1066A simple explanation of the millennium
- Sep 11, 2009The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of the creation [thus]:
"And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an
end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it." (Gen.
ii. 2.) Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression,
"He finished in six days." This implieth that the Lord will finish
all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand
years. And He Himself testifieth, saying, "Behold, to-day will be
as a thousand years." (Ps. xc. 4; 2 Pet. iii. 8.) Therefore, my
children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will
be finished. "And He rested on the seventh day." This meaneth:
when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the
wicked man, and judge the ungodly, and change the-sun, and the
moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day.
The Epistle of Barnabas, Chapter XV
2 Pet 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day
is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
I think what the early Christians believed makes a little more sense
when we compare 2 Peter 3:8 to the following passage.
Heb 4:4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this
wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they
to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so
long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not
8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have
spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
The fact that there is a sabbath remaining for the people of God that
corresponds to God's seventh day of rest, and the idea that there is a
relation between one day and a thousand years implies that if there is a
remainig sabbath for the church, the other six days correspond to six
thousand years of something else. That's a simpler way of understanding
it than comparing to other non-canonical texts.
3. 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." (Gen.
ii. 2.) 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; (2 Pet. iii. 8.) and in six days created things were completed:
it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth
thousand year. Irenaeus, Against the Heresies, Book V, Chapter XXVIII.
Let's look at the idea that the later explanations are an
expansion of the thousand year judgments found in Revelation,
EXPANSION OF SEVEN VIAL JUDGMENTS
17:1 First Angel
18:1 Second Angel
18:21 Third Angel
19:17 Fourth Angel
20:1 Fifth Angel
20:7 Satan loosed
21:9 Seventh Angel
We see that what we call the millennium is actually the 5th millennia,
while the sabbath for the people of God doesn't begin until 21:9. In
light of all this allow me to explain 20:4 so that it fits this scheme.
20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given
unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the
witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped
the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their
foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a
The point is that the sabbath thousand years is a different day than
the one that Satan is held captive in. These days and years are not
fixed in earth time. Salvation is the entrance to the seventh day.
Therfore the first resurrection is spiritual, and that supports
Augustinian amillennialism. If I may paraphrase:
...and they lived and reigned with Christ *for the seventh unit of a
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