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The 8th Day
"The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness,
but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9 NIV).
I had so many questions....
How will the LORD save the pagans who lived in ignorance, and the children, and those mentally challenged? My upbringing in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination had not supplied any adequate answers. Babies would be saved only if at least one parent was in covenant. I remember wondering why a grandparent, or an aunt, or a cousin wouldn't do. I remember reading that the Lord could not take the slave to heaven because he had lived in ignorance, so God would (in mercy) leave him dead - like a beast. That just did not seem right to me.
I knew that Gentiles were “separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenant of promise, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:11-12), but I also knew the Lord is “not willing that any should perish” (2 Pet. 3:9). He “desires all mankind to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4). If that is so, then I just knew the LORD would provide a way. But how? This book is about that way.
With the Lord “a thousand years is as a day, and a day as a thousand years” (2 Peter 3:8). This book is about the 8th millennium, which I call The 8th Day. The concept is simple, but the book has many chapters, because I must clarify several core concepts in order to build a foundation. It is easy to say what one believes. It is more difficult to explain - from Scripture - why one holds a belief. I would never presume to say that my view is absolute divine truth. I can only tell you what I believe, why I believe it, and then ask that you look up the Scriptures for yourselves, with prayer.
I believe that Yeshua Messiah (Jesus Christ) - the Son of God, will return at the end of this age - at the end of the 6th millennium from the fall of Adam. On that day there will be a great resurrection. Those in covenant with Him will be made immortal, and those who knowingly continued in rebellion against Him, will face judgment and then eternal death. The “rest” will remain asleep in death for another millennium.
Rather than set up His kingdom immediately upon His return, Christ will transport the redeemed to His Father's House (Heaven) where “He has prepared a place”. There they will be trained and prepared to serve as “priests of God and of Christ” (Rev. 20:5-6). The earth will be devastated by the bowls of wrath (seven last plagues) and will remain desolate and uninhabited for a thousand years (the 7th or sabbath millennium).
It could be that Christ with His redeemed Israel, will “return to the land” half way through the 7th millennium, just as Israelites were allowed to return to their inheritance at the Jubilee, half way through the 49th year (the 10th day, of the 7th month, of the 7th year, of the 49th cycle of 7 years - to be precise). The “rest of the dead” will not be resurrected at that point, but the returned Israelites could begin to rebuild and restore Jerusalem from the damage sustained during the wars and the last plagues.
Christ will return to this earth with His priesthood of redeemed Israel. They will build Ezekiel's Temple, and then a healing river will flow out from the Most Holy Place of that Temple. Where the river flows everything will come back to life - grass, trees, butterflies, animals. The earth will once again support life. Finally - at the start of the 8th millennium, “the rest of the dead” will be resurrected to “live again”(Rev. 20:5). This is the last great resurrection.
Millions of human beings have lived and died without ever hearing of God Our Father, or of Christ His Son. These will be resurrected and given the opportunity to know Him. Some will say that I am teaching a “second chance” doctrine. I am NOT. Those resurrected at The 8th Day, to continue their lives in the kingdom of Messiah on earth, were not “called” during their lifetimes. They lived in darkness. They had no knowledge of Yahweh or of His Son. Individuals may have lived with a hypocrite who misrepresented and distorted the truth. Others may have died as children, or been mentally challenged, or simply have lived at a time or in a place where the truth of God was unknown.
Entrance into the Kingdom of Our Elohiym is based upon covenant. Covenant is a chosen relationship - a healing faith relationship. Individuals must choose to trust God and trust leads to obedience. Salvation is not about counting – sins committed vs sins forgiven. God can forgive sins. It is not about our carnal nature. He can transform the carnal nature. But He will not transform without the consent of the individual. He will not bypass free will. Consent must be freely given, therefore the individual must hear of God, of His love, and of His Law.
The 8th Day is about the justice of God. It would be unjust to require trust with surrender from half the human race, and to exempt the rest, or worse to punish those who never had the opportunity to surrender. Justice requires that every human being must fulfill the same requirement for salvation - trust resulting in obedience. It seems unjust to exempt a large portion of the human race from that requirement, simply because they died as infants.
Babies are innocent - not guilty of any sin - but babies cannot make an informed choice. They cannot enter into covenant. That is why they must be resurrected to continue their lives in the Kingdom of Messiah on the earth. Along with all of the multitudes who lived in ignorance, they will be raised to life at The 8th Day. If not received by their own biological parents, I am sure the LORD will see to it that they are lovingly raised by others.
Christ will rule these resurrected nations through His priesthood (those rescued at the Second Coming). The priests will teach the Gospel of God’s love. They will decide disputes, and teach the Law. Many will come to know the Father and His Son, and will enter into covenant. Peace will reign - but not forever. Before the end of The 8th Day, there will be a rebellion.
Satan will deceive many from the nations into believing they can overthrow the government of Christ. Those in covenant will enter the City of Jerusalem for protection, while “outside” Gog will lead the horde of Magog in an attack (Rev. Cpt 20). The LORD will defend His City. Fire will come down from heaven. The army of Gog will be consumed. Sin and rebellion will be gone forever.
The LORD must be just with every human being. His judgment of those who stubbornly refuse to enter His healing covenant will come in three stages.
First: At the end of this present age, Christ will return to judge all of those who have knowingly lived in rebellion against Him. They will be resurrected to face judgment, and will then be left behind to die in the seven last plagues. Their bodies will be consumed as the whole earth is burned by fire.
Second: During the 8th millennium, Gog and his army (including all supporters) will die when they attack the City of the LORD. Every enemy of the LORD who has ever lived on the earth will then be physically dead.
Third: Following the Battle of Gog & Magog, there will be a final judgment - a final review of the evidence concerning each person who is now physically dead, but still retained in the memory of God. This final judgment is not for God. He needs no record books. The living must see that God has been just with each and every individual. They must look again at the evidence, and must agree with the final verdict - annihilation - in the “lake of fire.” I do not believe in unending conscious torment. I do not believe the lost are conscious, when God's retained memory of them is “blotted out.” I will cover the “lake of fire” in one of the final chapters of this book.
I think it possible that this present “earth” along with the “heavens” around it, will be gone. Hebrews 1:10-12 strongly suggests it. In either case, this earth made new, or an entirely “new heavens and new earth” - free of any hint of sin (except for the scars in His hands), will become the home of the redeemed for all eternity. The Holy City - New Jerusalem, illumined by the glory of God and the Lamb, will descend from out of Heaven.
Mankind will be reunited with THE FATHER.
In a few paragraphs I have just summarized the content of this book. The study has taken years, but my questions have been answered. I am fully satisfied of the justice and amazing love of God Our Father.
WHY THIS BOOK?
The people of God are about to be tried and tested. Every belief will be questioned - every tenant of faith held up to scrutiny. At the same time they will be tried physically, financially, socially, and legally. If questions remain unanswered regarding the character and justice of God, those questions will eat away at the faith and strength of God’s covenant people. We cannot simply believe something because our pastor, or a professor of theology, or our best friend (the one who studies) believes it. When the rightness of our God is vindicated by the evidence, we are lifted. Our faith is strengthened. We see anew, that He had a plan. My prayer is that this book will shed new light on His plan - and therefore His character.
If believers of centuries past had realized that the LORD will resurrect every human being who died in ignorance - what then? If they knew that the LORD will give these people the opportunity to know Him, and to choose Him as LORD - what then? Would those disciples have felt the need to “go and teach?” Why go to distant and dangerous lands, if Christ can simply resurrect those folks later? Perhaps you can see why teaching this doctrine might put a crimp in the spread of the Gospel.
Why must the Gospel go to every land before Jesus returns? Because Jesus is calling future priests from “every nation, kindred, tongue and people”, and from every time period. These must return, during the future 8th Day Kingdom, to their own nations, tribes, and clans. In this way, their witness will be personal and powerful and their governance more acceptable. I am personally convinced that this truth has been hidden. Now - as we enter the last days - it is time for a fuller understanding of the justice of God.
Shalom and Blessings
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