|Where is History Headed?
The plan of God for the development and perfecting of Planet Earth, as revealed in the Bible, divides into three basic periods:
We find ourselves on the above time-line at a point just prior to the return of Christ. The first period of 6000 years, during which all are free to serve God or ignore Him, as they choose, is nearly spent. In the word of the ancient Prophet, “The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly” (Zeph. 1:14).
The Millennium Prefigured in the Creation Story
Before we start a job, we make plans by which we can see it through to a satisfactory completion. This is what God did when He created the earth. He worked according to a distinct plan. And when He wrote about His work (in the Bible), He used the first chapters to reveal and condensed version of these plans.
Genesis presents these plans in the form of an allegory.* The first three chapters read like a simple story of a literal creation; deeper study discloses the Creator’s magnificent eternal purpose.
The book opens with these words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1), and then proceeds to describe God creating through a period of six days the earth, the firmament, light, grass, trees, and man. If we take this literally, we have multiple contradictions and impossibilities. Viewed as an allegory, we have meaning and beauty. The whole story describes what God is doing in that “beginning” period of six days. The six days, understood as prophetic time, represents six thousand years; for one day is with the Lord as “a thousand years” (2 Pet. 3:8). Thus we have outlined here God’s long-range plan for this earth, through the time when He is fashioning living beings in His image, first mentally and morally, and finally physically like Him. They do not start out in His image–far from it; but they are shaped or formed into His image through the long process of creation, being “created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:24).
All this is within the six-day period, which began when God first called men to serve Him and which will conclude when the six thousand years are complete.
Then follows another “day,” or another thousand-year period during which God is said to “rest” from His work. This “day” is a new age. It is the day which God blesses and “sanctifies”–it is the Millennium!
In the Sabbath Plan
The pattern of six days followed by one sacred (Sabbath or seventh) day occurs again in the mandate given to Israel: “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: but the seventh is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work” (Ex. 20:9-10). And the law being a “shadow of good things to come” (Heb. 10:1), the law of the sabbath was also a foreshadowing of an event far more significant than the ordering of the days. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews speaks of it as pointing forward in these words: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief” (Heb. 4:9-11). The “rest” which we must “labour to enter into” is the future, seventh-day rest, the grand Millennial rest. It is the “rest,” or literally translated “sabbath,” which remains to the people of God.
Thus we have the Millennium foretold in the creation allegory, in the fourth commandment of the Ten, and in the Sabbath year. These reveal also the placement of the Millennium in relation to the whole plan of God: It is after six days, or six thousand years, the period of time which began when God first called members of the human race to serve Him.
You are Here!
Where are we in this Divine scheme? Where are we in relation to this seven day, or seven thousand year plan? When can we expect the beginning of the seventh day, the Millennium?
Our present calendar is Roman time, not Bible time. But the record of history behind us is enough to tell us that the six thousand years is running out–it is far spent. Adam lived approximately 4000 years before Christ. And if we add the years we count since the birth of Christ, even though they are not an exact measure of the time, we have an approximation which tells us that we are very near the end of this era. The present age is rapidly drawing to a close. The seventh day of rest, the glorious seventh thousand-year day, the Millennial reign of Christ is almost here!
This is no dream or fanciful imagination. It is all according to our Creator’s eternally ongoing purpose—of creating worlds, populating them, perfecting them and glorifying them (Eph. 3:14-15, Ps. 103:17-18). It has been happening on other spheres through eternity past; it shall continue through eternity future. Ours is the special privilege of being HERE at this highly significant point in time in the plan of the Almighty for this earth.
We are fast approaching the time when God will intervene by sending His Son to judge, conquer and rule.