Secular scientists would have us believe that human beings in their current biological form have been on earth for hundreds of thousands of years, living as uncivilized brutes for most of that time. But the Bible paints a much different picture. According to Scripture, men didn't evolve from primates (though we sometimes behave as if we did), but rather burst onto the scene in a moment, at the culmination of period of divine creation of God-only-knows what length, after all of the other creatures had been crafted. And our collective story is not yet very long. The Bible teaches that human history is unfolding along a timeline of only 7,000 years, with the last thousand years comprising the Messianic kingdom to be installed upon Messiah's return.
Although many Christians today are totally ignorant of this timeline, the 7,000-year plan of God is a doctrine which was widely accepted by the early church. The fulcrum of the doctrine is one verse in a psalm of Moses, which states that “a thousand years in [God's] sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night” (Psa. 90:4, ESV). The apostle Peter reiterated this concept in his second epistle, warning us not to ignore the fact that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (3:8, ESV). Many Christian leaders have glossed over this, teaching their flocks that these verses merely indicate that God views time differently than we do. True as that may be, it doesn't address the specificity of the verses. How many of us have taken Peter's warning seriously and used it as a key to understanding God's eschatological plans?
Evidently early disciples did heed his words, but we've since lost that wisdom.
For the sake of convenience, I'm going to coin a term here. Let's call the 7,000-year timeline theory the Septeon, meaning an eon of seven divisions.
Ever since Adam worked the Garden, the seventh day has been the day of rest for God's people. This is true not only when the days represent 24-hour periods, but also when the days represent years, for Elohiym declared through Moses that every seventh year (called the Shemitah) must be a year of rest and release, when all debts are canceled and the land lies fallow. On top of that, Hebrew servants were to be freed in the seventh year. Then, the end of every seven Shemitahs marks the beginning of the Jubilee, which is also a sabbatical year and a time of liberation from all obligations. These practices foreshadow the reality that Yeshua will usher in an age of spiritual rest, release from deception, and freedom from spiritual enslavement during the seventh millennial cycle (see Revelation 20). Unlike the way we measure days, months, and years, these iterative cycles of seven have nothing to do with astronomy--they are only known because of direct instruction from God. Every culture on earth observes a seven-day week, but there is no natural phenomenon that would influence ancient people to mark off days in groups of seven. The whole world adheres to this practice because Noah and his family adhered to it, having received it from Adam, who in turn received it from YHVH. This testifies to the validity of the Septeon, for it is simply the next iteration of the sevens.
The movement of certain planets also seem to testify to the importance of a 6,000 year span. Five hundred revolutions of Jupiter (the king planet) around the sun equals 6,000 prophetic years of 360 days. Ninety-six hundred revolutions of Venus (the planet of the incarnate Messiah with his Bride) equals 6,000 prophetic years. Two hundred revolutions of Saturn (the planet of enslavement and destruction) is just seventy years short of 6,000 prophetic years. Seventy revolutions of Uranus (the planet of Heaven or the heavenly host) takes 6,000 prophetic years, and the Bible indicates that seventy is the number of rebellious angelic Kosmokraters assigned to rule over the pagan nations after Babel. This could all be coincidence, but I suspect not, considering how much other information God has encoded into the stars. Check out the latter chapters of my book, Leviathan's Ruse, Vol. 1, for details about what the stars are meant to tell us.
Now let's take a look at some scriptures which teach us about the Septeon.
YHVH ordered the Israelites to march around Jericho six times, once each day for six days, without attempting to overtake the city. Meanwhile, normal heathen activities continued unhindered inside of Jericho, and the people of the city looked outside and scoffed at God's people, who were separate from the heathen and operating under instructions that those sons of darkness couldn't understand. On the seventh day, seven priests blew a loud blast on their seven trumpets, and the entire assembly of Israel shouted, and God caused the walls of Jericho to collapse so that his people could rush in and conquer it. This is an awesome foreshadow of the Septeon. For 6,000 years, the heathen masses within the kingdom of Satan have been allowed to go about their business, while the set-apart people of the kingdom of God have been annoyingly present as a warning and a witness against them. But on the cusp of the seventh millennium, seven angels will sound seven trumpets, after which the archangel will give a mighty shout, and then the Bowls of Wrath will be poured out on the kingdom of Satan, culminating in a massive earthquake that will bring down every wall in the entire world. Then the supernatural armies of God will descend upon rebellious mankind and eliminate from the face of the earth every adult who has taken the Mark of the Beast. (These events are foretold in the Olivet discourse and the Book of Revelation, as well as in a smattering of Old Testament prophecies.)
When YHVH descended upon Mount Sinai, he called to Moses from out of the midst of the concealing cloud, telling him to come up and receive the Law. However, Moses was commanded to first wait for six days, and only ascend the mountain on the seventh day. This seemingly extraneous detail within the narrative discovers its importance when viewed as a parallel to the Rapture of the saints at the start of the seventh millennium.
In Genesis 7:6, we find that Noah was six hundred years old when the Flood came to slay the wicked. Six hundred is a fractal of six thousand, creating a parallel to the future destruction of the unrighteous by a flood of plagues from the Bowls of Wrath at the close of the sixth millennium.
According to 2 Chronicles 9:18, there were exactly six steps leading up to the throne of Solomon. The throne's armrests were flanked by lions. This is meaningful because King Solomon's peaceful reign is a type of the Lion of Judah's coming kingdom, under which the earth will know spiritual and political peace. Getting there involves climbing six steps of a thousand years each.
Two of the four gospels make a point of telling readers that Yeshua took his closest disciples to the Mount of Transfiguration “after six days” (Matt. 17:1, Mark 9:2). There is no need for such specific information unless it hints at a larger truth--namely, that the end of the sixth day is linked to the Second Advent, when the Lord will appear in glory. When Yeshua was transfigured on the mount, two heralds appeared, perhaps paralleling the Two Witnesses of John's revelation who will preach the kingdom of God just prior to the Glorious Appearing (they will be resurrected 3½ years before the rest of us). Peter then suggests building tabernacles because the time was near for the Feast of Sukkot, an annual celebration wherein God's people are expected to build small tabernacles and live in them for seven days. Sukkot is a foreshadow of the time when Messiah's bride will tabernacle with her groom in everlasting peace; in other words, it a rehearsal of the future spiritual marriage of Yeshua to his bride. That marriage will take place just after the First Resurrection, which itself will occur at the end of the sixth millennium (Rev. 20:1-6). The imagery here is clear and powerful: Yeshua's disciples ascend to meet with the Lord and tabernacle with him at the beginning of the seventh day.
The gospels contain another fascinating parallel. Yeshua gave a strange reply when he was told that Herod sought his life. He told the messengers, “Go, tell that fox, 'Pay attention: today and tomorrow I am driving out demons and healing people, and on the third day I reach my goal'” (Luke 13:32, CJB). What does this mean? It would be silly to argue that Yeshua somehow reached a point of completion in his life or ministry three days after relaying his message to Herod. The declaration only makes sense when we interpret the days as being millenniums: Yeshua will heal people and rescue them from the enemy for two thousand years after his ministry in Israel, and his mission will be completed after he has reigned on earth for the last thousand years. Notice that Yeshua prefaced his statement by charging the listener to “pay attention,” implying that something about the statement would be obscure, and getting at it would require careful thought.
Lastly, Hosea makes reference to the Septeon in an obscure passage which makes no sense to anyone but pre-millennialists:
“I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me.” Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him. (5:15-6:2, ESV, quotations added)
In ca. AD 70, the Holy Temple was destroyed and the Jews were scattered to the winds. They were torn to pieces among the nations, yet in 1948, YHVH began to breathe new life into dry bones (Ezek. 37:1-14). Almost two thousand years, or two “days,” has passed, and Israel will soon rebuild the Temple. During this period , Israel will experience the beginnings of spiritual revival, and many ethnic Jews will acknowledge Yeshua as Messiah--this has actually already started. It is just as Hosea said, that “after two days he will revive us.” Then, at the end of the Great Tribulation, the portion of national Israel which survives the attacks of the Antichrist will repent and be redeemed when they see the sign of the Son of Man appear in the sky (Rom. 11:26). Those new believers will then dwell in the Promised Land under the reign of Yeshua, thus fulfilling Hosea's words that “on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.”
A similar sentiment is expressed in 2 Kings 20:5, where God assures Hezekiah that he would heal him of his sickness. YHVH says, “Behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the LORD.” Again we see that restoration comes on the third day.
There are other passages supporting the Septeon, but what we have already seen gives us a good idea of why the first generations of Christians believed in it.
START YOUR CLOCKS
In that last oracle, Hosea indicated that God would bind up the Jews two thousand years after they were struck down. When were they first struck down within the last two millennia? The answer is ca. AD 70, when the second Holy Temple was destroyed and the city of Jerusalem was razed. That's the marker for the beginning of the fifth millennium.
Yet why should we place the start of the fifth millennium at the fall of the Temple instead of the crucifixion of Messiah? After all, in the prophecy of Daniel 9, the angel Gabriel explained that sixty-nine of the seventy “weeks” of years will be completed when the Anointed One is cut off.
It is a mistake to assume that the fifth millennial division of the Septeon occurred in sync with the seventy weeks of Daniel. These are two different systems of temporal measurement, and there is nothing in the Bible to indicate that the end of Daniel's 69th week kicked off the beginning of the fifth millennium. After the 69th week there is a pause of indeterminate length during which Messiah is using his ekklesia to spread the Gospel for the sake of the elect among the Gentiles. The gap in the seventy weeks is for the increase of the Remnant, both Messianic Jews and grafted-in foreigners—those whom YHVH desires to join his family and become heirs of his kingdom. The clock starts up again when the Antichrist renews or strengthens a covenant between Israel and the Gentile nations, and the end of that last week of years will see the return of Yeshua to reign as king. Since the return of Yeshua is definitely the event that begins the seventh millennium, we can say with confidence that the end of the 70th week coincides with the end of the sixth millennium. That fact does not imply that the close of the 69th week had to coincide with the opening of the fifth millennium.
In Daniel 9:26, Gabriel is careful to insert one nugget of critical information between his statements that “the Anointed One will be cut off” and “the end will come like a flood.” Sandwiched between those statements is a prophecy that the Romans will destroy Jerusalem and the Holy Temple. This is interesting because the destruction of Jerusalem has nothing to do with the operation of Daniel's doomsday clock--it had already stopped at Messiah's first advent. Why would Gabriel make a tangential prophecy here? Could it be because the fall of Jerusalem and the Temple is what started the fifth millennium, which is particularly relevant to the calculation of the return of the Anointed One? I believe so.
THE EXPIRATION DATE
Since the temple was destroyed in about the year 70, we can simply subtract four thousand years from that point to arrive at a date of approximately 3930 BC for the start of the Septeon, when Adam was created from dust. Incidentally, a Catholic monk called Saint Bede the Venerable used Ussher's Chronology to calculate that the birthday of Creation was 3952 BC, which is encouragingly close to our estimate of 3930.
Next, we can add two thousand years to AD 70 to arrive at approximately the end of the sixth millennium. Now hold your horses: Before anyone goes declaring that the year AD 2070 will mark the coming of Messiah, it's critical to understand that our years are different than biblical years. The calendar that we use was created by Westerners who were detached from the ancient Hebraic way of marking time, and as a result, we're a little bit off kilter. The Romanized calendar operates upon a year of 365.25 days, but the biblical calendar operates upon a year of 360 days plus four extracalary days that are not counted. The Book of Jubilees, the Book of Enoch, and some of the writings of the Essenes confirm this. Interestingly, the Book of Jubilees prophesies that God's people will forget how to properly mark the passage of time and will end up going awry from the true reckoning of days and years. This prediction has certainly come true, and now only God knows precisely where we are in history.
In addition to this calendar fiasco, we're not precisely sure when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Second Temple, so even if that event did mark the beginning of the fifth millennium (which I believe it did), then we still couldn't use it to calculate the exact day or hour of Messiah's return.
My own personal belief is that the sixth millennium will end during the Fall harvest of a Jubilee year, and if the Jews are correct that we have just entered a Jubilee year as of September 2015, then we have about fifty years remaining until Messiah's return. That would put the Parousia, or Second Coming of Yeshua, at roughly AD 2055. Then again, the Jewish notion that we're living in the year 5776 since Creation is demonstrably wrong, so I don't put much stock in the idea that they've accurately kept track of the Jubilees. Also, the Lord did say that the last days would be shortened, and he didn't tell us by how much, so don't bank on having another half-century left. In other words, let's not set any dates.
NEAT AND TIDY
By the way, the doctrine of the Septeon resolves a theological debate that has been raging for centuries. Some scholars teach that the authors of the New Testament epistles believed that the return of the Messiah was imminent and would occur within their own lifetimes, or shortly thereafter. I can see why these scholars would think this, because the epistles do repeatedly state that the people of God at that time were already living in the last days. Other scholars teach that the apostles could not have believed such a thing because their own descriptions of the events of the end-times establish prerequisites which couldn't possibly have been fulfilled during their lifetimes. This is also true.
Once we understand the Septeon, we can disregard this dichotomy because first-century believers were indeed living in the last days of the “week” of millenniums--the fifth, sixth, and seventh millenniums being the end of the Septeon week. Simultaneously, the apostles could speak of events far future, events which would take much time to develop, because they understood that there were still two thousand earth-years to go before the Sabbatical millennium could begin. Problem solved. Isn't that nice?
MAKE THE MOST OF IT
I hope that this article has enhanced your understanding of God's schedule and encouraged you not to treat the Second Coming of Messiah as something that's been delayed for so long that you don't actually expect it to materialize. That day is coming soon, so make the most of the time that we've been given to spread the Gospel, because there isn't much left. We need to not be like the Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai, who grew weary of waiting for Moses to return, and thus fell into false worship and sinful revelry. Instead, we should be the good servants who tend to their absent master's business faithfully from day to day. Amen.