Declaring The End From The Beginning
We are made in God’s image, but he is different than we are. His ways are higher than ours. I think that is one of the major factors why scripture is sometimes hard for us to understand. God said he was declaring the end from the beginning but what did this mean?
We first need to understand how God tells time. As can be expected, it is not the same way we look at time. Let us examine a section of scripture we have seen before but with new eyes:
Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water … But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. (2 Pet. 3:3-5, 8-10 NASB)
This is a section of scripture where Peter is clearly instructing us on Jesus’ second coming. First he shows us how in the last days there will be scoffers who doubt that the return of Jesus is “right at the gates.” These scoffers are non-believers and some are believers. A large portion of the church already acts as if Jesus’ coming is not close at hand. This includes believers who are living as if they have their whole lives in front of them, and pastors who are not preparing their flock for the days that are “right at the gates.”
Peter then helps us understand why the scoffers scoff; they don’t understand God’s way of telling time! The church has focused on the verse that says that God wishes all to come to repentance. This is a wonderful picture of God’s grace. This sounds like a long period of time. But prior to verse 9 is the phrase that explains it all. “One day is like a thousand years.” This is the key to this entire passage, but it has been misunderstood. This is not some general statement like: “God is eternal so long periods of years are like a day to Him.” No, this is a specific instruction. It means when we see the word “day” in scripture it refers to a thousand-year period prophetically! This is an awesome key to understanding. It helps show us in the scriptures how God tells time.
Peter understood this key facet of God’s mechanism of telling time because he was familiar with the Psalm of Moses.
A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, (Psalms 90: 4 NASB)
Moses and Peter are the two witnesses in scripture of this principle.
Is the Creation Narrative a Prophecy?
Now how does Peter want us to apply this principle so we won’t be like the scoffers who think Jesus is delayed in his coming? Let’s look at another scripture that helps us see God’s eternal plan.
I am God, and there is no one like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done. (Isa. 46:9-10 NRSV, emphasis mine)
God said he is declaring the end from the beginning. What is the beginning? Why, Genesis, of course. God says he has declared the time of the end from the time of the beginning. At the very beginning of Genesis is the story of creation. God created over six days and on the seventh he rested. Applying the principle of a day = a thousand years, God is declaring that 6000 years have been appointed to man, then on the seventh day we will enter His thousand year rest, the millennial kingdom.
What does Peter say about this concept? He confirms it! In verse 5 of the passage in 2 Peter, we find “for when they maintain this (the idea that Jesus is not coming soon) it escpaes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water.” (2 Peter 3:5 NASB) Peter validates the principle of a day equals a thousand years is to apply to the creation. Moses, the other prophet who gave us the 1000 years = a day principle in Psalms 90 is the one who wrote down God’s words in Genesis, so obviously his testimony confirms this interpretation as well.
In looking at the fall of man, it is interesting how God uses the day = a thousand years formula immediately. God spoke to Adam and said:
Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. (Gen. 2:17 NKJV, emphasis mine)
Adam lived 930 years as recorded for us in Genesis 5:5. Thus God was correct, Adam died in the same day (same thousand years) that he sinned. Adam also died spiritually immediately upon consuming the fruit, but God’s principle of a thousand years equaling a day fulfilled Adam’s physical death as well.
The Ages of Creation
God has laid out the history of man into seven 1000 year periods we call ages. Into each age, God placed an aspect of his redemptive plan. In this way the Creation Narrative acts like a prophecy foretelling the events in the entire Bible.
It also explains why the order of the creation acts don’t make sense to a human being. Theologians have long questioned why plants (which require sunlight) were created on Day Three before the Sun, Moon and stars on Day Four. Human logic can’t fathom this. Men of faith have simply trusted God’s Word as true, and rightly so. But if Christ had it in mind to order his creative acts in such a way that the narrative of these events would act as a prophecy, then of course it makes perfect sense. To me this is yet another proof of Divine influence in the inspiration of scripture. Only a God whose ways are higher than man’s could possibly conceive creating in an order that seems illogical to men, even ancient men, but yet when we finally understand it, the order declares his infinite mind and power. All of creation declares your worth, Lord Jesus. I am in awe of you!
The Beauty of the Creation Prophecy
The following table shows how the creation foretells God’s redemptive plan in each of these ages. As you study this table, please notice how the creation events exactly match the major redemption event in God’s great plan. The “Years from Creation” column is based on the genealogies from the book of Genesis and later from other Old Testament books. An amazing reference that calculates these “days from creation” is The Time Of The End by Tim Warner. God has very carefully recorded these years through the bloodline of his Messiah, Jesus. This allows us a beautiful picture of God’s plan with every thousand-year period exactly matching its day in creation.
|Day of Creation||Creation Event||Major Redemption Event||Years from Creation|
|1||Light and Darkness||Knowledge of Good and Evil||0- 1000|
|2||Separation of waters||The Flood||1000 – 2000|
|3||Separation of dry land, creation of plants and trees||Exodus and creation of the nation of Israel||2000 – 3000|
|4||Sun and Moon||Jesus and the Church||3000 – 4000|
|5||Birds and Fish multiply||Multiplication of God’s people into Jews and Christians||4000 – 5000|
|6||Land creatures and man||Dominion of man over creation, Tribulation||5000 – 6000|
|7||God Rested||Millennial Kingdom||6000 – 7000|
Let’s take a brief moment to look at the beauty of this prophecy. It is truly amazing. Frankly, it is beyond human comprehension. The symbols are stunning that God used in the creation story to represent the major works of redemption he was about to do.
On the first day God separated light from darkness. In scripture light signifies good and darkness evil. During that thousand-year period of the first day, the fall of man occurred and Adam and Eve came to know good and evil. Light and dark were separated.
During the second day God separated the waters beneath from the waters above. During the second thousand-year period on earth God caused the waters above to come crashing down in a worldwide flood where the floodgates of the deep were opened and rain fell from the waters above.
On the third day God separated the waters, created land, plants, and trees. During the third thousand-year period God separated the waters of the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross during the Exodus. And he created their nation when he brought them into the Promised Land. Remember that God’s symbol for Israel is the fig tree! (see THE FIG TREE) God created trees on the third day of creation, and planted the nation Israel in the promised land during the third thousand years.
On the fourth day God created the lights in the sky. The sun is Jesus and the moon, who reflects the light of the sun, is his bride, the Church. Each of us individually “shine like the stars in the world” (see Philippians 2:15).
On the fifth day God multiplied the fish of the sea and the birds of the air. In the Mazzaroth (God’s story told in the Zodiac), Pisces, the fish, is the nation of Israel, divided into two kingdoms, Israel and Judah. Birds fly on wings like eagles which is a picture of the Holy Spirit from Isaiah 40:31. During the first thousand-year period after the death of Christ, God’s people were now divided into two groups, Christians who had the Holy Spirit represented by the birds and the Jews represented by the fish. God multiplied them both.
The Dominion of Man
Finally we come to the sixth day. God says:
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28 NKJV)
This is such a perfect picture of what man has been able to do in the last thousand years. He has subdued the earth as never before with automobiles, planes, nuclear power, TVs and computers. It is also a picture of what the Antichrist will do. He will subdue the earth and have dominion over it; at least for a short three-and-a-half-year period.
Finally on the seventh day, the seventh thousand years, we will enter God’s rest. In Hebrews 4:8-9 (NRSV) it says, “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. So then, a Sabbath (7th day) rest still remains for the people of God.” Notice how it says another day. God’s Word is so specific.
If you were not aware of this great prophecy, I am sure you are as amazed as I was when I became aware of it. It is no wonder that Satan would want to do everything in his power to obstruct this message from getting out. With this in mind he schemed up the theory of evolution . This evil theory not only attempts to deny Christ’s creative power but also attempts to obscure this wonderful prophecy.
Jesus is Coming Soon
Based on God’s great creation prophecy, Jesus died at the very end of the fourth day of creation (four thousand years after creation based on the genealogies of Christ.) He will return at the end of the sixth day of creation (six thousand years after creation). Therefore there are approximately two thousand years between His death and His return. This is not an attempt at date setting but it does give us a good estimate of the season of his return. We cannot know the day or the hour, but we can know the season.
He is coming soon!