Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Millennium-Sabbath Theory


There are many places in the scripture in which events that take place foreshadow future events. At times, these events are supplemented with commandments that certain things are to be done in remembrance of the event, and so also these become a foreshadowing of the future. The ideal example of this is the Passover. The lamb’s blood symbolizes the blood of Christ and the unleavened bread symbolizes his body, and so on. Even the loaf and cup that we partake of could somehow be a hint of what is to take place in eternity, for Jesus said, “But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” (Matthew 26:29)

The idea that is presented in this writing is that the one thousand year reign of Christ (Revelation 20:1-6) is foreshadowed by when God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2). What is unique about this theory is that it extends beyond just the Sabbath, but also foreshadows the whole of history. That is to say that, in general, each of the six days of creation represents consecutive one thousand year periods so that a summary of all of (religiously significant) history, up until, and including the Day of Judgment, can be seen figuratively in Genesis 1-3.

First let me reiterate that this is not to say that events of Genesis are merely symbolic. Those events really did literally happen—the possible figurative meaning is only secondary. There is no place in the Bible that plainly states this idea as a fact (that is why it is called a theory), and I am not saying that I firmly believe it, but I think it is worth it to present the evidence for it. This theory does not have nearly the predictive power of the literal, face-value prophecies about the death, burial, resurrection, and second-coming of Christ, but the correlation of the events of the six days of creation with the first 6000 years of history is striking.

The first piece of evidence is the statement: “…one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (II Peter 3:8 and Psalms 90:4) Again, this is not to say that this interpretation of the verse is its only meaning. Of course, the main meaning of this sentence is that God is longsuffering, but the claim is made that it is also a key that points to this theory. Now let’s take a look at the specific days of creation and millennia in history.

The First Day

This is the only day in which the day itself is contained within the millennium that it represents. Some people claim that the earth existed for thousands of years before this day, that everything in the earth was destroyed (because of Satan’s fall), and that creation described in Genesis 1-2 was a second creation. This so-called pre-Adamite age, they say, was the age of the dinosaurs. They say that there is gap between verses 1 and 2 of the first chapter of Genesis so that what happened in verse one is not included in the first day. The fact that this day is called “the first day” should be enough to convince someone that this theory is false, but in case that is not convincing enough, thorough refutation is given in Exodus 20:11: “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day”. Therefore I take the beginning of the first day to be “the beginning” in Genesis 1:1 and also to be the starting point of the first millennium.

Genesis 1:1 states that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” In a manner of speaking, he created it on the first day, but also the creation took six days (see Genesis 2:1). “Then God said, let there be light: and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3) This light represents the life that is in Jesus (John 1:4) who existed in the beginning with God (John 1:2). It also foreshadows the creation of the sun in on the fourth day. Verse 4 states that “…God divided the light from the darkness.” This represents the separation of God and man (Genesis 3:24, 4:14), and also of God and Satan (Isaiah 14:12). God also named the light and the darkness (verse 5) to represent the naming of (the tree of the knowledge of) good and evil.

The Second Day

When God created the firmament, he separated the waters (in heaven) from the earthly waters. In the same way, God and man became further separated during the second millennium because of the wickedness that had come upon the earth (Genesis 6:5-7, 11, 12).

In Genesis 6:2, 4 it talks about the “sons of God” taking “the daughters of men” as wives. The Hebrew word for “sons of God” is translated “angel” everywhere else it is used in the Bible. At some point, probably after the flood, the angels were no longer allowed to do this. This is another example of the separation of the heavenly from the earthly. Some people use Mark 12:25 to say that angels can’t be married, but notice that it says, “…they will be like the angels in heaven” which means as they were at the time that Jesus said that, not as they had been previously. Angels are by definition male, so they could only marry human women, and if they are separated from the earthly, then marriage is no longer possible. Obviously, angels were never meant to marry, and that is why the ones that did this were punished (I Peter 3:19, 20).

The separation of waters from waters also represents the appearance of dry land following the Flood (Genesis 8:13).

The Third Day

“The waters under the heaven were gathered together in one place” on the third day in Genesis 1:9 and also in Psalms 33:7. The same thing happened during the third millennium in Joshua 3:16 with the parting of the Jordan. In both instances, dry land appeared, as it did when the Red Sea was parted in Exodus 14:21, 22, which also happened during the third millennium.

The waters were then called “Seas”. In the Bible, the sea represents humanity, and the beasts that come out of it represent nations or rulers (Daniel 7:3, Revelation 13:1). It was during the third millennium that the nations that we have today began to emerge. The tower of Babel incident could have occurred during the beginning of the third millennium, which was the initial cause of the formation of the nations. By Usher’s dates, Abraham, called “the father of many nations” was born about 1996 B.C. The world was founded “upon the seas and established on the waters.” (Psalm 24:2). “…the earth was formed out of water and by water” (II Peter 3:5).

Many creation scientists believe that the “seas” (oceans) and continents that we have today were formed as a result of the splitting of a super continent (called Pangea) into the land of the Old World (Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia) and the New World (North and South America). (Genesis 10:25) This event could also have happened at the beginning of the third millennium. (Peleg’s death falls into the late second millennium by Usher’s dates, but only by 13 years.)

Grass created on the third day also represents humanity, and in particular, the aspect of the shortness of his existence on the earth (Psalm 37:2, 90:5, 6, 103:15, 16, Isaiah 40:6-8, I Peter 1:24) It was during this millennium that man’s days were shortened to 120 years, just as God said would happen in Genesis 6:3. Abraham’s father Terah lived to be 205 years old (Genesis 11:32) and died during the third millennium (see Abraham’s approximate birth date above). Flowers (as they wither) are also used as a symbol for the brevity of man’s life. The word “flower” is not used in the third day text, but flowers are clearly included in what was created on the third day. “Herb yielding seed” (KJV) or “seed-bearing plants” (NIV) were created on the third day. (Genesis 1:11, 12)

Fruit trees were created on the third day, which represent nations in the scriptures. In particular, Israel is represented by fig tree (Joel 1:12, Matthew 24:32-34 [Note that the word generation can be translated “race” and is often footnoted as such.]) and an olive tree in Romans 11:11-24 (explained in Romans 11:25-32). Israel came to be a nation (having land) during this millennium, and God used events like the parting of the Red Sea and the Jordan River to bring this about.

The Fourth Day

The creation of lights in the firmament (Genesis 1:14) represents the coming of the prophets of the Old Testament. Starting with David and going on down to John the Baptist, these prophets gave signs (Genesis 1:14) about the coming of Christ, the light of the world (verse 15), and the dispensations (or seasons, Genesis 1:14). The dividing of the day from the night (also in verse 14) represents the separation or calling out of the true believers from the unbelieving world, which is what they (including Christ himself), accomplished. The “days and years” (also in verse 14) is what this whole idea is all about.

Usher dates the creation of the earth to 4004 B.C. The birth of Christ is dated to be about 4 B.C. Usher’s calculations are based on rounded numbers, so there is no way to know for sure which millennium Christ’s birth falls into. The Jews date the creation of the earth much later, and if this is more accurate, the Jesus’ birth definitely falls into the fourth millennium.

The two great lights in verse 16 are obviously the sun and the moon. There are many verses in the Bible where Jesus is figuratively represented by the sun. Malachi 4:2 says, “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” Note the messianic theme of the last two chapters of the Old Testament. At the transfiguration, “His face shone like the sun.” (Matthew 17:2) Psalm 84:11 says, “The LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” See also Psalm 19 and Judges 5:31. There are other passages which are less obviously Christological. However, it is clear that on that resurrection morning, the sun rose when the Son rose!

Returning to text in Genesis 1:16, 18, we find another Christological reference. Christ rules over the “day” (the believers) while the unbelievers are ruled by the powers of darkness and of the Law. The moon may represent the Law of Moses.

The Fifth Day

On the fifth day, God created whales (KJV) and the creatures of the water. (Genesis 1:20-22) Jonah was in the belly of a whale or great fish for three days. (Jonah 1:17) This event clearly did not happen during the fifth millennium, but Jesus used this as a sign to predict his death and resurrection. (Matthew 12:40) If Usher’s dates are correct, then this event does fall into the fifth millennium.

The Holy Spirit (possibly) came during the fifth millennium and is represented by a dove in the Scriptures. God created birds on this day. The wind is also a type of the Holy Ghost. (John 3:8) Just as the wind would not be possible without the Sun, so the Holy Spirit would not be available to believers without the redeeming sacrifice of Christ. (Ecclesiastes 1:5, 6)

The Sixth Day

By any account, the sixth millennium begins a long time after the last Scriptures were written. For the symbolic comparisons to the sixth day, we need to rely on history and/or prophecy. With good reason, no dates are given for the fulfillment of the prophecy of the end times, so we must rely on our initial assumption that the seventh millennium is the millennial reign of Christ, and that the events which precede it in prophecy (i.e. the tribulation) fall into the sixth millennium.

God created the beast of the earth on the sixth day. (Genesis 1:24, 25) The beast will rise up out of the sea (Revelation 13:1) and his number will be 666 (Revelation 13:18). God also made man on the sixth day. (Genesis 1:26, 27) 666 is also man’s number. (Revelation 13:18) Man was made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26, 27) An image of the beast will be made to be worshipped (Revelation 13:15). Man was given dominion over the earth. (Genesis 1:26) The beast will be given dominion over the earth. (Revelation 13:7) Cattle and creeping things were also created on this day.

It is interesting that God gave the Israelites twice as much manna to gather on the day before the Sabbath. (Exodus 16:22, 29) This could be a message that we should put twice as much effort into evangelism in our day as in previous millennia. If too much was gathered on the other days, it spoiled, (Exodus 16:20) which could represent wasted evangelistic efforts. There are always people who do not gather enough, even on the other days.

The Seventh Day

“On the seventh day, God ended His work”, rested, and sanctified it. In the Law of Moses, the Israelites were commanded to do no work on the Sabbath (seventh day). This is a remembrance of God’s rest from his creation. Could it also be a foreshadowing of an event to come? During the millennial reign of Christ, the remaining believers will be able to rest after being persecuted by the beast because he and the false prophet will have been cast into the lake of fire, and all who worshipped him will be slain. (Revelation 19:20, 21) They will also have rest from the temptation of Satan, for he is bound during the one thousand years. (Revelation 20:2)

In a larger context, the Sabbath represents permanent rest for the people of God. (Hebrews 4:1-13) This could be seen as a flaw in the theory. There is no direct connection between the Sabbath and the one thousand years, but only to the eternal rest.

Beyond the Seven Days

Perhaps the best evidence of this theory comes from the correlation between events that happen after the seven days and the one thousand year reign. The marriage of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:24) foreshadows the marriage of Christ and the Church. (Revelation 21:2)

Satan (morning star and son of the dawn in the NIV, Lucifer in the KJV) was cast to the earth in Isaiah 14:12. “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to…the earth,” (Revelation 20:7, 8). The serpent, who is the Devil (Revelation 12:9), deceived Adam and Eve. (Genesis 3:1-5) Satan “shall go out to deceive the nations”. (Revelation 20:8) The serpent is judged in Genesis 3:14, 15. The Devil is judged in Revelation 20:10. Adam and Eve, the only human beings alive at the time, are judged. (Genesis 3:16-19) All mankind is judged in Revelation 20:9, 12-15. Earlier God had warned (or prophesied to) Adam and Eve about eating from the forbidden tree. (Genesis 3:3) Then the serpent cast doubt on God’s word. (Genesis 3:4) This nullification of God’s prophecy (in their minds), eventually led to them being kept from the Tree of Life. (Genesis 3:22-24) Similarly, “if anyone takes words away from this book of this prophecy, God shall take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.” (Revelation 22:19, NIV)

God Saw That It Was Good

Notice the use of the phrase “God saw that it was good” throughout the first chapter of the Bible. On the first day, it only says that “God saw that the light was good” and does not say this about any of the other events of day one. Recall that the light represents Jesus and that the rest of the events of the first day have to do with the Fall. The phrase is not mentioned in the text of the second day, which has to do with the increasing wickedness of mankind and the destruction of the earth by the Flood. Events surrounding the foundation of the nation of Israel are symbolized on day three and the phrase is used twice. On the fourth day, the phrase is used in connection with the events symbolizing Christ’s birth. The events which symbolize the coming of the Holy Spirit are called good at the end of verse 21. While it would seem that the events of the Tribulation symbolized on day 6 would not be considered good, the phrase is used on this day in verse 25. Verse 31 even says that “it was very good”. But remember what happens at the end of the Tribulation. The beast and the false prophet are thrown into the lake of fire and Satan is bound. Some would say that the rapture of the church before the Tribulation is the “good” event of the sixth millennium. (I disagree with this eschatological view.) The fact that the gospel will preached to every nation is also a “good” aspect of this millennium. (Matthew 24:14) The phase is not used on day seven, but instead it says, “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy,” possibly indicating that the millennium was set apart from the other days as being not just that good things will happen during that millennium, but that the whole millennium will be good.


One could use these assumptions to calculate the time at which Christ shall return within some span of years. I would hope that no one reading this would do this. It could be that general idea of the Millennium-Sabbath theory is correct, but maybe some of the symbolic references I used, particularly on the fifth day (they are among the weakest) are not. (I tried to come up with at least one symbolic meaning for every object mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis.) Neither Adventism nor apologetics is the purpose of this writing, but the real purpose is demonstrate that God does things a certain way for a reason, which may not be clear to us in the beginning, but with time things come together perfectly.

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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Authoritative Teaching

I got this from a friend:

Mark 1:22 “And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.”

Two teaching styles are here contrasted. There was the authoritative approach by which Jesus Christ's ministry was characterized. Then there was the approach of the scribes which, by inference, was obviously not authoritative. It stands to reason that the Holy Spirit by these words was denouncing the Scribes' type of ministry. A gospel minister will ultimately have to decide if he is going to be a minister like the Savior or like the Scribe, a preacher who labors to please God or men. Paul wrote, "...if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ" (Gal.1:10). No man can serve two masters (Mat.6:24).

In this, the era of tolerance, ecumenism, and relativism, a gospel minister who stands with Christ stands apart from the crowd. If he preaches with authority, believing he has an authoritative Bible, condemning sin in whatever form it may be found while holding high Almighty God and His sovereignty in saving sinners by grace according to His own will, his popularity in the eyes of the world and even professors of faith is likely to be minimal. His will not be the ministry courted by politicians. His will not be the ministry seen on national television (unless being smeared as cultish). His will not be the ministry of the entertaining "seeker-friendly" mega-church with all of its "loaves and fishes" congregants. He is more likely to be relegated to a little wooden building or a rented room with a small band of believers singing out of a worn-out paperback hymnal. But "Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right" (Pro.16:8).

One would expect the reprobate world to be at odds with authoritative preaching, for "the carnal mind is enmity against God..." (Rom.8:7). But what about when professors of faith are of the same mind as the world? The prophet Isaiah's fellow church members were "....a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us" (Isa.30:9-11). They preferred smoothness and lies to rough, unvarnished truth. This is a horrible attitude! Of this mentality, the Spirit observed, "A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof" (Jer 5:30-31)? Ministers who accommodated such an attitude were said to "cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness" (Jer.23:32). Smoothness and lightness in ministry are as destructive as deceits and lies.

Words smoother than butter or softer than oil are the marks of those who have war in their hearts and drawn swords (Psa.55:21). The apostles warned of those who by "good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple" (Rom.16:17-18) and who "speak great swelling words of vanity" (2 Pe.2:18) to lead men astray. Paul did not preach with "enticing words of man's wisdom" (1 Co.2:4), nor did he use "flattering words" (1 Th.2:5). He was not a silver-tongued orator who cajoled his hearers. Au contraire! He was derided as one whose "bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible" (2 Co.10:10) and who was "rude in speech" (2 Co.11:6). He used "great plainness of speech" (2 Co.3:12), emphasizing doctrine over feelings, substance over form, not fearing to step on toes. He knew well the hearts of men and their propensity to tire of sound doctrine and truth, preferring to "after their own lusts...heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears" (2 Ti.4:3). An itch needs to be abraded, not mollified with baby oil, and so Paul instructed Timothy "Preach THE WORD....reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" (2 Ti.4:2). If a preacher is convinced he has THE WORD OF GOD, he can speak with authority. Woe unto the preacher who believes he only has the word of man which profits nobody (Jer.23:32)! Is it any wonder that in our generation where so few preachers actually believe they have God's infallible word that there is so little Savior-like preaching but so much Scribe-like preaching (per our text)? Enervated Scribe-like preaching which avoids offence may fill pews, coffers and sodden hearts but Savior-like preaching will condemn it.

Pied Pipers, it should be remembered, have an appeal to rats. What kind of preaching do you desire?

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Thursday, April 5, 2007

The Bible Says Get out of Iraq, part 4

In part 1, I discussed the commandment given in Revelation 18:4 to flee Iraq. In part 2, I discussed how this commandment was an echo of the Old Testament commandment to flee destruction in Babylon. In part 3, I discussed how the various theological interpretations of Revelation 17-18 and why the literal interpretation of Babylon is right despite the obvious symbolism referring to Rome. I explained that Babylon is place of evil spirits and it is an evil influence on the governments of the world. In this part, I will discuss the larger lesson to be learned from what the Bible says about the whore of Babylon.

The Bible says that the nations of the earth have committed adultery with the whore of Babylon (Revelation 18:3). This has lead to the wicked systems of government that we see in the world today. While you may disagree about the importance of getting out of Iraq, I hope that you will not miss the more important lesson that is being taught in Revelation 18-19. Babylon represents these wicked systems of government in this world.

The wicked systems of government in this world:

1. Allow the murder of millions of innocent babies. The total carnage in America alone is the deaths of about 50 million. Sadaam Hussein was a drop in the bucket. Even Osama Bin Laden is a drop in the bucket. In the Netherlands, it is common for doctors to kill fully born babies. The elderly are killed without even the consent of the family. In China, women are forced to have abortions. What next?

2. Actively promote sinful behaviors such as homosexual behavior. The recognition of homosexual unions, the teaching of immoral homosexual behavior in public schools, and the giving of special protections for homosexuals under the law are examples. In Canada and Sweden it is illegal to read in public certain passages of Scripture which condemn homosexuality. (It is even illegal for preachers to preach these passages inside a church building!)

3. Teaching children ways to commit fornication which make it seem “safe” to them. Anyone who believes in giving children such sinful suggestions is sick. Just as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused to bow down to idol of Nebuchadnezzar, I refuse to bow down to this filthy idol. Even if it means being burned to death, I will not bow down to it. Needle exchange programs are a similarly sickening practice of amoral pragmatism.

4. Eroding the sovereignty of the nations into one centralized world government. The European nations are selling their sovereignty for economic prosperity. Other nations are selling it for peace. The world is paving the way for the Beast to take power “over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)

5. Get us involved in bloody wars, such as the wars in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Grenada, Vietnam, Korea and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All this is done in the name of “stability”, “democracy”, and “freedom”.

6. Use taxes to manipulate the decision making of law abiding citizens. There are tax incentives or disincentives for buying certain cars, going to college, getting married, having kids, buying a house, educating your child in the manner that the government wants you to, giving to the poor, starting a business, medical care for senior citizens, retirement for senior citizens…on and on. A government should simply punish the acts of disobedience (that occur within its borders) that God says that it should, and leave everybody else alone. They don’t stop at taking our money and handing back out to whomever they chose. They do the same with our property (even church property) as well. They corrupt churches by giving them tax incentives (hush money) to not speak out too much on political issues. This is a good investment for those who want people to conform to the image of the Beast.

Just as the Israelites of 536 B.C. felt comfortable in the land of Babylon, so also today people feel comfortable in this wicked world system. If this describes you (if you support any of these whorish ideas), then I have just one message for you:


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