GOD’s 7000 YEARS TIMELINE

GOD’s 7000 YEARS TIMELINE

Did you know that 7 days of creation on Genesis Chapter 1 reflects God’s plan of 6,000 years for man to rule the earth and a final 1,000 year Sabbath in which Christ Himself and the Saints will rule?

In fact, God’s 7,000 year master plan is a doctrine which was widely accepted by the first century believers. One of the least-known facts of history is that a knowledge of the millennium and of God’s 7000-year plan prevailed over ALL the ancient world for HUNDREDS of years after the death of Christ and the Apostles. Understanding the 7,000 years millennial gives us the context to understand what the Scripture is presenting. The Bible is in an important sense, a “God’s 7,000 years plan book”.

And perhaps, more importantly for many, when will the 6,000 years end?

Evidently early believers did heed the 7,000 years plan doctrine, but today we’ve since lost that wisdom.

This article will look to the Bible, Jewish writings, historical writings, Churches writings, and even early Roman Catholic writings who also have believed in the millennial teaching.

Here are specific traditions related to the millennium from the Jewish Babylonian Talmud:

R. Kattina said: Six thousand years shall the world exist, and one [thousand, the seventh], it shall be desolate, as it is written, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day {Isaiah 2:11}.

It has been taught in accordance with R. Kattina: Just as the seventh year is one year of release in seven, so is the world: one thousand years out of seven shall be fallow, as it is written, And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day,’ and it is further said, A Psalm and song for the Sabbath day {Psalm 92:1},  meaning the day that is altogether Sabbath — and it is also said, For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past {Psalm 90:4}.

Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin [97a]: “Rav Kattina said: ‘The world will exist for 6000 years and one (thousand) of destruction’ … We have a teaching which is in agreement with Rav Kattina, as the seventh is the sabbatical year – one in seven years. Likewise the world will rest 1,000 in 7000 … ‘a thousand years in Your eyes are like yesterday which has passed …’ [Psalms 90:4].”

Nachmanides, Commentary on the Torah (Genesis 2:3), quoting Kabbalistic sources: “Each of the Six Days of Creation corresponds to a 1,000 year period of future history.”

From the Prophets, Talmud and Midrashim, we know what universal changes Messiah will bring about. Among them: the whole world will return to God and His teachings; the entire Jewish People will be gathered back to the Land of Israel; the royal dynasty of King David will be restored; Jerusalem and the Third Temple will be rebuilt; the Temple service will be restored, along with the keeping of the Sabbatical Year and the Jubilee Year.

There is also something else from another Jewish source. In the Midrash (a term that means “exposition” or “investigation”), Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer comments:

Six eons for going in and coming out, for war and peace. The seventh eon is entirely Shabbat and rest for life everlasting: (Pirke De Rabbi Eliezer, Gerald Friedlander, Sepher-Hermon Press, New York, 1981, p. 141)

Did The Early Church Teach Millenarianism? Did Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and late Century Writers Teach the Seven Thousand Plan?

Eusebius recorded that Papias in the early second century taught about the millennial reign:

…there will be a period of a thousand years after the resurrection of the dead, and that the kingdom of Christ will be set up in material form on this very earth…(Eusebius. The History of the Church, Book III, Chapter XXIX, Verse 12, p. 69)

Although today, we do not consider that the so-called Epistle of Barnabas is inspired, it does show that in the early second century that some did understand the idea of a 6000 year plan followed by the thousand year reign of Christ:

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 me 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 (Epistle of Barnabas, 15:1-5).

Bishop Irenaeus, a 2nd century heretical leader wrote about this:

…that apostasy which has taken place during six thousand years. For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded. And for this reason the Scripture says: “Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their adornment. And God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth day the works that He had made; and God rested upon the seventh day from all His works.” This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year…

For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded…and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year…Thus, then, the six hundred years of Noah, in whose time the deluge occurred because of the apostasy, and the number of the cubits of the image for which these just men were sent into the fiery furnace, do indicate the number of the name of that man in whom is concentrated the whole apostasy of six thousand years, and unrighteousness, and wickedness, and false prophecy, and deception. (Irenaeus. Adversus haereses, Book V, Chapter 28:2-3; 29:2. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 1).

Irenaeus is basically trying to say that the creation shows the six-seven thousand year plan of God.  Irenaeus is also teaching that since God gave Noah 600 years prior to the flood, that humans were given 6,000 years to live in a time of apostasy, essentially cut-off from God (cf. Genesis 3:22-24).

Hippolytus was the most important theologian and the most prolific religious writer of the Roman Church in the pre-Constantinian era (St. Hippolytus of Rome, The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1910).

Notice something Hippolytus wrote:

And 6,000 years must needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day “on which God rested from all His works.” For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future kingdom of the saints, when they “shall reign with Christ,” when He comes from heaven, as John says in his Apocalypse: for “a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.”Since, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled. (Hippolytus. On the HexaËmeron, Or Six Days’ Work. From Fragments from Commentaries on Various Books of Scripture.)

Notice therefore that “the most important theologian and the most prolific religious writer of the Roman Church in the pre-Constantinian era” taught the 7,000 year plan (6,000 for humankind, followed by 1,000 from God). According to him and others, the 6,000 years end when Jesus returns.

Even though he had other misunderstandings of this doctrine, notice what the Greco-Roman Bishop Victorinus taught in the late 3rd century:

…that true and just Sabbath should be observed in the seventh millenary of years. Wherefore to those seven days the Lord attributed to each a thousand years; for thus went the warning: “In Your eyes, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day.” Therefore in the eyes of the Lord each thousand of years is ordained, for I find that the Lord’s eyes are seven. Wherefore, as I have narrated, that true Sabbath will be in the seventh millenary of years, when Christ with His elect shall reign. (Victorinus. Commentary on the Creation.  From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7. 1886).

The Greco-Roman Bishop & Saint Methodius in the late 3rd or early 4th century taught:

For since in six days God made the heaven and the earth, and finished the whole world, and rested on the seventh day from all His works which He had made, and blessed the seventh day and sanctified it … this world shall be terminated at the seventh thousand years, when God shall have completed the world…(Methodius. Banquet of the Ten Virgins, Discourse 9, Chapter 1).

In the fourth century, the Greco-Roman Church supporting Lactantius taught:

Therefore, since all the works of God were completed in six days, the world must continue in its present state through six ages, that is, six thousand years…And again, since God, having finished His works, rested the seventh day and blessed it, at the end of the six thousandth year all wickedness must be abolished from the earth, and righteousness reign for a thousand years; and there must be tranquillity and rest from the labours which the world now has long endured…the dead will rise again, not after a thousand years from their death, but that, when again restored to life, they may reign with God a thousand years. For God will come, that, having cleansed the world from all defilement, He may restore the souls of the righteous to their renewed bodies, and raise them to everlasting blessedness.

Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia (friend of the Catholic St. Ambrose, Gaudentius died in 410), who is considered to have been a saint by Catholics, taught:

“We expect,” he says, “that truly holy day of the seventh thousand years, that shall come after those six days, or six thousand years of time, which, being finished, shall begin that holy rest for all true saints and for all those faithful believers in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Thus several second, third, fourth, and fifth century leaders who professed Christ clearly believed in the teaching that there was a 6,000 year plan–even if they did not understand all the details correctly (nor did the Jewish sources).

E. Culligan (20th century):…the time of the First Resurrection will end…It is the time when the Seventh Millennium will set in, and will be the day of Sabbath in the plan of creation…It has been the common opinion among Jews, Gentiles, and Latin and Greek Christians, that the present evil world will last no more than 6,000 years…Christians and Jews, from the beginning of Christianity, and before, have taught that 6,000 years after the creation of Adam and Eve, the consummation will occur. The period after the consummation is to be the seventh day of creation–the Sabbath…St. Jerome said, “It is a common belief that the world will last 6,000 years.”

…I believe that as the last days come to an end so will the sixth day of creation (Culligan E. The Last World War and the End of Time. The book was blessed by Pope Paul VI, 1966. TAN Books, Rockford (IL), pp. 113-115).

Priest G. Rossi (19th century): One day with the Lord, then, is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. It is the common interpretation that each of the six days of creation is equivalent to one thousand years for the future existence of human generations. Now God employed six days in the creation of this world; this world, then, shall last only six thousand years; the Sabbath, or seventh day, representing eternity.

The learned Cornelius A. Lapide, in his erudite commentaries on the Bible, in the second chapter of Genesis and twentieth chapter of the Apocalypse, attests that it is a common opinion among Jews and Gentiles, among Latin and Greek Christians, that this world shall last only six thousand years.

Christian writers have taught the same opinion from the beginning of Christianity…

Behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world. (Matt. xxviii. 20.) This word consummation literally agreeing with the prophetic words of Genesis, which fix the duration of the world to six thousand years, when it shall be consummated or destroyed. The words of the Latin vulgate, perfecit and complevit translated into the English finished and endedare not in substance very different from the Hebrew text; but this last is more expressive in what we call its prophetical signification.

Upon the above-mentioned words of the royal Psalmist and of St. Peter, St. Jerome says: I believe that in this place thousand years are commonly taken for a day, because this world having been made in six days, it is believed that it will last only six thousand years. (Epist. ad Cyprian supr. Ps. Ixxxix.) Remark here, that St. Jerome affirms as a well-known fact that this belief was common among the faithful in the fourth century. 

 The same belief is affirmed by St. Gaudentius, the learned and holy Bishop of Brescia and great friend of St. Ambrose, both Fathers of the Church.

‘We expect,” he says, ” that truly holy day of the seventh thousand years, that shall come after those six days, or six thousand years of time, which, being finished, shall begin that holy rest for all true saints and for all those faithful believers in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Consistent with the views of early Christians and some associated with them, some believe that since God made/recreated the world in six days and rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:1-3), that men and women will have 6000 years to live on the earth under the Kingdom of Men. Survivors and new generation of men and women will have a 1000 year period to be under Christ’s reign. The 6000 plus 1000 years equals God’s seven thousand year plan.

Most Churches understand that God has given humankind 6,000 years (like the six days of the physical creation) to live cut off from God and that this will be followed by the 1,000 year millennial reign (like the seventh day which was created by God’s rest) of Christ.

Notice also the following from the Bible:

And the Lord spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘When you come into the land which I give you, then the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. What grows of its own accord of your harvest you shall not reap, nor gather the grapes of your untended vine, for it is a year of rest for the land. And the Sabbath produce of the land shall be food for you: for you, your male and female servants, your hired man, and the stranger who dwells with you, for your livestock and the beasts that are in your land — all its produce shall be for food. (Leviticus 25:1-7)

Some Protestants have pointed to the passages in Leviticus 25 as part of the reason that the Bible shows that there is a 7,000 year plan:

The law of Moses laid a great deal of stress upon the Sabbath, the sanctification of which was the earliest and most ancient of all divine institutions, designed for the keeping up of the knowledge and worship of the Creator among men; that law not only revived the observance of the weekly Sabbath, but, for the further advancement of the honor of them, added the institution of a sabbatical year: In the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest unto the land, And hence the Jews collect that vulgar tradition that after the world has stood six thousand years (a thousand years being to God as one day) it shall cease, and the eternal 1,000 years Sabbath shall succeed—a weak foundation on which to build the fixing of that day and hour which it is God’s prerogative to know.

While Leviticus 25 is not, of itself, complete proof, it does add scriptural support to the belief.

The world does not understand what is taking place today because it does not know about the 7000-year PLAN OF GOD.

The pattern for this little-understood plan is given in the first two chapters of Genesis. It is the WEEK of seven days. As God originally set time in motion, man is given six work days followed by a day of rest. In Hebrews 4:4,11, the seventh day is mentioned as a type of the peaceful rest-1000-year rest-that will follow the present age of human labor and futile struggle to master the earth. The millennium, then, is compared with a “day” of the week.

Observe that after Christ’s intervention the time of that peaceful rest under His rule is specifically termed “a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4). If the last “day” of God’s 7000-year plan is 1000 years, then the preceding six days which God has allotted 6,000 years for mankind to go its own way (Acts 14:14-17). And this is exactly what world events are proving today! Look about you! It is obvious that this world is crashing to its DOOM!…

Six thousand years of human history have almost been completed… God is about to intervene in world affairs by sending Jesus Christ soon.

The common assumption that man has lived on earth countless tens of thousands of years is an idle dream. Reason disproves it. Each new archeological discovery aids in disproving it. True SCIENCE disproves it!

Peter said: “The Lord is not slack concerning the promise (of Christ’s coming) . . . but is longsuffering” (II Peter 3:9). God is patient. He has refrained from intervening in world affairs for nearly 6000 years. Why? Because He will not intervene until humanity is forced to cry out to Him for fear of self-extermination. Recall that the day of Christ’s intervention and rule is compared to “a thousand years” (Rev. 20:4). Peter also wrote the same thing–that a day in God’s plan is as “a thousand years” and “a thousand years” of human civilization as ONE day in His planned week of SEVEN 1000-year days (II Peter 3:8).

Peter knew that Christ would intervene shortly before the close of 6000 years of human struggle and slavery that God would send Jesus Christ to set up His government for the seventh thousand years, which will usher in a time of rest and peace-a sabbatical rest!

Notice the first 11 verses of Hebrews 4 (NASB):

Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.

For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said,
“AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,”
although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.

For He has said somewhere concerning the seventh day: “AND GOD RESTED ON THE SEVENTH DAY FROM ALL HIS WORKS”; and again in this passage, “THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.” Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience,

7He again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS.”

For if Joshua had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that. So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.

Those who do not keep the seventh day Sabbath are being disobedient and do not get the weekly reinforcement that God has a 7,000 year plan that includes 1,000 years of millennial rest. Yet, those who work the first six days and keep the seventh day Sabbath do.

Conclusion

The Bible, early and late centuries writings, and even Roman Catholic sources confirm that many who professed Christ in the early years taught that God seems to have a 6000 year plan followed by a literal thousand year millennial reign of Christ.

According to the Bible, the last days of the 6,000 years for humanity to rule itself are almost over.

We are living in the end-times. Soon Kingdom of men’s rule of the planet will end when Jesus returns. The time is short.

How do we know that the world will end in the year 6,000?

Have you ever wondered why the Bible records the ages of people all the way back to Adam and records the number of years the Kings of Judah and Israel ? It seems God wanted us to be able to count the years from creation. Could we understanding where we are in the 6,000 years? Yes! We can!

Historical records indicate that almost 6,000 years have elapsed since the creation of the earth and almost 2,000 years since the death of Jesus Christ. Since Jesus was crucified in 30 A.D., so based upon the calculation, we expect the 6,000 years to end in 2030 A.D.

Based upon the best chronologies that seem to have been able to construct, I suggest you to read the article “Why 2020”.

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