What are the implications that a 6000-year period–beginning with the creation of Adam–will soon elapse and a new millennium will soon begin?
We are currently standing at the threshold of a new millennium—or perhaps better said a seventh millennium—of human experience that began nearly 6000 years ago with the creation of the first man Adam.
This, of course, may or may not seem relevant to the daily lives of most people, but from a biblical perspective it would reveal to us that there is something to be learned from knowing that we are soon to complete a 6000-year period of human experience that began with Adam. Mainly because that human experience has created a story of humankind that makes it evident that humanity has long struggled to solve its problems that began with Adam’s rejection of God’s authority while Adam was in the Garden of Eden.
Bringing us then to say that based on this story of humankind an intervention in human affairs is certainly needed. Which is the professed understanding of most Christians whose beliefs and hopes and validity as a religious group rests predominantly on an expected intervention by a returning Jesus the Christ.
However, Christ has not yet returned.
Nor should we expect his return to be any time soon.
That is relatively speaking.
Therefore, given what we know of world affairs and the story of humankind, and the fact that 6000 years will soon elapse since the creation of Adam, we are obliged to consider the implications of this 6000-year period in regard to how many more years will pass before the return of Christ.
Now, if we knew that Jesus’ would return at the end of a 6000-year period we might well live our lives accordingly—for good or for bad—and we might well attempt to take matters into our own hands to prepare for Jesus’ coming to establish the kingdom of God. Noting that such has sometimes been the case for many devoted Christians who have accepted the biblical interpretation that a 1000-year millennial rule of Jesus will immediately follow a 6000-year period of human experience that began with Adam.
Bringing us then to take another look at this particular interpretation as it creates for some the concept of a 7000-year plan of God. Being a plan that by any measure lacks biblical support as this interpretation is generally drawn from a statement made by the Apostle Peter, and it is then arbitrarily applied to the days of the week and the weekly Sabbath day. For Peter wrote: “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” (II Pt. 3:8).
Now, in applying this statement to the days of the week and the weekly Sabbath we find that some have interpreted that the week, and its Sabbath, can represent two periods of time—6000 years and 1000 years respectively—and from this it is concluded that there will be a 7000-year period that constitutes a timeframe for a particular work of God.
But such an interpretation of Peter’s words clearly removes the meaning of Peter’s statement from its biblical context and it obviously takes license with Scripture. Creating then a misleading interpretation that causes some people to assume that Jesus will return at the fulfillment of a 6000-year period to usher in a new millennium and a new government that will continue for 1000 years and beyond.
However, even though we can account for a 6000-year period that began with Adam, and even though it is true that Jesus will initially rule humanity for 1000 years with the first fruits, it is nonetheless not possible to say that the millennial rule of Jesus will strictly follow 6000 years of human experience that began with Adam.
A matter soon to be proven as such.
How then should we understand the completion of 6000 years of human experience, and what would this mean for how we might interpret the prophecies given to the prophet Daniel and the Apostle John regarding end-time events and the second coming of the Christ?
On the one hand, if we assume that Jesus’ rule will immediately follow 6000 years of human experience we must recognize that this interpretation fundamentally ignores the determined timeframes and the geopolitical nature of the events described in the prophecies given to Daniel and John. Therefore, it is reasonable to say that in holding to the belief that a 6000-year period will mark the expected time of Jesus’ return we should not be surprised to find that such a belief will cause people to be ill-prepared to deal with the scale of the troubles ahead and length of time needed for these prophecies to be fulfilled before the return of Jesus. (Some churches and denominations and their organizations rely on various expositors for their prophetic interpretations while claiming that they have the truth of prophecy from the inspiration of God.)
On the other hand, if we know that 6000 years will elapse from the time of Adam—without the immediate return of Jesus—we must reconsider how we view the current state of world affairs in the light of this 6000-year period that began with Adam. Because when we do we cannot fail to see that the geopolitically-framed prophecies given to the prophet Daniel and the Apostle John—that is those that pertain to the events that precede the return of Jesus—are not yet being fulfilled. And this would also include some prophecies that have been erroneously relegated to history by the work of some expositors and by some churches who profess this not-so-uncommon 6000-year interpretation within Christianity.
Leading us to this conclusion.
That 6000 years will elapse and a new millennium will begin respective to Adam—without the immediate return of Jesus.
Therefore, we cannot help but contemplate that given what is stated in the prophecies of the prophet Daniel and the Apostle John, and given the current state of world affairs and the story of humankind, we are brought to conclude that there are indeed a significant number of years yet to pass before we begin to see some prophecies being fulfilled, including those that pertain to the return of Christ.