In previous studies, we proved the existence of God and showed that He communicates to human beings through the Holy Bible. The Bible shows that God has been working on a plan for a very long time.
Titus 1:1-2 states that God had a plan to give us eternal life before time began. Time has obviously existed since the creation of the physical universe; we do not know how long before then time existed, and we cannot even understand what it would be like without “time.”
1 Peter 1:18-21 shows that the part of God’s plan in which Christ would die for our sins was planned before the world was made. Scientists estimate the age of the universe at 13-15 billion years, so God must have been planning this for at least 13 billion years!
The Bible lesson to come explaining our potential will tell you exactly what God is accomplishing in His plan, but today, let’s see how God’s plan is illustrated by the seven day week.
THE SEVENTH DAY
The Biblical week consists of six days followed by a Sabbath. In Colossians 2:16-17, the Sabbath is called a shadow of things to come. (These verses are often misunderstood, but we will study only one aspect of these Scriptures today.) What can we learn about God’s plan from the Sabbath?
Read Genesis 2:2-3. God rested on the seventh day, and He sanctified it, which means that He set it apart for a holy purpose. In the Ten Commandments listed in Exodus 20:8-11, we read that God created in six days and rested on the seventh day, the Sabbath. Exodus 31:16-17 is similar, and also states that the Sabbath is a sign that indicates that God made everything. The Sabbath identifies God as the Creator.
A DAY REPRESENTS 1000 YEARS
We might see a statement made in 2 Peter 3:8 merely as a thought on how God looks at time, that since He is eternal He sees time differently than humans do. That is true. However, if we take this verse literally, a day represents 1000 years. These verses are in the context of Christ’s coming, God’s promise, and repentance, which are all aspects of God’s plan. Could it be that the seven-day week, which is so important to God, also portrays His plan?
Revelation 20:4-6 mentions a 1000-year period, which is often called the Millennium, meaning “1000 years.” This is the time after Christ returns to the earth and those persons who were raised from the dead, or changed, at the return of Christ will rule with Him on the earth for 1000 years and inherit the universe for all eternity.
The first six days of the week represent 6000 years, and the seventh day represents this Millennium. The 6000 years before the Millennium is the period of time that we are in now.
In Genesis we read about how the world came to be the way it is now. By carefully studying the genealogies in the Bible, we can calculate that Adam and Eve were created about 6000 years ago.
Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17 describes two trees in the Garden of Eden. Adam was invited to eat from all of the trees except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; that means that he could have eaten from the tree of life. Genesis 3:1-7 is the account of how he and Eve chose the other tree instead, and verses 22-24 show them being driven out and cut off from the tree of life. Eating from the tree of life would have caused them to live forever. The tree of life represents God’s Holy Spirit, because elsewhere in the Bible we find that we must receive the Holy Spirit before we are given eternal life.
Since that incident of the two trees, mankind has been cut off from God, except for the few who have been called by God. Humanity has spent 6000 years laboring under the bondage of sin, and we all look forward to the rest from sin during the Millennium. The first six days of the week, the work days, represent the first 6000 years of mankind laboring under sin. The seventh day, the Sabbath day of rest, represents the Millennial rest from sin under the rule of Christ.
THE MILLENNIAL REST
Hebrews 4 gives us further information. In verses 4-8, we read that the Israelites who leftEgyptdid not enter their rest in the Promised Land because of disobedience. Verse 9 refers to a rest for the people of God. The original Greek word for “rest” used in this verse is different from the word for rest that is used elsewhere in this chapter: this word means Sabbath-rest. Verses 1 and 10-11 tell us that we must enter another rest. In these Scriptures we see a creation rest, a national rest by the Israelites that they did not receive, a Sabbath rest, and a future rest that we must be diligent to enter. The creation rest was the day after six days of creation. The Sabbath rest is the day after six days of work. The future rest is the 1000-year period after 6000 years of humanity’s existence on the earth.
Next Sabbath, remember that day is to remind us of the soon-coming Millennium.