrum could be explained as follows: Suppose one unrolled a strip of paper forty miles long rep-resenting the overall spectrum of energy. Suppose that person walked down the strip for about thirty miles, knelt down and drew a pencil line across the paper! The line would represent the visible light spectrum as it compares to the overall set of frequencies we call energy.

Both time and space are involved in this contin-uum. It is thought that God can look down upon time as we would look down upon a pond of water. God does not see our continuum as a past, present, and future, but as an eternal now! He can see the end from the beginning. Thus, it is feasible that God could lay out the history of the human race over a predetermined period of 7,000 years. Fur-thermore, He could tell us what would take place in that part of the continuum we call the future.

Therefore, God, who knows the future, could make the first day of Creation to represent the first millennium of human history. “Let there be light [the entrance of activity] … and it was good.”

In like manner, God created Adam and Eve, placed them in a beautiful garden, and gave them a job to do. He told Adam to tend the garden. “Be fruitful and multiply.” But that’s not all. Just as God divided the light from the darkness, He gave Adam and Eve a choice between good and evil. Over the course of the first millennium (of which Adam lived 930 years) mankind grappled with the question of good and evil. Since the first millennium was established with the creation of Adam, he becomes the first millennium man.

The Second Day

The second day of Creation represents the second millennium of history. God divided the waters from the waters. In this prophetic scenario, we can see the great deluge, which covered the Earth in the days of Noah:

“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

“And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

“And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day” (Genesis 1:6-8).

God divided the firmament, and it rained for forty days. Please note that God did not say that it was good. As a matter of fact, it came as judgment upon an unbelieving human race. It is evident that the great Flood of Noah’s day was predicted by the events of the second day of Creation. Noah was 600 years old when the Flood came. With the Flood dated around 1,656 years after Adam, that shows Noah being born about 1056 years after the creation of Adam — only 126 years after Adam’s death. Therefore, Noah becomes the second millennium man, after whom the second millennium was established.

The Third Day

That brings us to the third day of Creation when God called forth the dry land:

“And God said, Let the water under the heaven be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

“And God called the dry land Earth; and the gath-ering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit af-ter his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

“And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yield-ing seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

“And the evening and the morning were the third day” (Genesis 1:9-13).

He caused the land to be fruitful and multiply. In like manner, God caused the waters of the great deluge to be abated and gave the com-mand to “be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.” Just as on that third day of Creation the Earth brought forth vegetation; in like manner, during the third millennium the Earth again pro-duced vegetation to replace that, which was de-stroyed by the Flood.

Furthermore, at the beginning of the third millennium, God called Abraham, born 2,008 years after Adam, to produce a Chosen People who would love and serve God, and produce the Messiah. Abraham was the third millennium man, after whom the millennium was established. He made a covenant, which sets up an organized system of religion — a way by which the human race can be spiritually fruitful. We can see it at Sinai when God established the Mosaic covenant with the de-scendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

The Fourth Day

The fourth day of Creation gives a prophetic overview of the fourth millennium of human his-tory.

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

“And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

“And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

“And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

“And the evening and the morning were the fourth day” (Genesis 1:14-19).

On that day God created lights in the firmament of the heaven. He created stars and set them in the heavens for signs. This is a prophetic overview of those days that began with the kingdom of David. Born around the turn of the fourth millennium, David becomes the fourth millennium man, after whom the millennium was established. In the years that followed, most of the Old Testament books were written. Isa-iah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Micah, Joel, Amos, Zechariah, and others were surely lights set in the firmament of human history to give us prophetic signs.

The fourth millennium concluded with the intro-duction of another great light. When the fullness of time was come, thus ending the fourth millennium, God sent His Son, “made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law” (Galatians 4:4,5). Jesus said, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). The sun is a type of Jesus Christ. But then Jesus turned to His disciples, who represented New Testament Christianity, and said, “Ye are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, New Testament Christianity should reflect the glory of our Savior.

The Fifth Day

Christ was born at the beginning of the fifth millennium, making Him the fifth special person born around the turn of the millennium, and after whom the millennium was established. After Jesus, there are no more millennium men. No one can compare to Him. The fifth day of Creation represents the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (typified by water) and the de-velopment of Christianity, as the early church be-came “fishers of men.”

“And God said, Let the waters bring forth abun-dantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the Earth in the open firmament of heaven.

“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

“And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

“And the evening and the morning were the fifth day” (Genesis 1:20-23).

The water appears to be a type of the Holy Spirit and the term, “bring forth abundantly,” seems to be a picture of the great commission. On this fifth day God called forth the fish.

You may recall, Jesus told His disciples that He would make them to be “fishers of men.” And the insignia of the early church was a fish. The phrase, “be fruitful and multiply” is a prophetic picture of our responsibility as New Testament Chris-tians. We are to take the message of the Gospel to every creature.

The Sixth Day

This great commission spills over into the sixth day of Creation where the Lord brought forth the “living creature after his kind.” It is a picture of soul winning.

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

“And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, af-ter our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

“So God created man in his own image, in the im-age of God created he him; male and female created he them.

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply …

“And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:24-28,31).

On the fifth and sixth days of Creation God said, “Be fruitful and multiply.” It was also on the sixth day that God made man in His own image. In like manner, many Christians are looking for the resurrection and rapture around the end of the sixth millennium — to be made again like unto His image. As far as I know, there was no significant individual born around A.D. 1000 to set the theme for the sixth millennium.

The fall of Adam may be a prophetic type of the battle of Armageddon when an unbelieving human race will be judged of God. After the fall, God predicted that Eve would travail in childbirth. In like manner, the sixth millennium concluded with a series of the prophetic “birthpangs of travail.” These birth pangs, how-ever, will bring forth a new humanity recreated in the image of God. The Apostle Paul wrote: “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (I Corinthians 15:53). That’s what the rapture and the resurrection is all about.

The Seventh Day

That brings us to the seventh day, when God ended His work and rested. Here is a prophetic view of the great Sabbath rest — the seventh millennium of human history. From the very dawning of human history, one can follow God’s plan of the ages through the Genesis account of the Creation week. This must be what is meant in Isaiah 46:

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isa. 46:9,10).

God did not wait until the days of Christ, or David, or Moses, or even Noah to present His plan, He laid it out from the very beginning. God declared the end from the beginning.

Go to Lesson 3: Literal Versus Allegorical Interpretation of Scripture