This topic is established upon scripture: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2Peter 3:8; Psalm 90:4). These scriptures declare that a thousand years to men on earth is as one day with the Lord. This truth will be demonstrated with several amazing examples.
Literal days— “For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:11). The “six days” of creation were twenty-four-hour days with evenings and mornings (Genesis 1:5).
A similitude of the world’s entire history—It is apparent that the scriptures teach that the seven literal days of the creation week represent [are similitudes for] the seven thousand years of earth’s entire duration.
The time before Christ—According to the scriptures, there were four thousand years from the creation of Adam to the first coming of Jesus Christ. (Bishop Usher and many other men who have studied the Old Testament chronologies agree with this conclusion.)
The last glorious ‘day’ of rest—According to the scriptures—at the very end of earth’s history, before the earth is burned up (2Peter 3:10), the Lord Jesus Christ will reign on this earth for “a thousand years” (Revelation 20:1-6). This final thousand-year period—called “the day of the LORD” (Isaiah 2:12), will begin when the Lord Jesus comes “as a thief in the night” (1Thessalonians 5:2). It will end a thousand years later when the earth is burned up (2Peter 3:10).
God rested on the seventh and final day of the creation week (Genesis 2:2) and commanded Israel to keep “the sabbath day” by resting from their work (Exodus 23:12; 31:15). At his second coming, when the kingdoms of this world “are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ” (Revelation 11:15), the Lord Jesus Christ will reign for thousand years (Revelation 20:4). Speaking of that time, Isaiah said, “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious” (Isaiah 11:10). The Lord Jesus Christ will bring rest to this earth during his reign as “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16)! The seventh day of the creation week is a similitude for the seventh and final thousand-year period of earth.
The present age of the church—If the assumption—that the creation week of seven days is a prophetical picture of the entire seven-thousand-year history of the earth, then the time in which we now live, between the first and second comings of Christ, will be two thousand years.
THREE KINDS OF PEOPLE
In the eyes of God, there are presently only three kinds of people in the world: Jews, Gentiles, and the church of God (1Corinthians 10:32). The Jews are the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They are called the children of Israel. The Gentiles are all non-Jewish unregenerate heathen (unsaved) people. The church of God consists of all from among the Jews and Gentiles who have been saved by the grace of God through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). This study will show how “two days” is used with these three groups in regard to prophecy.
PROPHECY CONCERNING ISRAEL
Israel’s present condition—The nation of Israel is now spiritually dead and pictured by God as dry bones lying on the ground (Ezekiel 37:1-14). But the nation of Israel will not remain dead forever! God will raise them up, and they will live in his sight (Hosea 6:2).
At his first coming, the nation of Israel rejected Jesus Christ: “He came unto his own [the nation of Israel], and his own received him not” (John 1:12). When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Matthew 27:50-51). After this, the Jew’s religion could no longer be observed. Forty years later—according to the prophecy of the Lord Jesus, every stone of the temple was thrown down (Luke 21:6).
Hosea also prophesied of these things, saying, “For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days” (Hosea 3:4-5). The LORD also prophesied to Israel, saying, “For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him. I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early” (Hosea 5:14-15).
The Lord returned to his own place in heaven forty days after his resurrection from the dead (Acts 1:1-11). During “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), the time of their affliction called the “tribulation” (Matthew 24:21-29), Israel will seek the LORD, and he will reveal himself to them when they flee into the wilderness (Ezekiel 20:33-38).
Raised after TWO DAYS—Israel will say, “Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight” (Hosea 6:1-2). After “two days” [two thousand years (2Peter 3:8)] the Lord will raise up Israel. Then, “in the third day” [the third thousand-year period], Israel will live in his sight! The scripture confirms that the Lord Jesus Christ will reign “in the regeneration” (Matthew 19:28) during “the times of restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21; 1:6) for “a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4)!
The glorious reign of Jesus Christ on the earth for a thousand years is also known as “the day of the Lord Jesus” (1Corinthians 5:5; 2Corinthians 1:14) which “will come as a thief in the night” (2Peter 3:10). The thousand-year reign will end after God’s last battle with Satan and his followers. Then “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2Peter 3:10). Then “the dead” will be judged when they all stand before the “great white throne” (Revelation 20:11-15).
Israel is typified by Lazarus—When Lazarus was sick, his sisters sent unto Jesus, “saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby… When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was… and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead” (John 11:1-14).
By delaying for “two days” before coming to raise Lazarus from the dead, the Lord established the raising of Lazarus as a similitude of his two-thousand-year delay to return to the earth “to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel…” (Isaiah 49:6).
The body’s sleep of death—When Jesus said that Lazarus “sleepeth,” he signified that Lazarus’ body was dead. After the resurrection of Christ, “many bodies of the saints which slept arose” (Matthew 27:52). When Steven died, “he [his body] fell asleep” (Acts 7:60). A certain ruler worshipped and said unto Jesus, “My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples” (Matthew 9:18-19). When Jesus came to the house of the ruler whose daughter was dead, “He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose” (Matthew 9:24-25).
Whether our bodies “wake or sleep,” we—our souls and spirits, “live together with him [Christ]” (1Thessalonians 5:10). When the body dies, the souls of believers go to be with the Lord (2Corinthians 5:6-8; Philippians 1:20-24), and the souls of the “unbelieving” go to hell (Luke 16:22-23), and later to the lake of fire (Revelation 21:8). So-called “soul sleep” is a false doctrine taught by the Seventh Day Adventist church, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christadelphians, and others.
PROPHECY CONCERNING THE GENTILES
Gentiles are typified by the Samaritans—God “now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). The Holy Ghost is now in the world reproving the world of sin (John 16:7-11) and calling men by the gospel (2Thessalonians 2:14; Acts 15:14). When the Samaritan woman believed on Jesus after he spoke with her at Jacob’s well, she went into her city and brought out many others who also believed on him. When they came to him, they asked him to stay with them awhile, “he abode there two days” (John 4:40)!
These two days are a similitude of the two thousand yearlong age of the church. We are now living in the “last days” (2Timothy 3:1; 2Peter 3:3) of the church age! The Holy Ghost will continue to “teach sinners in the way” (Psalm 25:8) by guiding them into “all truth” (Romans 8:9; 1Corinthians 2:10-13; John 16:13), “until he be taken out of the way” (2Thessalonians 2:7) when the church is caught up “to meet the Lord in the air” (1Thessalonians 4:16-18).
PROPHECY CONCERNING THE CHURCH
The church is typified by the innkeeper—In the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37), the man who had fallen among thieves, and was left half dead, did not get any help from the “priest” or the “Levite,” both examples of religious hypocrites. The Samaritan in this parable is a similitude of Jesus Christ, our compassionate Saviour: “When he [a certain Samaritan] saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee” (Luke 10:33-35).
In the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, which is also a parable about Christian service during the church age, the “householder,” who represents the Lord, “agreed with the labourers for a penny a day” (Matthew 20:1-2). By comparing these two parables, we see that “two pence” (Luke 10:35) is equal to the wages of two days!
Waiting and watching— “The glorious gospel of Christ” (2Corinthians 4:3-4) is “how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1Corinthians 15:3-4). The gospel was executed [finished (John 19:30)] around AD 30. It is now 2021 AD, almost two thousand years [two days] since the cross to the present time!
We born-again believers are “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13), “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21). God’s word declares: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1Thessalonians 4:16-18).
Believers who study the Holy Bible “have understanding of the times” (1Chronicles 12:32) and can “discern the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3). And because we know “the times and seasons,” the day of the Lord will not overtake us as a thief (1Thessalonians 5:1-5)!
The work of the Holy Ghost—We know that there was a time when the Holy Ghost was not in the world, because the Lord Jesus told his disciples that after his departure (John 16:7), he and his Father would send “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost…” (John 14:26) to testify of him, to teach them, to bring to their remembrance all that he had said to them (John 15:26), to guide them into all truth, to show them things to come, and to glorify him (John 16:13-14).
The Holy Ghost [the Spirit of Christ] resides permanently in the body (1Corinthians 6:19) of all born-again believers (1Corinthians 6:19; Romans 8:9). The “Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9) is every believer’s “hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). He has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). The Holy Ghost also reproves [charges] “the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:7-11).
The Holy Ghost is leaving soon!—The presence of the Holy Ghost in the world now withholds the revealing of “that man of sin… the son of perdition [the antichrist]” (2Thessalonians 2:3). But when the Holy Ghost is “taken out of the way” (2Thessalonians 2:7), he will take all believers with him “to meet the Lord in the air” (1Thessalonians 4:17):
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2Thessalonians 2:8-12).
Testimony of all believers—We were saved, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:3-7).
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9).