* * * * * * *
2. THE "DAY-MILLENNIUM" AND "DAY-YEAR" PREDICTIVE PRINCIPLES
It is indeed remarkable that – following hints in the Old and anticipating hints in the New Testament – many of the writers of the Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphical books (such as Ethiopic Enoch and Slavonic Enoch) believed that the "Golden Age" would commence around the end of the World’s sixth millennium (or about the end of the twentieth century A.D.).12 So too did the ancient Etruscans and the Zoroastrians; and so too did the Talmud and the Cabbala and many of the Jewish Rabbis (such as Eliezer, Elias, Abraham ben Hiyya and Don Isaac Abravanel).13
So too did most of the ancient Church Fathers (such as Barnabas, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Cyprian, Commodian, Victorinus, Lactantius, Eusebius, Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, and Anastasius).14 So too did many Mediaeval Scholars (such as Bede, Joachim Floris, Pierre Jean d’Olivi, Ubertino of Casale and Arnold of Villanova).15
The same position was taken by many famous Protestant Theologians. Thus Luther, Melanchthon, Osiander, Latimer, Ussher, Samuel Lee, Vitringa, Mede, Lowman, Jonathan Edwards,16 Thomas Newton, Gill, Brown of Haddington, Hopkins,17 Faber, Robert Scott, Priestley, Adam Clarke, B.H. Carroll, and Arthur W. Pink.18
This list could be much lengthened. But from the above, one can see that the widely-held claim that the date of around A.D. 2000 may be prophetically important – is at least worthy of careful investigation.
Up to and including Augustine, it was the universal belief both of the Synagogue and the Church, and rightly so, that God formed the Earth in six divine days and rested on the seventh. And that He had also told His image man to follow this pattern, down through history, until the very end of the World.19
The Bible also teaches that 'one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.'20 Hence it was easily concluded (after calculating from the Biblical
genealogical tables that Adam was created around 4000 B.C.),21 that after man had laboured for six days of one thousand years each (from approximately 4000 B.C. through to approximately A.D. 2000) — he would then enter into his earthly sabbath rest.
That would be man's thousand-years-long (or millennial) seventh day sabbath rest here on Earth. It would last from approximately A.D. 2000 through approximately A.D. 3000.
Only at the end of that seventh millennium, was the final judgment expected to take place. Indeed, this we may perhaps call the "day-millennium" principle of historical time. According to it, one divine millennial day — equals one human millennium of a thousand years.22
God's Seventh Day, which is still in progress, is equivalent to not just one but at least seven human millennia or seven thousand years. For God's Own Seventh Day (unlike His first through His sixth days of the Earth's formation week) has not yet terminated.
It is co-extensive with the past and present and future history of man here on Earth – until the arrival of God's Eighth Day. Consequently, man's earthly history would run for seven thousand years, and man's millennial sabbath would consist of the last seventh of God's Seventh Day. Man's millennial sabbath was expected to commence approximately around A.D. 2000. Calvin too seems to have assumed something similar.23
In his Commentary on Genesis 2:1-3, Calvin said: "God…did not cease from the work of the creation of the World, till He had completed it in every part…. An end was only at length put to the work, on the sixth day…. God ceased from all His work, when He desisted from the creation of new kinds of things…. Six days were employed in the formation of the World. Not that God, to Whom one moment is as a thousand years, had need of this succession of them – but so that He might engage us in the consideration of His works….