Days of the Lord
(Essays on God's Seven Day/Seven Thousand Year Plan for Mankind)
(Revised: Jan. 2, 2016)
Chapter 2 in Acts speaks of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the believers in Jerusalem on Pentecost following the Passover of Christ’s crucifixion. This event is believed by many to be the birth of the Church. The scene is described as believers gathering in a room in Jerusalem when a sound, like the rushing of a great wind, resounded through the room. Then the Holy Spirit descended upon the believers with a visual manifestation likened to tongues of fire upon their heads. Moreover, some of those receiving the Holy Spirit began to speak in strange tongues -- foreign languages. Visitors to Jerusalem from all over the mideast and beyond came to see and hear all of this and ask what it all meant, especially with Galileans speaking in the various languages of the many different visitors. Of course, some were amazed while others mocked the goings on as simply the result of too much wine. This is when Peter stepped up to explain what was happening, and he recalled the writings of Joel (2:28-32) to do that.
“And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:17-21)
It is understood, of course, that Peter was addressing the matter of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. But by interpreting Joel 2:28-32 as he did (apparently under the influence of the Holy Spirit) Peter actually went beyond the immediate witness to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit -- far, far beyond to be precise. In citing Joel as he did, Peter was also prophesying of the next 2,000 years! He, of course, was not prophesying in exact, detailed terms; he was prophesying in a broad sweeping manner -- but prophesying to the next 2,000 years nonetheless. It is with the words of Peter, “And in the last days…” that this series of essays will focus. But before that is explored, the remainder of the sentence must be addressed.
Through Joel, and then Peter, God declares that he will pour out His Spirit on all flesh, not just some, but all. That fact will be very important to remember as this series of essays progresses. Then God goes on to say, “...and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams…” And, then God makes a distinction. He continues with, “...even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.”
Pentecost was a turning point, the end of one age, the age of Abraham and Israel (as some propose) and the beginning of another age, the age of the Church (as some also propose.) It was a turning point where God now poured out His Spirit on all flesh -- not just on the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but on all flesh, all mankind.
This universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit is curious to be sure. We can readily understand God’s Spirit being poured out on his “servants”, but on all flesh? even those not considered His servants? His Elect? God does as God wills; and God can empower any He chooses to empower at any time -- whether any such person is willing or unwilling of it, whether any such person is even aware of it or not. God used Pharaoh for His purpose, whether Pharaoh was a willing participant or not. God used Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian Empire to chastise Judah, even calling Nebuchadnezzar His servant. God caused King Saul of Israel, in Saul’s madness, to prophesy without even being aware that he was. God can empower anyone He chooses, however He chooses and whenever it suits His purpose.
So, God is now pouring out His spirit on all flesh, on those that are His and even on those who have no thought of God. Such is an interesting happening, and that matter, too, will be explored as this series of essays progresses.
But what are these Last Days that Peter spoke of? that Joel eluded to? Peter spoke of being in the Last Days nearly 2,000 years ago. A sum of days which are quite a few days in excess to be reasonably labeled “Last Days”. Well, it is, of course, if one is speaking about 24 hours days. As it is, Peter was not. He was referring to days of much, much longer duration. And, such will be explored as these essays continue.
For most Christians, it’s a fundamental belief that Christ will return to Earth, and that he will return as he left it – in a physical, literal manner. It is also understood by most that He will return in a blatant and far more demonstrative manner than when, in the sight of only a few, He ascended in his departure nearly 2000 years ago. And, it is with assured confidence of many, that upon His return a New Age will commence on earth, a 1000 year age commonly known as the Millennium, during which earth will enter a “rest”, a Sabbath Rest, from human domination and control.
We all know the Creation narrative, where in 6 days God began and finished Creation, and where on the 7th day, rested from all He had done on the previous six. Since well before the start of the present Age, the Age of the Sacrificial Messiah/Church/Gentiles, it has been known that the Seven Day narrative of Creation as depicted in the Book of Genesis is a preview, a foreshadow and type of the Plan of God as it concerns mankind. Barnabas, a contemporary and companion of Paul, wrote in the 1st century:
“Moreover concerning the Sabbath likewise it is written in the Ten Words, in which He spake to Moses face to face on Mount Sinai; And ye shall hallow the Sabbath of the Lord with pure hands and with a pure heart. And in another place He saith; If my sons observe the Sabbath, then I will bestow My mercy upon them. Of the Sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation; And God made the works of His hands in six days, and He ended on the seventh day, and rested on it, and He hallowed it. Give heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days. He meaneth this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end; for the day with Him signifyeth a thousand years; and this He himself beareth witness, saying; Behold, the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six days, that is in six thousand years, everything shall come to an end. And He rested on the seventh day. this He meaneth; when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon and the stars, then shall he truly rest on the seventh day.”
THE EPISTLE OF BARNABAS 15:1-5
Translated by J.B. Lightfoot.
And here, another non-canonical reference to a seven thousand year Plan of God. This one not so ancient:
“The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred, that this long period of labor and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection.”
HISTORY OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE
Edward Gibbon, Esq. With notes by the Rev. H. H. Milman
Volume 1 1782 (Written), 1845 (Revised)
Chapter XV: Progress Of The Christian Religion.—Part IV.
And a more recent commentary:
“The idea that God has a 7,000 year plan is not a new one. In fact, it has been around for many centuries.”
“Irenaeus taught it in the second century, Commodianus in the third century, and in the fourth century Lactantius wrote that “the world must continue in its present state through six ages, that is, six thousand years . . . at the end of the six thousandth year all wickedness must be abolished from the earth, and righteousness reign for a thousand years…” (The Epitome of the Divine Institutes, Chapter 70)”
And it concludes:
“We quote such authors because we believe they understood what the Bible had taught all along about God’s prophetic plan and that these truths have been neglected for centuries by most scholars and commentators, largely because it was a seemingly insignificant doctrine centuries ago and it is a negative and uncomfortable doctrine to many today.”
James L. Melton, Bible Baptist Publications. 2010
When Peter referred to the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurring in the Last Days, he was speaking of the latter 3 days of a seven thousand year week, a week where each day of the Creation Narrative foreshadows a 1000 year period in biblical history. It is a time correlation that Peter asserts in his second letter, 2 Peter 3:8, he states:
“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
Psalm 90:4 likewise asserts this same time correlation, but hundreds and hundreds of years before Peter at Pentecost,
“For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night.”
Scripturally, the entire biblical narrative spans seven thousand years in time. The first six thousand of those years being Man’s time -- from Adam to just about now. It is six thousand years of mankind stumbling along his own way, six thousand years of continually turning from God’s Way (The Tree of Life, Torah, Scriptures) and going the way of the Adversary a.k.a. Lucifer, Satan, (The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.) In these six thousand years man has not only gone his own way, but he has taken all the earth and all that is on it, with him.
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it…” (Romans 8:20)
The last Day of the Seven thousand year/Days, the Millenium, is as the last day of the Creation narrative, it is a Sabbath Day. This is The Day, The Day of the Lord (a thousand year/Day) that the earth and all life on it will enter God’s Rest, His Holy Sabbath. It is when mankind “rests” from six days (six one thousand year/Days) of subjecting himself and the earth to self-determined right and wrongs, to the way of competition over cooperation and the domination of the flesh over the spirit. It is this one thousand year/Day that mankind will rest from its works on the earth and the earth itself will enter a one thousand year Sabbath rest.
God has laid out a defined plan for His Creation and His Elect. It is a defined plan with a defined timeline -- a timeline of seven thousand years with a distinct beginning and a distinct ending. And God has provided us, from the very beginning, with a bare-bones synopsis of that plan. That synopsis is the Creation Narrative of Genesis 1:1-31, 2:1-3 (with Chapter 2:1-3 of particular interest.)
It is more true than not, that “hindsight is 20/20”, and the further along the timeline that we look back at all preceding events, the more clear the entire timeline becomes. In the coming weeks in the continuing essays of this series, we will look at that bare-bones timeline, the Creation Narrative. What will be examined there will, indeed, be an interesting and revealing perspective on the Creation Narrative.
Part 3 - Day 1
As was shown in Part 2 of this series of essays, there exists an understanding from ancient times, which appears to be resurging in these days, (and as will be seen, for good reason) that each Day of the Creation narrative equates to a thousand year period of biblical history. Moreover, those seven thousand year periods, or Days, are grouped into four distinct Ages. One thousand years of history is a lot to condense down into one representative Day. However, that does not seem to be the intent of the "One Creation Day equaling One Thousand Years" correlation. What does appear is that each Creation Day depicts a defining highlight of its corresponding millennium. Further, the first six millennium are grouped into pairs. Then with the seventh millennium standing alone, plus the three paired millennium, there appears four distinct Ages. Let's consider these Days and Ages.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day." Genesis 1:1-5 ESV
The very first verse here speaks far more than its ten words: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." So, apparently, God first created the physical heavens and earth -- period, end of effort. Yes, He created the heavens -- and, thus, if so, all matter and energy as well. It would seem that singular act of creation, in the span of that one verse, God created all the galaxies with all their stars, including our star, Sol, and the stars with all their planets, including our planet, earth. If in creating the heavens He did create all stars, our star as well, then light, at that moment, in that first verse, was then present. Physical light, photon particles speeding through space, illuminating and warming all they came in contact with, that light must have existed before the events of the next verses occurred. And I believe, that is well the case.
Let's first consider this, the Book of Scripture is not a history book. Although it speaks of historical events and history witnesses to its biblical truths, the Bible is not, in and of itself, a history book. It is also not a book of archeology nor anthropology. Although both disciplines also witness to the Bible's truths, it is, once again, neither. And, of course, the Bible is not a physics book explaining the relationships between matter and energy. The Bible is uniquely spiritual. It is the conviction of this writer that the Holy Scriptures, whether in the form of the Torah, the Tanakh or the Old and New Testaments, is God revealing to us His past, present and future purposes and determinations for His people, which will result in bringing us to His fullness in both physical and spiritual perfection. With that being said, it should also be understood that this writer also views the Creation Narrative as a purely spiritual narrative, a narrative yoked to many physical realities and experiences of humankind, but its purpose and goal is to speak to us of spiritual matters. And, as noted in part 2 previously, the entire first chapter of Genesis along with the curiously separated verses 1-3 in the second chapter, are a minute synopsis of the entire biblical narrative -- the entire narrative. With that in mind, the Creation Narrative takes on a deeper and more relevant meaning. And, I hope, such will be demonstrated as these essays continue.
So, if it is correct, that the physical universe was created entirely in verse one with matter and light then in existence, why is it written:
"The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." Genesis 1:2.
Well, although as already argued, the earth was physically created and, more than likely, physically complete, it was at that same moment spiritually formless and void -- void of the Holy Spirit, the literal presence of God. And, although more than likely awash in physical light, being bombarded with photon particles emitted by the star, Sol, our sun, the earth was spiritually covered in darkness -- formless and void of Spiritual Light -- the Living Light of the Holy Spirit.
"And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day." Genesis 1:3-5 ESV.
It should go without saying, but it is nonsensical to perform a “separating” of light and darkness -- if it is physical light and darkness that is the subject. Light and darkness are by nature mutually exclusive. Where there is no light, there will be total darkness. Where there exists pure light, there will be no darkness, there will be light in its place. No deliberate act of separation is needed. However, when speaking of spiritual light and spiritual darkness, separation is, in fact, the actual and very reasonable goal.
With the introduction of "light" by God (God's Holy Spirit, God's Righteous Way) to the "void, formless and dark" earth, and by separating the light from the darkness declaring the light "good" (and by implication, the darkness "bad"), He foreshowed the two trees He would place in the midst of the garden -- the tree of life (light) and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (darkness.) It foreshowed two differing Ways, the Way of Righteousness (God’s Way) and the way of evil (Satan’s way). It was a deliberate and obvious separation that would play a defining role in God’s divine plane for Man.
The highlight of God's first one thousand year/Day is the introduction of God's Spiritual Light to earth and God's separating out spiritual darkness -- Good in opposition to Evil -- Righteousness in opposition to Unrighteousness. And that, God called a good thing, the First Day.
Part 4 - Day 2
Part 4 -- Day Two
And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day". (Genesis 1:6-8 ESV)
In prophecy the term “waters” is sometimes used to denote peoples, the “sea” of humanity. Revelation 17:15 illustrates this:
“And he saith unto me (an angel), The waters which thou sawest...are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.”
Psalm 65:6-7 likewise illustrates the water/people metaphor:
“...the one who by his strength established the mountains,
Being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,”
The symbol of waters identifies peoples of earth; and I suspect, it can likewise speak of those who are of the heavens. It should be noted it is written that the two waters were separated by the expanse, or as it is sometimes identified, as a dome, the firmament, the sky or the atmosphere. Neither waters were in the expanse, but actually separated by the expanse -- separated by the sky. I believe that disallows for the waters being interpreted as being actual water, the waters of the earth and waters (rain and/or mist) in the sky. It is not actual water that is of concern here. The waters are metaphors, representative of living beings, earthly and heavenly.
Beings of heaven are spoken of frequently in scripture, and these beings abound in their limitless multitudes (their millions of millions of millions!) and some have interacted with mankind throughout biblical history. Among the many interactions of angelic beings one pivotal scripture narrative tells us how sons of God took daughters of men for their wives in the second millennium.
"When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown." (Genesis 6:1-4)
As many do, I suspect those particular "sons of God" were among the rebellious followers of Lucifer, a.k.a Satan, inhabiting earth. It is shown in the book of Job that the Sons of God cannot be confused with human beings. As it is described in the book of Job the Sons of God present themselves before God from time to time and, as in the instance described in Job, in the company of Satan, himself. (Job 1:6) The implied union of these sons of God and the daughters of men depicted in Gen. 6:1-4 did not go well. Its produce was a growing evil on earth.
Understandably the implication of heavenly beings (sons of God) taking as they chose daughters of men for wives and producing offspring of a different nature than man himself is difficult for most to accept and/or fathom. But then, of course, many do accept this biblical implication as simple fact: that heavenly beings, Satan’s fallen followers, came to earth, found the daughters of men attractive, took those whom they chose as wives and sexually produced some sort of hybrid offspring. Cosmically speaking, who can say what is and what is not possible in God’s limitless, unknown and unexplained universe? As an example, and as millions do, I for one, certainly believe the dead, many of whom have been dead and utterly decomposed, totally disintegrated, for thousands of years, can and will be brought back to life at a future resurrection. So, if resurrection is possible, then other extraordinary and unfathomable things may be possible, too. However, I think the narrative of Genesis 6:1-4 where it states...
“When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose.”
...is to be wholly understood as metaphorical! Consider the following:
In Scripture it is a common occurrence that feminine metaphors are used to define Israel and/or the Church. Throughout The Old Testament Israel is likened as to a young girl, a woman, a bride and a wife. And when she, Israel, turns to idolatry (as she frequently did), she is spoken of as an unfaithful wife, an adulteress, a harlot or a whore. In the New Testament the Church is identified as the bride of Christ, pure and chaste. And further, in Revelation, a presumed false Church is referred to as a harlot riding a beast and sitting on many waters. Yes, in Scripture a girl or a woman is most definitely a metaphor for Israel, the Church or, undoubtedly, as any religion or religious practice.
So, in Genesis Chapter 6, the “daughters” of men could well be, and more than likely are, a metaphor for the many varied, prolific and man-made “religions” of the ancient world from the beginning right up to now. Likewise, the “Sons Of God” could be a metaphor, or an allusion to, God’s rebellious “Sons”, fallen angels, just as some suspect -- or, perhaps not. As it is, however, we are dealing with metaphors here, and the metaphors may well stretch even a bit further.
The ancient religions of the past would have looked rather “attractive” to spiritual beings to “take as wives" (similar to Jesus having his wife, the Church) and “go into” them as a means to masquerade as gods (Ra, Horus, Baal, Zeus, Jupiter, Hermes, Apollo, etc) to continue and further the deception of humanity begun in the garden. And the “joining” of fallen spiritual beings to the false religions of antiquity might well have produced many “children”, either mythical “Men of Renown” (Vulcan, Sosis, Isis, Osiris, Achilles, Hercules, etc) or actual, idolatrous, human kings, noblemen or priests of great power, influence and prestige.
As already stated, whatever the true meaning of Gen.6:1-4 is, things ultimately did not go well. It is prudent, however, to understand that it is irrelevant if the story as written is historically accurate or not, whether actual spiritual beings mated with human women or if the story is a metaphor for rampant idolatry overtaking mankind up to that time. Nonetheless, whatever the case may be, the produce was a pervasive and growing evil on earth.
"The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." (Genesis 6:5).
The Second Day of Creation is a preview and a metaphor, itself, of what God would do in the 2nd millennium to foreshadow and demonstrate, that He would ultimately "separate" His beloved mankind from sin and evil, from the influence, deceit and "way" of Lucifer (Satan), the Great Deceiver. And, God would do so dramatically. He would demonstrate this destruction of evil through Noah and the Flood, which of course, took place near the end of the 2nd millennium -- God's 2nd 1000 year Day.
God's 2nd Creation Day narrative where he created an expanse, calling it heaven, (not God's habitation, Heaven, but earth's sky, heaven) and separating the waters below the expanse (humanity) from the waters above the expanse (heavenly beings, sons of God) foreshadows the Flood, where, as the highlight of the second millennium, God separates and protects a righteous Noah, and his family, by removing out an encroaching unrighteousness apparently introduced and magnified by the influence and interaction of fallen angels -- or perhaps, simply the overwhelming spiritually idolatrous ideas and practices of man’s own inventions. Either way:
"..there was evening and there was morning, the second day." Genesis 1:8
(Actually, the second millennium.)
It is at the close of the 2nd millennium that the first of four biblical Ages is completed. However, different writers have different understandings regards biblical Ages, different names for them, and for some, different highlights.
One website writer at www.shofarministries.net/7000yr1of3.html indentifies the Ages as below:
“Traditional Judaism understands that the first 6,000 years is known as the present age/world (Olam Hazeh). These first 6,000 years are divided into three 2,000-year periods of time or ages.
The first 2,000 years from the creation of Adam to the time of Abraham (Avraham) is known as the period/age of desolation (Tohu).
The next two thousand years from the time of Abraham to the expected arrival of the Jewish Messiah (Mashiach) is known as the period/age of Torah.
The final 2,000 years of time within the 6,000 years of the present/age world (Olam Hazeh) is known as the days of the Messiah (Yemot Mashiach).
The last 1,000 years is known as the Messianic era or the future age/coming (Athid Lavo).”
Another writer, Robert Jones of www.biblefood.com/dispen.html identifies the Ages as follows:
a. INNOCENCE/CONSCIENCE: From Adam to Abraham. (Approx 2000 Years).
b. AGE OF THE JEW: From Abraham to the day of Pentecost, in Acts Chapter 2. (Approx 2000 years).
c. THE CHURCH AGE: From the day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2, to the Rapture (resurrection) of the Church. (Approximately 2000 years?).
d. THE MILLENNIUM: (Exactly 1000 years, Rev 20:1-7) From the Second Advent, (at the end of the 7 years Tribulation), to the Great White Throne of Judgement in Rev 20:11-15.
And there are others with other identifications. Bottom line, of course, is that the seven millennium of the biblical narrative are broken down to four Ages, the first three into 2000 year periods and the fourth a 1000 year period. Of course, I have my own definitions of the four ages:
1. The Age of Creation/Separation: ranging from Adam to the calling out of Abraham by God. (2000 years)
2. The Age of Abraham/Israel: spanning the time from Abraham to Sacrifice-Messiah/Pentecost. (2000 years)
3. The Age of the Sacrifice-Messiah/Church/Gentiles: the time from Pentecost to the Second Advent. (2000 years)
4. The Millennium: a 1000 year Sabbath Rest for Earth. (How and where the Church experiences the Millennium is a topic for another essay.)
Part 5 - Day 3
In Parts 3 & 4 of this series we examined the first two days of Creation and how it is believed by some writers, both ancient and contemporary, to foreshadowed high points of the first two millennia of a seven thousand year plan of God for his Elect. Here in Part 5 we will examine Day Three of the Creation narrative and the Creation highlight foreshadowed in the 3rd millennium.
And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:9-10)
Here at the beginning of God's third Day of Creation, God performs another separation, but this time the separation concerns only the waters under heaven, humanity. And the result of this separation produces land. And, this land represents not just Terra Firma but a very special person, Abraham, and a very special land, the land of Israel. I believe that by bringing together the waters and revealing dry land, He foreshadows Abraham being called out from all the rest of humanity, making Abraham (land) quite different and distinct from the rest of humanity (waters) and promising to set Abraham apart into a great and special nation -- Israel.
God further foreshadowed that Abraham, though Israel, will flourish, and produce great abundance of many different kinds:
"And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day". (Genesis 1:11-13)
The highlight of the third Day of Creation (the third millennium) is, as shown above, the foreshadow of Abraham being called out to be special, for Abraham and his descendants to be God’s very own people, separate, distinct. Unlike the rest of humanity, like many waters constantly shifting, moved about by any passing wind, sometimes madly so, Abraham, like solid ground, is steadfast and sure. Moreover, by the abundant produce of the land, God also foreshadows the abundant favor He will promise and provide to Abraham and his descendants (both physical and spiritual).
Such was the first half of the two thousand year age of Abraham/Israel -- the Third Day.
The latter part of the 2000 year age of Abraham/Israel, the fourth millennium, the fourth Day of Creation will prove pivotal in God's work, and that will be examined in Part 6 of Day(s) of the Lord.
Part 6 - Day Four
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. (Genesis 1:14-19)
The fourth Day of the Creation narrative, which foreshadows the fourth millennium, is a pivotal time. The fourth millennium is the second half of the 2000 year long age of Abraham/Israel. And, it is the fourth Creation Day that foreshadows and correlates to the midpoint millennium of God’s Seven-Thousand-Year-Plan for mankind.
This section of the Creation narrative is controversial. The controversy being, how could light be present on the First Day of creation, and how could plant life which appeared on the Third Day and which requires sunlight to photosensitize and grow, exist when the sun, itself, did not exist until the Fourth Day of Creation? The answer, of course, is a simple one. As previously argued in part 2, the Bible is not a history book or a book of physics. The Bible’s purpose isn’t to reveal to us HOW the universe was physically created. It just tells us in the very first verse of Genesis that the heavens and earth were, in fact, created. Explaining the actual physics of that effort is not the purpose of the Scriptures. The Bible is a spiritual book to reveal to us God’s intentions, workings and destiny for mankind. The appearance of the sun and the moon on the fourth day of the Creation narrative has very little to do with the physical creation of the sun and the moon, in fact, it has nothing to with such, but it has very much to do with the destiny of Israel and mankind in general. To help us understand this let us look at what Jesus, himself, declared about a truly unique individual.
"I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John". Luke 7:28
In this verse from the Gospel of Luke Jesus declares John the Baptist to be at least equal in importance to King David, Moses, Jacob, Isaac and the father of all, Abraham. Perhaps John was even greater in importance than those men, perhaps not. But for sure, none born of women was greater. And as it was, John had an important purpose as it concerned Jesus. It is written:
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. John 1:6-8
Yes, John was sent by God to witness to Jesus -- as the moon in the darkness of night is witness to the sun. And the sun in this context, to be certain, is a foreshadow of Jesus, the Light of the world.
It is no coincidence a biblical day begins in darkness, at sunset (and as it still does in Judaism). Such illustrates light overcoming darkness. But while the earth is in physical darkness, the moon reflects the light of the sun, as the sun is at that time unseen, hidden, but nonetheless exists and will appear at the appointed time. The moon dwells in the wilderness of empty space only able to reflect and bear witness to the source of light. The moon is not the light. And as compared to the sun, the moon, being simply a ball of rock, dirt and dust, is unworthy of the glory of the light it reflects. Lastly, of course, the “stars” all also created in the fourth millennium, but after the sun and the moon appear -- just as disciples follow after their teachers.
The fourth day of Creation highlights the arrival of the sun, the Light of the world, and thus, foreshadows Jesus. And the moon, which precedes the light of day and is the reflection and witness of that Light, foreshadows John. Moreover, it is no coincidence that the appearance of John and Jesus (again, foreshadowed by the creation of the sun and the moon) takes place in the very middle of God's seven thousand year week, the center point of the creation narrative, the fourth millennium. All of biblical history is referenced from that one point, the point of the arrival of Christ, Himself.
With the appearance of the sun and the moon, the fourth Day of creation comes to a close. The end of the fourth Day of creation foreshadows the end of the fourth millennium and, with that, the second age, the age of Abraham/Israel, comes to a close, as well. And, as it was written,
"...there was evening and there was morning, the fourth Day". Genesis 1:19
Next we will examine the fifth Day of Creation, the fifth millennium and the first half of the third age -- the age of Messiah/Church/Gentiles.
Part 7 - Day 5
And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its 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 birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. (Genesis 1:20-23)
Pentecost marked the end of one age, the age of Abraham/Israel, and the beginning of a new age, a two thousand year age of the messiah, the church and gentiles. It is at this point that I began this series of essays on the Seven Day/Seven-Thousand-Year design of God for this planet. (Please see Part 1.) As Peter said at Pentecost, and as I hope I have so far made clear, the last Days Peter was referring to were 1,000-year-long Days, and that he was speaking from the perspective of the latter three Days of God’s Seven Day creation narrative. Once again, when Peter referenced Joel on that first Pentecost morning after the crucifixion, he was prophesying in the most fundamental way to the next two thousand years of the messiah/church/gentiles age. Peter began Joel’s reference with the identification of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Peter closed Joel’s reference with a description of the time of Christ’s return, marked by:
“...wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” Acts 2:19-21
(These events are pretty well described in detail in the Book of Revelation which deals exclusively with the entire present age from the destruction of Israel and the Temple, to the nearly 2000 year exile of Jews from their homeland, to the 20th century return of Israel to its ancient home right up to the second advent and the commencement of the last 1000 years of the biblical narrative.)
That one short pronouncement by Peter incorporated Days Five and Six of the Seven Day/Seven-Thousand-Year design of God. They were not identified in their entirety of course, but were simply noted as the beginning and end of the messiah/church/gentile age bracketed up front by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and then bracketed at the other end by the “great and magnificent day of the Lord.” This essay addresses only of the first half of the 2000 year long messiah/church/gentile age, the fifth millennium of God’s Seven Thousand Year design for us, and which is foreshadowed by the fifth day of the creation narrative. After Peter’s explanation at Pentecost regards the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge Peter's vision in the book of Acts where he witnesses something like a sheet descending from heaven with unclean (non kosher) creatures upon it, and hearing the command to "kill and eat". (Acts 10:9-16)
It is in the fifth day of the creation narrative that God creates all manner of creatures out of the “waters.” It is not the creatures of the Land (a metaphor for Abraham/Israel) that are depicted, but the creatures of the “waters” -- Gentiles. (Recall how God separated the Land from the Waters in Day Three?) Through Peter’s vision of formerly unclean foods and the command to “kill and eat”, he see there is now no separation, no clean or unclean, no simply common, all are now subject to God’s election. Peter's subsequent interpretation of this vision was that God now made no distinction between gentiles and Israel regards the promises of God to Abraham, and thus, the subsequent outpouring of the Holy Spirit on “all flesh”, including gentiles. This inclusion of the gentiles is also shown by Peter's being commanded to visit Cornelius’ home, a gentile, to preach to Cornelius and his household and to baptize them as Peter and the other Jews with him, witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit as it was granted to the whole household.
It is in the narrative of the fifth day of creation that God foreshadows how He will declare all made clean (meaning the gentiles are now also offered the Holy Spirit). Moreover, we see where God commands all the things He creates in the fifth day of creation to be fruitful and to multiply -- a foreshadow of the gentiles to abound in the Holy Spirit, the fruits thereof and to spread the Good News of the coming Kingdom of God.
This declaration that the gentiles are now not unclean or common is a significant demarcation in God’s seven-thousand-year timeline. There is no longer a separation of peoples (Israel versus everyone else) but all are now offered the promise of the Holy Spirit as was seen in the book of Acts and via the nation of Israel. It is also noteworthy how birds are highlighted in the fifth day creation narrative -- where God commands, “and let birds multiply on the earth.”
In 1962 B.H. Phipps wrote in Ministry, an International Journal for Ministers.
"...the prophet Isaiah had visions of Gentiles coming in large numbers to worship the God of the Jews; and they too would possess the same ennobling virtues of the dove: 'Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?'" (Isa. 60:8).
And, of course, a bird, a dove, was used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit at the baptism of Jesus.
Thus, Day five of the creation narrative foreshadows the fifth millennium of biblical history where at the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost commenced the age of the messiah/Church/gentiles and the Church's mission to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the ends of the earth -- multiplying as the birds of the sky.
As shown above, Day Five, and subsequently the fifth millennium, highlights upon gentiles. However, the Hebrews are not excluded or replaced by the church regards the promises of God to Abraham and his descendants. Yes, Israel had a two-thousand-year age where the great bulk of the biblical narrative was revealed through them. Now, however, is the time of the gentiles, a two thousand year age where gentiles are being gathered into God’s purpose. But Paul assures us that Israel is not now, nor will ever be, completely out of the picture. He instructs us:
“Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in”. Romans 11:25
Day Six of the creation narrative is another Day, and a Day that foreshadows the second half of this age. In that Day, as it foreshadows the sixth millennium, many of Israel will be revealed once again in a significant way regards God's seven-thousand-year-plan for mankind. But before that occurs:
“And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.” Genesis 1:23 ESV
Next we will examine the sixth Day of Creation, the sixth millennium and the second half of the third age -- the age of Messiah/Church/Gentiles.
Part 8 - Day 6
"And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so." Genesis 1:24
Here on the sixth day of creation God creates from the earth land animals, not creatures from the waters but creatures of the land. As was previously shown in an earlier essay of this series, “water” in Scripture is often a metaphor for peoples, or humanity. Likewise, as was shown in the third Day of creation that when God gathered the “waters” together to reveal dry land, setting apart one from the other, it foreshadowed His later act of calling out Abraham (the land) to be separate and distinct from all other peoples (the waters). Thus, the land was a type of Abraham and the nation of Israel. The waters represented everyone else - gentiles.
I believe here in the Sixth Day, by creating only land creatures, it foreshadows God regathering from all nations a remnant of his people, Israel, a people whose hearts God hardened for a time regards the gospel. (Romans 11:25) It is prophesied that God will regather a remnant of his people filling them with the understanding of who their messiah is. (Isaiah 10:20-21, Romans 11:1-32)
This regathering foreshadowed in the sixth Day creation narrative takes place near the end of the sixth millennium, at the cusp of the sixth and seventh millennium, and just before God’s last work of creation -- Man, male and female.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:26, 27
The last creative act of Day six and, as a matter of fact, the entire creation narrative, sees the creation of man – male and female. And they are placed in dominion over all that was created previously, all that was created from the waters and all that was created from the land. They are commanded to “be fruitful and multiply”.
In continuance of the One Day/One millennium correlation, the sixth Day of the Creation Narrative, of course, foreshadows the sixth millennium, the second half of the third age, the age of Messiah/Church/Gentiles. The sixth millennium is also the present millennium - in which is our present time.
In a previous essay series, "The Fall of Man", it was shown that the first Adam was a foreshadowing of the Christ. The Christ has also been identified by Paul as the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45-49). Moreover, Adam’s wife was shown to be a foreshadowing of the wife of Christ, the church/Israel. The symbolism of the Creation Narrative is remarkable to say the least, and it all so perfectly prefigures biblical history.
The third age, the age of Messiah/Church/Gentiles, encompassing both the fifth and sixth millennium, is all about ingathering. As mentioned previously, Peter’s speech at Pentecost addressed the beginning of the age (the fifth millennium) with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, gentiles specifically, and closes with a description of the end of the age (the sixth millennium) with the ingathering of Israel and the second Advent.
"And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved". Acts 2:19-21
The regathering of a remnant of Israel, depicted by the creation of land creatures, and the advent of Christ at the end of the millennium, depicted by the appearance of Adam and his wife, perfectly highlights the sixth millennium. The sixth millennium foreshadowed by the sixth Day of the creation narrative is the second half of the third age, or the age of the Messiah/Gentiles/Church.
The highlighted events of this sixth Day/millennium, of course, are still future. The Last Adam (Christ) is not yet returned. The woman of Genesis 1:26-27, the church/Israel, is yet waiting for her Husband. And, of course, the ingathering of the remnant of Israel is also not yet fully realized -- but it has begun! For close to 1,818 years Israel was scattered and homeless, with no national identity. Of course, that changed rather dramatically not too long ago, just as it was yesterday, relatively speaking. For Israel to recognize and embrace its messiah, there first has to be an Israel in existence -- and present in Jerusalem -- and so, now it is. The Bridegroom is near, almost to the door of His beloved. It is nearly 2000 years since the founding of the Church. The end of this age is not far off. This sixth millennium is close to completion – very close. The time of Israel's recognition of its messiah is even closer.
Christ's return to this earth has been described as arriving as a "thief in the night". However, as Paul also wrote to the Thessalonians:
"But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness." 1 Thessalonians 4:5
What Paul speaks of here is something that will be examined further at a later time. For now, however, let it be understood that the end of the sixth millennium ends the third age and the end of the third age ends six thousand years of man going his own way. What follows that six thousand years is one thousand years of Sabbath Rest, God's provided rest for the earth - the seventh millennium.
Next we will examine God's Seventh Day, His Holy Sabbath Rest. As pointed out above, it is a Day that is not far off. It is a Day, I believe, some of us now living will actually witness in its dramatic arrival. But for now, know this:
"...and there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day". Genesis 1:31
Part 9 - Day 7
(Revised April 16, 2015)
"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation". Genesis 2:1-3 ESV
The last Day of creation, the Seventh Day, is very special. It is so because it is blatantly separated from the previous six Days of creation. The Seventh is set apart from Chapter one of Genesis as it opens Chapter two. Was the Holy Spirit inspirational in having the translators of the ancient texts separate the Seventh Day description from the previous six? It seems odd that the Seventh Day description did not close chapter one but instead opened chapter two. Whatever the case may be, in the Scriptures, textually, the Seventh truly stands apart from the previous six.
The Seventh Day stands apart in another manner, as well. Where the descriptions of each of the previous six days close with: "And there was evening and there was morning," the Seventh Day conspicuously, does not. Neither evening or morning is mentioned regards the Seventh Day, and that, I believe, was done purposely because in the Seventh Day the earth may well rest fully.
It is no accident that the six Days of creation all begin in the evening - in darkness. It is in darkness that the experience of man outside the garden begins, blind to the Truth through deceit of the serpent, stumbling around following his own darkened and limited vision -- lost and headed for a very great fall. But then Light comes, as it did on Day Four, at the very middle of God’s seven day creation narrative. And, because of that, we can see the Way -- with relief, joy and, hopefully, heartfelt gratitude. And, of course, it is not the light of man that saves us from that great and lethal fall, but the Light of God personified in Jesus -- as He was foreshadowed to appear in the fourth millennium. With the six Days, the Days allotted for man to do his work, each Day is a reminder of how we start in darkness, spiritual darkness, then as a gift, receive light that cuts through and obliterates the darkness.
Yes, it appears there is no evening or morning for the Seventh day -- a Holy Day, the only Day that God declares to be holy. It is the only day that God commands us to "Remember" and to "keep holy." It is a most important Day in God's Plan for us. In the fourth commandment it is revealed that Man will rest from his work of six thousand years and enter into God's Rest, His Holy Sabbath.
As was witnessed in Part 8, the Sixth Day closes with the appearance of the Last Adam, who is Christ, and His wife, the Church/Israel. And immediately following that appearance, the Seventh Day begins. But, again, the beginning of this Day, this Sabbath Day of God’s rest, does not appear to begin with darkness. There is no declaration “and there was evening” for this Day. It is a 1000 year Day of the Lord where the whole earth will enter into a Sabbath rest, and the Church will partake in a 1000 year long "sabbatical" (a sabbatical truly cosmic in scope, and a topic to be visited at another time). The twilight between the Sixth and Seventh Day ends the third 2000 year age, the age of the messiah/church/gentiles, and begins the fourth and final age of God's perfect plan, God's perfect design for His Elect.
Thus the Seven-Thousand-Year design of God for Man is veiled and dimly revealed within the creation narrative of Genesis. It is a story within a story. It is as Jesus always did, speaking and acting in parables, telling stories with hidden and double meanings. His miracles were also stories within stories, actions that had meanings hidden within the outward appearance of the action itself. This “hiding” of the meanings of things is by God's design. Jesus tells us so. He told his disciples such directly. (Matthew 13:10-15) And in those verses He also tells us an amazing fact; the more one has, the more one will receive. In other words, the more one learns from the Scriptures (and that being an act of the Holy Spirit), the more will be revealed to him. And to those who understand little, or perhaps, decline to understand, even what they do understand will be “taken away.”
In the final essay, Part 10 of this series, I will share my thoughts on how this “hidden narrative”, the hidden story within a story, benefits us and what we as the church now face -- here at the twilight of the Sixth and Seventh Millennium of God’s great Design. The church has been praying and waiting a very long time for what is apparently “soon” to occur. In fact, I prayed this very morning as christians have prayed for millennia, just as Jesus guided us to pray: “Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come…” And so it shall, and, I believe, far sooner than most understand.
Part 10 - Conclusion
As has been seen in Parts 1 & 2 of this series of essays, both ancient and contemporary sources attest to the biblical witness that a veiled but consistent theme that each Day of the Creation Narrative corresponds to each of the seven biblical millennium spanning Genesis to Revelation. And as the past is so clearly confirmed via hindsight by the Creation Narrative regards God's preordained design for Man, that same Creation Narrative also foreshadows what will occur at the imminent close of the current 2000 thousand year age of the church/gentiles. Christ and the Kingdom of God are soon to descend on this world.
It is important that we understand this fact. It is important that we recognize the very special time that we live in, if not just for one's own preparation for the absolute shock most of us will experience when this happens, but also for our ability to share it with others.
I am confident that the event of Christ's return, although clearly predicted and promised to occur, will not play out exactly as we now imagine. How we see it now is only a dim view, faint and veiled, not yet fully perceived. We are so accustomed to relating to God's work only through ancient biblical symbols, types, foreshadows, parables and stories with meanings other than literal, that witnessing and accepting the hard, physical and literal fulfillment of biblical prophecy will be agonizingly difficult for many.
Undoubtedly, this event, the second advent, the passing from the age of the Church/Gentiles to the age of the Millennium will be the most stressful time in human history, and it will be truly worldwide. It will affect every nation, every culture, every man, woman and child on earth. It will be real and inescapable. And like any birth into life, it will hurt.
Without doubt, this cosmic event is still years away yet -- but not that many years away. Many reading this will truly witness Christ’s return, and should start now to wrap one's head around the significance of that inevitability. The time, although future, is at hand, the 2000 years of the Church age is coming to a close, just as the two previous 2000 year ages came and then closed. The Church age, however, will not go out quietly. Whereas the end of the previous ages were only dramatic to a few, a few as compared to the then entire earth population, the transition from this age to the next will be globally dramatic in scope and effect.
At Pentecost Peter told us that in these “Last Days” God has poured out His Spirit on ALL flesh. This, I believe, should be taken as great news! Peter goes on to say that not only will God’s people prophesy in those Last Days, but even the sons and daughters of men, even those not of God, will prophesy. Many today are doing just that. Both God's elect and those not of His elect are speaking of many things concerning the close of the present age. God uses whomever He chooses as it suits His purpose. We need to listen.
It is human nature to be drawn to those we consider “one of us.” But, in these Last Days it would behoove us to listen far and wide. The Church is far greater than any one denomination. One is not an elect of God because one is a member of this or that fellowship, because one may be a Methodist or a Baptist, a Congregationalist or a Lutheran, or Catholic or of any other “denomination.” The Church at large, The Church Universal, is identified not by a man-made names or organization. The Church Universal is populated by those who hear and respond to God's call, and God places His people in places and situations that suits His purposes. It would appear God's people can be anywhere and, in fact, are everywhere. Many of God’s elect are in fellowships and doctrines most of us just wouldn't suspect. We should be listening widely for God's voice, from whatever quarter God chooses to reveal and make clear His word. God declares he always keeps for Himself a remnant of His elect - and He keeps them where He wills. It may well surprise many of us just who might be among that remnant. God's ways are not our ways. He looks at people and things in a very different manner than most do.
This series of essays has explored God's synopsis of His Seven-Thousand-Year-Plan for mankind as was demonstrated by the biblical examination of the six days of creation and the set apart and sanctified seventh day of rest - the Holy Sabbath.
It is understandable how the doctrine of the Seven-Thousand-Year-Plan of God held little attention for most of mankind through much of history; it simply wasn’t immediately relevant -- but it is now! Be assured, it is relevant now, today! And to be sure, it had to be so sometime! So, once again, it appears now is the time.
There is more about this doctrine and about this age that should be explored, but that is for another series of essays. However, for now, listen, hear and understand -- we are in a special generation! Every one of us has been chosen by God to exist in this time -- and for a reason. Let us not sleep. Look up and look out, for our redemption is at hand!