Articles like this will never make it into the mainstream media, but between unbelief and apostasy in our day, we would not hold such an expectation.
The answer to the question in the title is – all three. There is theory, a lot of scripture, and a well-structured pattern produced by the events of God’s dispensational will, as it is revealed in time and space.
Jesus Christ said no man would know the day or the hour of his return (Mk 13:32) but, then Christ gave us the parable of the fig tree (Mt 24:32) which seems to allow that many will be able to see the approach of the last days as it nears. It is not the naming of a year, day, or an hour, but can be rightly explained as a “season.”
To be sure it would not pay to name a year, much less a day for the return of Christ, but the season is well underway and the church, the theologians and certainly the eschatologists are more aware of this today than at any other time in history.
What is the Sabbath Millennial Theory?
Many charts and diagrams have been made over the years to help explain the sabbath millennial, but perhaps the most famous are the charts of theologian Clarence Larkin found in his book entitled “Dispensational Truth,” published in 1918. Larkin’s charts and insights are remarkable considering he did not see the events of this day, over one hundred years after his work was first published. That is what we call – vision.
The theory breaks down like this. Since to the Lord a thousand years is as one day (2Pet 3:8) the number of years since the beginning of creation to today is seen in days not years.
From Adam to Abraham is 2000 years (two days) and from Abraham to Christ is 2000 years, (four days.) Finally, from Christ to today, is a little over 2000 years. The math is simple that is six days in the way Christ sees time.
Since scripture clearly says that before eternity begins, Christ will rule this earth for exactly 1000 years. Now we have the promise of a sabbath day for the whole earth. It is a time of perfect peace under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. That seventh 1000-year period – is Christ’s Sabbath.
Is it late, or did we miss something in the math?
When the Bible says that God sent his Son to die for the sins of the world, he came in the “fullness of time.” (Ga 4:4) That is a very biblical way of saying that God was on time. He is never late or early and that’s why we know God has a plan, and he never acts randomly.
From these revelations we can see that God has a perfect time for his second coming.
To the question, we probably have gotten the math wrong by a simple act of omission. It is the omission of what is sometimes referred to as a special dispensation.
The best examples of special dispensations are the seven-year period of the antichrist sandwiched between the end of the church age and the physical return of Christ.
Another example would be contained in the book of Revelation where two witnesses, seemingly interrupt the events to prophecy for a period of three- and one-half years.
It is the special dispensation that most of us missed including Clarence Larkin. When it is seen as a special dispensation the timetable of events is then corrected and we come back on track for the sabbath millennial.
That dispensation is the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This is where you must pay full attention.
We have many names for this period where Christ is gathering a people for himself. It is called, the church age, sometimes, the parenthetical age, because none of the Old Testament prophets saw it coming. Another oft used name is, the age of grace.
We cannot include the special dispensation of Christ life into the church age. In fact, the church age did not begin until after Christ was resurrected and ascended. This is what most Christians along with those like Clarence Larkin have missed.
Now the target area of Larkin’s charts can no longer be the year two thousand.
This means that we must subtract the 33 years of Christ’s life on earth from the entire equation.
A new picture has emerged.
The target year is now 2028. Since Christ was born in 4BC and was crucified in 28AD, the end of the church age is rightly placed in 2028.
Is 2028 the year that Christ will return?
Once again, no one knows when the Lord will return.
But the chances are that the antichrist may be revealed just around that year (2028) and the “tribulation period” will probably begin. These dates are not carved in stone but the general re-adjustment of the sabbath millennial theory will help those who think that events seem to be running a little late.
Of course, these changes say nothing about the rapture of the church, which could take place at any time.
Political, moral, social, and economic changes are taking place around the world at breakneck speed today, so we will need to work hard to maintain our faith and our witness. But knowing that the schedule of God’s planned events is not skewed, should provide some surety for the church in these uncertain days.
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