Millennial Day Theory
The Millennial day theory, or the Sabbath millennium theory, is a theory in Christian eschatology in which the Second Coming of Christ will occur 6,000 years after the creation of mankind, followed by 1,000 years of peace and harmony. It is a very popular belief accepted by certain premillennialists who usually promote young earth creationism.
The view takes the stance that each millennium is actually a day according to God (as found in Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8), and that eventually at the end of the 6,000 years since the creation, Jesus will return. It teaches that the 7th millennium is actually called the Sabbath Millennium, in which Jesus will ultimately set up his perfect kingdom and allow his followers to rest. The Sabbath Millennium is believed to be synonymous with the Millennial Reign of Christ that is found in Revelation 20:1-6.
Early premillennialists included Pseudo-Barnabas, Papias, Methodius, Lactantius, Commodianus Theophilus, Tertullian, Melito, Hippolytus of Rome, Victorinus of Pettau, as well as various Gnostics groups and the Montanists. Many of these theologians and others in the early church expressed their belief in premillennialism through their acceptance of this sexta-septamillennial tradition. This belief claims that human history will continue for 6,000 years and then will enjoy Sabbath for 1,000 years (the millennial kingdom), thus all of human history will have a total of 7,000 years prior to the new creation. Christians throughout history have often considered that some thousand-year Sabbath, expected to begin six thousand years after Creation, might be identical with the millennium described in the Book of Revelation. This view was also popular among 19th- and 20th-century dispensational premillennialists. The term "Sabbatism" or "Sabbatizing" (Greek Sabbatismos), which generically means any literal or spiritual Sabbath-keeping, has also been taken in Hebrews 4:9 to have special reference to this definition.
Support for the theoryEdit
The main support for this view is found in the passages regarding the original Sabbath system that the Judeo-Christian God instituted, while also taking the verses of Psalms 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 into consideration. According to the proponents of the theory, Hosea 6:1-2 demonstrates that after 2 days, the Lord will revive Israel, and on the third day, restore her and live with her forever. According to these Christians, Jesus has indeed been gone for two millenniums. He was crucified during a time of severe Roman oppression that was directed towards Israel, which eventually caused the dispersion of Israel in the 1st century AD. Counting the first two days as two millenniums, and the third day as the Millennium in which Christ reigns on Earth may invariably lead to the conclusion that Jesus will return soon - most likely within the 21st century. It is this perception of Bible prophecy that provides the motivation to create a theory that is rooted in absolute Biblical literalism and is entirely based on Premillennialism.
Additional support for the theory can be found in the Apocrypha. The Book of Jubilees records the end of the life of Adam in chapter four. Jubilees 4:29-30 "And at the close of the nineteenth jubilee, in the seventh week in the sixth year [930 A.M.] thereof, Adam died, and all his sons buried him in the land of his creation, and he was the first to be buried in the earth. And he lacked seventy years of one thousand years; for one thousand years are as one day in the testimony of the heavens and therefore was it written concerning the tree of knowledge: 'On the day that ye eat thereof ye shall die.' For this reason he did not complete the years of this day; for he died during it." This theory has led some Christians to make a connection between the "Day of the Lord," the "Last Day," the "Sabbath," and the 1000 year reign of Christ, seeing them as synonyms. However, this interpretation is not widely held at this time.
- Perry, Richard H. "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Last Days". Penguin Group Publishing (USA). pg. 28-34; 320-321. ISBN 1-59257-561-7
- "God's 6000 Year Plan: Dating Jesus' Latest Return?". Escapeallthesethings.com. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
- "Revelation 20:1-6 NIV - The Thousand Years - And I saw an angel". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
- ”Among the Apostolic Fathers Barnabas is the first and the only one who expressly teaches a pre-millennial reign of Christ on earth. He considers the Mosaic history of the creation a type of six ages of labor for the world, each lasting a thousand years, and of a millennium of rest, since with God ‘one day is as a thousand years.’ Millennial Sabbath on earth will be followed by an eighth and eternal day in a new world, of which the Lord’s Day (called by Barnabas ‘the eighth day’) is the type(access The Epistle of Barnabas here). Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 2 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, n.d.) 382.
- "ANF01. The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus - Christian Classics Ethereal Library". Ccel.org. 2005-07-13. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
- Insruct. adv. Gentium Deos, 43, 44.
- According to the Encyclopedia of the Early Church “Commodian (mid-3rd century) takes up the theme of the 7000 years, the last of which is the millennium (Instr. II 35, 8 ff.).” M. Simonetti, “Millenarism,” 560.
- Against Marcion, book 3 chp 25
- Simonetti writes in the Encyclopedia of the Early Church “We know that Melito was also a millenarian" regarding Jerome's reference to him as a chiliast. M. Simonetti, “Millenarism,” 560.
- Note this is Victorinus of Pettau not Marcus Piav(v)onius Victorinus the Gaelic Emperor
- In his Commentary on Revelation and from the fragment De Fabrica Mundi (Part of a commentary on Genesis). Jerome identifies him as a premillennialist.
- "Psalm 90:4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night". Bible.cc. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
- "2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day". Bible.cc. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
- "Hosea 6:1-2 NIV - Israel Unrepentant - "Come, let us". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2017-01-29.