The Keys Of Time (Bible Chronology)

Chapter 2: The Overall Time Structure: Keys 1 & 2

KEY 1: To God, One Thousand Years is as One Day. 
KEY 2: God measures time in sevens (weeks).

Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You formed the earth and the world, even from EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING YOU ARE GOD.” “For a 1,000 years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night” (v4).
 This is an exact expression of how God views time. “The days of our lives are 70 years; and if by reason of strength 80 years” (v10). “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (v12). This means by understanding God’s purpose and timing for  our lives we will fulfil it.

“Beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that ONE DAY is with the Lord as a THOUSAND YEARS and A 1000 YEARS as ONE DAY” 2Peter 3:8.
A more literal translation: “do not allow this one fact to escape your notice.” 

*God revealed His fundamental pattern of time in the Creation Week, which is the blueprint for all weeks. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shall you labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God, in it you shall not do any work …. for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day, wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” Exodus 20:8–11.

The principle of the ‘seed’. God did not create anything new after that week – everything developed from the blueprint of the original ‘seed’. 
The ‘seed of creation’ is the Creation Week! 

He worked for six days and rested the seventh, Sabbath. These 7 days form the blueprint for all of time. Thus the 7 days of creation week are a picture of the 7 days or 7,000 years of man’s history, which we could call the WEEK of man’s history. 1 DAY = 1,000 years 1 WEEK = 7 DAYS = 7000 years.

1. The Week of days
 ending with the 7th (Sabbath day) 
2. The Week of Years (ending with the Sabbath Year) - Leviticus 25:1-7. In causing Israel to carefully mark days and years off in sevens God caused them to measure time accurately; revealed His way of counting time, reminded them of his Creation of the world in seven days; revealed His pattern for the whole course of time. 
3. There are also 7 sevens of years leading up to the Jubilee.
4. The Week of History of 7,000 years consisting of 6,000 years and a final 1,000 years – the Sabbath. 6 DAYS to man. 7th Day = the DAY of the LORD. 

*The week reveals the KINGDOM aspect of God’s Plan. Adam was given a 6,000 year lease of dominion over the earth. Since the Fall, God has been working to save man and establish His Kingdom on earth which will be accomplished at the end of the 6th Day, so that in the 7th Day the earth will enter into sabbath rest, Jesus being Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28). So the Week was a prophecy that in the 7th DAY man (and the earth) would enter into rest through the Messiah. 

Man’s history is designed to have 6 DAYS of man’s rule, and 1 DAY of rest under God’s rule. This final DAY of 1,000 years is the MILLENNIUM. We live at the close of the 6th DAY.

Jews and Christians have known of these Keys from the first century and before. Both early Jewish and Christian authorities interpret this Great Sabbath as the final seventh day of 1000 years following the 6,000 years from Adam. 

Ancient Jewish Writers. 
*Rabbi Elias, 200 BC said: “The world endures 6,000 years: 2,000 before the law, 2,000 under the law, 2,000 under Messiah.” 

*The Tanna debe Eliyyahu: "The world is to exist 6,000 years. In the first 2,000, there was desolation (no Torah, from Adam to Abraham),2,000 years the Torah flourished, and the next 2,000 years is the Messianic era (Messiah should have come but the delay is due to Israel’s sins)."

* Rabbi Ketina said in Gemara, a commentary on the Talmud, "The world endures 6000 years and one thousand it shall be laid waste (that is, the enemies of God shall be destroyed), whereof it is said, 'The Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.' As out of seven years every seventh (is a) year of remission, so out of the seven thousand years of the world, the seventh millennium shall be the millennial years of remission, that God alone may be exalted in that day."

*The Talmud The Tannaim said: that as there were six days of creation, the world would last for 6,000 years. The seventh "world day" would be the 1,000 years of Messiah's rule (Sanhedrin 97a; Avodah Zarah 9a) The encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion reports that the Tannaim - that is the rabbis' of Christ's day - based such an interpretation on Psalms 90, written by Moses: "for a thousand years in Your sight are as yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night" (v.4)

The Early Church Fathers agreed

*Epistle of Barnabas
chapter 13: “Sanctify the Sabbath of the Lord with pure hands and with a clean heart … even in the beginning of the Creation He makes mention of the Sabbath. And God made in six days the works of His hands, and He finished them on the seventh day, and He rested the seventh day, and sanctified it. Consider, my children, what that signifies He finished them in six days. The meaning of it is this, that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end. For with Him one day is a 1000 years, as Himself testifies, saying, Behold, this day shall be as a 1000 years. Therefore, children, in six days, that is in six thousand years, shall all things be accomplished. And what is it that He says, and He rested the seventh day, He means this; that when His Son shall come, and abolish the season of the Wicked One and judge the ungodly … then shall He gloriously rest in that seventh day.”

*Irenaeus, a church father in AD 150 wrote the following in his book ‘Against Heresies’. “This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come. For in so many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded. 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 years”. 

*Lactantius 300 AD in his Divine Institutes chapter 14: “But we, whom the Holy Scriptures instruct to the knowledge of the truth, know the beginning and the end of the world (age), respecting which we will now speak in the end of our work. Therefore let the philosophers, who enumerate thousands of ages from the beginning of the world, know that the six thousandth year is not yet completed, and that when this number is completed the consummation must take place.”

Also: “Because all the works of God were finished in six days, it is necessary that the world should remain in this state six ages, that is six thousand years. Because having finished the works He rested on the seventh day and blessed it, it is necessary that at the end of the sixth thousandth year all wickedness should be abolished out of the earth and justice should reign for a thousand years.”

*Methodius, Bishop of Tyre AD 300 pointed out that the reason Adam died at the age of 930 years (Genesis 5:5) and did not reach the age of 1,000 was due to God’s prophecy in Genesis 2:17. “In the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.”

Also: “For since in six days God made the heaven and the earth, and finished the whole world … and blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, so by a figure in the seventh month, when the fruits of the earth have been gathered in, we are commanded to keep the feast (of Tabernacles) to the Lord, which signifies that, when this world shall be terminated at the seventh thousand years, when God shall have completed the world, He shall rejoice in us … Then, when the appointed times shall have been accomplished, and God shall have ceased to form this creation, in the 7th month, the great resurrection day, it is commanded that the Feast of Tabernacles shall be celebrated to the Lord.” 

Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:"The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection." He said the 7,000 year plan of God was "carefully inculcated" in the early church.

"6000 years must needs be fulfilled that the Sabbath may come." (Hippolytus) 
Later, in A.D. 1552, Bishop Latimer wrote: "The world was ordained to endure, as all learned men affirm, 6,000 years. Now of that number, there be passed 5,552 years, so that there is no more left but 448 years (ending in A.D. 2000)." 
In the 17th century, Archbishop Ussher’s famous Chronology included this assumption. 

The writings of other church fathers such as Victorinus, Bishop of Petau support the argument that the apostles and the early church believed and taught that the Millennium would commence at the end of 6,000 years from Adam.

Some don’t see that the 7,000 year plan of God is in the Bible (as it is Typology). Peter and John confirm this concept so well known amongst the Jews of their day:

2 Peter 3:3-11.“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the LAST DAYS (the last 2 DAYS or 2000 years) scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying Where is the promise of his Coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old and the earth standing out of the water and in the water whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water perished. But the heavens and the earth which are now by the same word are kept in store reserved unto fire against the (appointed) day of judgement and perdition of ungodly me. 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.”Peter says they should not be ignorant of the fact that God is on a Time-table and he gives us the major KEY to understanding what this Timetable is. 

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise as some men count slackness.” (He acts on time) but His longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (v.9). “But the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in the which (in the Day of the Lord) the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up”(v10). Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved and the elements shall melt with fervent hear (v11,12). 

We can’t speed up God’s program (Acts 1:7). As a runner hastens towards the finish line we have the end of time in our sights directing all our energy toward that goal. “Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness. Wherefore beloved, seeing that ye look for such things be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless” v13,14

*The Apostle John also gives a conclusive confirmation of this pattern of time.
Much was revealed about the Kingdom in the OT except its length. This principle teaches that the end of the 6,000 years would bring in the Sabbath Thousand Years when Jesus Christ himself would come and reign on earth. Now after describing Jesus’ Second Coming as King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16), John then in Revelation 20:1-7 refers to a following period of 1,000 years six times:

Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.”

When Jesus returns a precise period of 1,000 years has been foreordained to run. Only when this time is finished can the next stage begin. It is clear from this passage that God advances the history of man according to a definite time plan – for otherwise why would 1,000 years be so precisely allocated to this segment of history. 

This plan is a Week of seven DAYS, each 1,000 years long. The last book of the Bible then confirms this by describing a time of rest at the end of history lasting 1,000 years. This is the Great Sabbath DAY. 

Other Confirmations:
1. THE PASSOVER LAMB- a type of Jesus who is the fulfillment – the true Passover Lamb (John 1:29, 1Corinthians 5:7). “Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel saying in the 10TH DAY of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house.” Exodus 12:3. “And ye shall keep it up until the 14TH DAY of the same month, and the whole congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening. (v.6).

Jesus was set aside as the Passover Lamb, 4,000 years befoe He died on the Cross. Thus we have exactly 4,000 years from Creation to the Cross (not His Birth).
“ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from you vain conversation (way of life) received by tradition from you fathers but with the PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST, as of a LAMB without blemish and without spot (the Passover Lamb) who verily was foreordained (chosen) before the foundation of the world but was manifest in these last times for you.” 1 Peter 1:18 – 20.

2. HOSEA 5:14-6:3. “For I (the Messiah) will be unto Ephraim as a lion and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I even I will tear, and go away, I will take away and none shall rescue him (Israel will be cut off for a time for rejecting the Messiah). I will go and return to My place(Heaven) until they acknowledge their offence, and seek My face: in their affliction (the Tribulation) they will seek Me early.” 

Israel is now speaking words of repentance in Hosea 6:1: “Come and let us return unto the Lord, for He has torn and He will heal us, He has smitten and He will bind us up.” Their judgement will not be forever, but the Messiah will restore them again after a time. Then we are given the Timetable: “AFTER TWO DAYS will He revive us, in the THIRD DAY He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.” (Hosea 6:2). Thus 2,000 years after the year of the Cross (not His Birth), Israel will be fully restored by God in the 2nd Coming which is described in (v3): “Then we shall know, if we follow on to know the Lord: His going forth (from Heaven) is prepared (certain and FIXED at an appointed time) as the morning (SUNRISE), and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”

Chart 1

*The two great interventions of the Lord Jesus in human history namely the Cross at the end of the 4th day and His Return at the end of the 6th day. Thus the Chronology marks most strongly the two Comings of Jesus Christ to earth. The first time to redeem us, the second time to reign over us.

3. The Good Samaritan returns after 2 days from saving him - 2 denarii (Luke 10)

4. The Transfiguration (type of the Kingdom) after 6 days (Matthew 17:1).

5. Abraham’s Birth. We have seen major events at the end of 4, 6, 7 days. We might expect a key event after 2 days. In fact that is about the time of Abram’s birth, in fact we will see that it is exactly at the end of 2 DAYS. This was a major turning point for God chose to send the Messiah as his seed. He was also the Father of Israel – the Nation of God. The Abrahamic Covenant formed the legal basis for God’s whole program. There can be no doubt that Abraham’s birth and life was a turning point in the history of redemption. Is there any indication in the Types that indeed Abram was born 2,000 years before the Cross? 

Genesis 22 in the most graphic Old Testament portrayal of the crucifixion of Christ God commands Abraham to sacrifice His son Isaac. He sets off on the journey and “then ON THE THIRD DAY Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place afar off” Genesis 22:4.  The two days Abraham journeyed represents the 2,000 years from Abraham to the Cross. At this time God revealed to him what would happen 2,000 years later. “God will provide Himself a lamb for a burnt offering” (v7). “And Abraham called the name of that place, Jehovah Jireh: as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord, it shall be seen” (v14). God and His covenant partner acted in agreement, both offering up the sons after a journey of 2 DAYS and receiving them back resurrected from the dead on the 3rd DAY. This then confirms the 2,000 years from Abraham to Christ and the Cross.

*Notice how the Lord has marked off out the 5 Key events of History so clearly. Each event is so momentous that it signals a change into a new AGE at the start of a new DAY. See how God has sovereignley ordered the course of time.

*We see that these key points of history neatly divide time up into 3 periods of 2,000 years and one period of 1,000 years. These are theAges of time.

First Age (the first 2,000 years) The Age of the Gentiles (Adam to Abraham) 
*THE FLOOD (Calendar Change, formation of Gentile Nations)

Second Age (the next 2000 years) The Age of Israel (Abraham to the Cross)
At this point God moves to work to reveal Himself and His Messiah through one chosen people (Israel) - and his birth marks the origin of the nation. 
*The EXODUS (Calendar, birth of Israel as a nation). 

Third Age (the next 2000 years) The Age of the Church (+Tribulation) We live close to the end of these 2000 years and the end of 6,000 years of man. The Lord is coming soon!

Fourth Age (the final 2000 years) The Age of the Lord (Millennium)
*God is the architect of the AGES of man. Hebrews 1:2: “by Whom also He made the AGES”.
Hebrews 11:3 “Through faith we understand, that the AGES were framed by the word of God.”

Chart 2

The DAY: “And God called the light day and the darkness He called night
And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” 
A day is divided into two periods: day (the period of light) and night (the period of darkness).

Evening is the close of the day and the start of the night. It occurs at sunset.
Morning is the start of the day and the close of the night. It occurs at sunrise.
 (God told Israel to reckon the start of a day at evening time, not at midnight as we do). 

Since God divides each day of 24 hours into two equal parts, we might expect that God would likewise divide each DAY of 1000 years into two halves of 500 years. Let us see the pattern we would get when this is applied to the Great Week of History.

Chart 3

Thus we expect the history of Israel to be marked out by God as a continuous series of 500 year cycles. In the next Chapters we will see this confirmed in the actual history of Israel.



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