THE SEVEN MILLENNIAL DAYS OF HUMAN HISTORY
A Day To God
Is As A Thousand Years
There is a principle that the closer to the beginning a particular biblical narrative is, the more basic and foundational it becomes to understanding the Bible as a whole. The introductory remarks of a speaker or writer lay the groundwork for the remainder of his presentation. A person's childhood experiences influence the rest of his life. And in similar fashion the Bible is written in a logical progression with the keys of understanding at the beginning.
So it is that the narrative which serves as an introduction to the entire Bible, the account which tells of God creating the heaven and earth in the context of a seven-day week, provides a most vital key to understanding the Bible's overall message.
The creation account is authentically ancient -- the oldest piece of literature handed down through the ages. It was placed at the beginining of the Bible by Moses, at God's direction, for at least two special reasons. First, it is a historical record of the week in which God created man, written in poetic or artistic form, as the creation itself is a work of art. Second, it is a model and prophecy of an incredibly greater creation which God is accomplishing, not in seven days but in seven great eras of time, over the course of human history.
A New Heaven and Earth
God created heaven and earth in six days, and rested on the seventh day (Exodus 20:11; 31:17). The book of Genesis states,
"Thus" [i.e., as the result of God's labor during the first six days], "the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished."
On the seventh day the physical creation was complete and functioning smoothly, so that all was in a state of peaceful and holy rest. This is a model of the manner in which God is creating a new heaven and earth. Through the prophet Isaiah God declared,
"For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth."
This Master Project was started at the very outset of human history when God placed mankind upon the earth. It will be fully operational in the seventh era of human history, at a time foretold in the book of Revelation through the apostle John who wrote,
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth."
What John saw was a perfectly sinless civilization encompassing the whole earth under the direction of God's government, functioning smoothly and happily (Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:9; 60:21-22; 65:17-25; 66:22-23).
God is "the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End" (Revelation 21:6). In other words, God started human history, and He will finish it. He placed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden to "be fruitful and multiply" and start a civilization that would fill the earth -- a world that should have been based on God's way of life represented by the tree of life. Adam and Eve, however, yielded to Satan and defied God's authority, thus failing to start humanity on the path of righteousness -- and the earth has become corrupt as a result (Genesis 6:11-12; Matthew 24:37). But God never fails to accomplish what He sets out to do. He had a way to save man from his mistakes and transgressions, and still fulfill His original purpose through man, beginning with the creation of a perfect, righteous civilization on earth.
He has been working toward that goal steadily throughout the first six eras of human history, now almost complete. When the seventh era comes, the new creation will be in full effect upon the earth.
A Thousand Years as One Day
In order to understand how the Genesis creation account opens up the rest of the Bible and the overview of God's Master Plan, it is important -- of crucial importance in this discussion -- to notice that the Bible itself tells us what a "day" is like from God's perspective:
"But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
(II Peter 3:8)
A day to God is as a thousand years. It's no wonder that God told Adam, "in the day that you eat of it" [the forbidden fruit], "you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:17). Adam ate, and died as God said he would -- nine hundred thirty years later (Genesis 5:5). He died "in the day" as God views a day, as a thousand years. The word millennium means one thousand years. We could say that Adam died seventy years short of a millennium, and that he lived on the First Millennial Day.
Moses understood that a thousand years are as a day to God. He wrote, in a prayer preserved through the generations and included in the book of Psalms,
"For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past."
God revealed to the apostle John that the era of human history following the second coming of Christ will last specifically for a thousand years. This period of time is commonly referred to as "the millennium," and will actually be the seventh millennium or Seventh Millennial Day of human history:
"He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years . . . so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. . . .
"And I saw thrones, and they" [the resurrected saints] "sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. . . . And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. . . .
" . . . they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years."
Six Thousand Years of Human History
Let us ask, then, how long has human history continued from the time God placed man upon the earth until the present?
Bible chronology shows there were approximately two thousand years from Adam's creation until Abraham (Genesis 5; 11), two thousand years from Abraham until Jesus Christ (the period with which the bulk of the Bible story is concerned), and, of course, there have been two thousand years since the time of Jesus Christ until the present.
This totals up to six thousand years of human history, falling into three neat divisions, each approximately two thousand years in length (with the vast majority of biblical history contained in the second, or middle division):
From Adam to Abraham: 2,000 years
From Abraham to Christ: 2,000 years
From Christ to our time: 2,000 years
Total: 6,000 years
Answers to Life's Most Important Questions
Let us begin to examine human history from God's perspective, a thousand years being viewed as a day. As we do, we shall see that God's Master Plan calls for seven thousand years, or seven millennial days; that the seven millennial days of human history follow the pattern laid down in the Genesis creation account; that we are living today near the end of the Sixth Millennial Day with the most climactic phase of God's plan fast approaching. And the once-perplexing questions we discussed above will be replaced with solid, crystal-clear answers!
The Genesis creation account is the divine blueprint of history. It provides the keys to understanding the invisible things of God, unlocking the rest of the Bible and proving that God's hand has been, and is now guiding the history of the earth in a masterful, unseen way. It is the model for God's creation of a new heaven and earth -- the perfect world He intended to produce through Adam and Eve from the beginning.
The earth was once in a state of perfection, at the end of the sixth day (Genesis 1:31). But sin entered into the picture, bringing death and corruption to mankind and God's creation (Genesis 3; Romans 5:12; 8:22). When Jesus Christ returns to earth He will restore all things (Acts 1:11; 3:21).
This future time of restoration -- the world to come (Hebrews 2:5) -- is the goal which God has been working toward for six thousand years. It is the hope which all righteous men and women of the Bible have looked forward to throughout their lives (Hebrews 11:13; John 8:56). It will be a world totally devoid of Satan's influence, a millennial Sabbath day; a period of holy history under God's perfect government of love.
© Copyright 1974, 1993, 2013 Matthew Kalliman