Is God’s plan for man a 7,000 year plan?
Yes, the plan of God is actually 7,000 years. The last 1,000 of this plan of God has not taken place yet and is found in Revelation 20. The 1,000 years is referenced first when Satan is taken with a huge chain, tied up and locked in the abyss for 1,000 years. This occurs after the battle of Armageddon where Jesus returns to the earth in Revelation 19:11.
And I saw an angel come down from heaven having the key to the bottomless pit (abyss) and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he seized the dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for 1,000 years. –Revelation 20:2
Revelation 20 goes on to say that at the conclusion of the 1,000 years Satan is released from the pit and allowed to go around the world deceiving people and gathering together the armies of the world to fight a great battle in Israel. This battle is discussed in more detail in Ezekiel 39.
And when the 1,000 years are finished, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations that are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for battle. The number of them is as the sand of the sea. –Revelation 20:7-8
The point of mentioning this 1,000 year period is that if the plan of God is 7,000 years, and there is a period of 1,000 years remaining to be fulfilled, then 6,000 years becomes the magic number.
6,000 years from Adam until approximately now
So the question should be, “where are we in that 6,000 year period?” And a great question it is. With the current events seemingly turning our world upside down (coronavirus, riots and protests), the Church seems to have missed the fact that we are on the brink of the beginning of the last days.
The understanding of the timing of the 6,000 years mentioned above gets a bit tricky. Scholars are all over the map over the exact dates from Adam until now. But most are relatively convinced that it is about 6,000 years, give or take a few to a few hundred years. There are a few links below to help you see the 6,000 year timeline to where we are now.
7-year tribulation period of Daniel 9:24-27
When looking at our remaining 6,000 years we also have to take into account the 7-year tribulation period in Daniel 9:24-27. So wherever we are in the end of the 6,000 year plan we have to subtract 7 years for the tribulation. That 7-year period is spoken of in the book of Revelation. The rapture of the Church happens somewhere in that timeframe. And the end of the tribulation period occurs when Jesus comes back in Revelation 19:11.
When was Jesus born – 1 A.D. or 5 A.D.?
So we conclude fo far that we are truly in the last days before the tribulation period begins (the 7-year period). Now we have to put a rough date on the life of Jesus. Was he born around 1 A.D.? No, Jesus was born some time around 4-5 B.C. (it could actually be even earlier than this) The reason for this date is that King Herod died around that time. And King Herod was approached by the wise men wanting to know where the One who was born the King of the Jews could be found. So, if King Herod died in 4-5 B.C. then Jesus had to have been born significantly earlier than 1 A.D. The changing of the calendar from the B.C. to A.D. is generally associated with the birth of Jesus.
A summary of where the Church is in God’s timeframe
Of course, there is no way to know exactly where we are in the timeframe or the plan of God. But we can surely get a rough idea based on a whole lot of information that is out there, some of which is listed above. The end of the 6,000 years is clearly about here. Subtract the 7 years for the tribulation and we are even closer. But none of this figuring gives us an indication of where we are. What can we look at to see where we might be or what is coming next to identify that we are truly in the last days (or the 7-year tribulation). The only thing we can do is look to the word of God, specifically the book of Revelation.
The most important thing in identifying where we are in the book of Revelation is whether you believe the book of Revelation is a chronological revelation from God
If you think that the book of Revelation is a chronological revelation from God then with a little research, and coaching, you can plainly see what is going to happen. Not a date, but through observing events spoken of in Revelation. If you believe that the book of Revelation is not a chronological revelation from God then you can make the book say whatever you want. You can point to any event in the world and place it wherever you want in the order of the end-times. I believe that the book of Revelation is a chronological revelation from God and information provided on this website is in support of that. If you don’t believe in that chronology now would be a good time to visit another website.
What is the first event in the book of Revelation that we can truly see as happening without question?
To answer that question we have to take a small detour in our train of thought. It’s still relevant to the question, it just requires a longer explanation. When you look at the book of Revelation there is absolutely no event that we can clearly identify as having already happened. The first concrete or black letter (this simply means that it doesn’t require much interpretation) event that we see happening doesn’t occur until you get to Revelation chapter 6.
You may believe that Revelation 3:10 is the rapture because of the phrase, “I also will keep you from the hour of temptation which shall come upon the whole earth.” Or you may think that the rapture occurs in Revelation 4:1 with the phrase, “There was a door standing open in heaven and a voice saying come up here.” Or you may think that the rapture occurred because of Revelation 4:4 where, “The elders were in a circle around the throne dressed in white with golden crowns on their heads.” If the elders are already in heaven and around the throne then the rapture must have already happened, right? No!
If that is the only possible conclusion you can come to then you are in over your head. You are predisposed to bias and your opinions will be subject to which way the wind is blowing. The mere fact that in Acts 15:6 there is a reference to, “The Apostles who were in Jerusalem and the elders of the Church were present” clearly presents another possibility for why the elders were already picked in Revelation 4:4. The elders in Revelation 4:4 could be the same elders who were present in Acts 15, chief among them was James, the brother of Jesus. It doesn’t mean they are, it’s just another possibility. Stop assuming, your opinions will be much more qualified if you look at all the facts.
And next we have the two remaining verses or sections of scripture which tend to lead people to believe that the rapture has already occurred. Again, this is a problem if you are trying to understand events as they will unfold in the book of Revelation. If you think when reading Revelation 6 or later that the rapture has already occurred then you don’t believe the book of Revelation is a chronological revelation and now you can make the entire book say what you want and put it in your own timeline. You spiritual vision and discernment is likened to not being able to see the forest because the trees are in the way.
The first of these last two scripture sections that will tend to cause you not to believe the book of Revelation is a chronological revelation is Revelation 6:16-17 which talks about the wrath of God. There is much debate in eschatological (the study of the end-times) circles about whether this is the wrath of Jesus or the wrath of God. There is debate as to the word wrath used in Revelation 6:16-17 vs. the word wrath used in Revelation 15 & 16, where the real wrath of God is poured out. These words, by the way, are orge in Revelation 6:16-17, and thumos in Revelation 15:1, Revelation 15:7, Revelation 16:1.
Another point of discussion relating to the above scripture in Revelation 6:17 is the phrase, “For the great day of his wrath has come…” That word, come, is erchomai in the Greek. The discussion comes from some scholars say that the word means has already happened, while others believe it means is coming, or on its way. Huge difference. Because if you come to this scripture in Revelation 6:16-17 and you think the rapture has already taken place then you have taken Revelation chapters 10-14 and moved them out of their biblical timeline to before Revelation 6:16-17.
The final section that prevents you from seeing the true chronological timeline of the book of Revelation is Revelation 7:14, “These are the ones who have come out of great tribulation.” There have been books written on this one scripture alone. And the discussion between scholars on this subject has been ongoing for hundreds of years. This has to do with Matthew 24 and the timing of the tribulation. More specifically many believe that this passage, Revelation 7:14 refers to the second half of the tribulation or what is referred to by many as the great tribulation. If you believe this then you have taken the entire book of Revelation out of its chronological order and it will be difficult for you to see the truth of the real chronology of the book of Revelation.
What is the first visible event that we will see from the book of Revelation when it happens?
O.k., I said there would be a short detour, hopefully it was helpful. Now, if you believe the book of Revelation is in chronological revelation then you have to turn to Revelation 6 when the first 6 seals are opened by the Lord. Why, because this section contains the first reference to a black letter event. Remember, that means an event that is easily identifiable with out much guessing. Without going into detail in this article about the first three seals, the white horse, the red horse, and the black horse we will look at the events of the fourth seal and the riders on the pale horses (Yes, I said horses. If you read the context you will see that there were five horsemen and not four).
The fourth horsemen comes out after the fourth seal is broken. He is Death and Hades followed right behind him. As a result of these horsemen the deaths of the population of one-quarter of the earth occurs. This happens by the sword, famine, disease, and wild-animals. This is an identifiable event. Even though it clearly doesn’t occur overnight. A closer look at this event, while it is happening, will probably cause people to place this event in the timeline of the book of Revelation. The first three horsemen are vague in their references. The third horsemen with the balance scale seems to portray some type of famine or scarcity, but the first event clearly identified is the death of the population of one-quarter of the earth. If that doesn’t work for you then then event of Revelation 6:12 with the sixth seal will certainly catch your eye. This is an earthquake that moves every island and every mountain causing the sun to go black. If you are here, and you won’t be, you would wish that you had died earlier, a lot earlier. This is the beginning of the worst times in the history of mankind.
This 6,000 years in God’s plan is winding down, and not necessarily because the events of the world today seem to point to that. Bad stuff has always been happening everywhere in the world. But it might be an indication. Maybe the events in the world today are in indication that the second seal has been opened. We can’t really confirm that as no specific identifiable event occurs until later in this chapter.
A simple timeline to think about – the bottom line
Here’s the bottom line. From creation, around 4004 B.C until the time of Abraham, 1996 B.C. there is about 2,000 years. From Abraham to the birth of Jesus is about 2,000 years. If the Church age, Ephesians 3:1-6, is 2,000 years and it started with the resurrection of Jesus, and the day of Pentecost, then the date of the death of Jesus is critically important. If Jesus died around 28-29 A.D., and the age we are in is 2,000 years, then the end of the age is somewhere around 2028-2029. If you subtract seven years for a tribulation then you are somewhere in the neighborhood of 2021-2022 as the beginning of the tribulation. While this is speculation, and not an attempt at date-setting, it is extraordinarily curios.