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1066A simple explanation of the millennium

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  • e_s_c_h_a_t_o_n
    Sep 11, 2009
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      The 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
      your hearts.
      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,

      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
      thousand years.

      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
      thousand years*.
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