Had Ye Believed Moses
By Arlen L. Chitwood
Days, Ages, Dispensations
Manís Day consists of 6,000 years, set forth at the very beginning of Scripture in an established septenary structure, which pervades all subsequent Scripture (Genesis 1:1-2:3). God worked six days to restore a ruined creation (Genesis 1:2b-25), followed by the creation of man (1:26-31); and God then rested on the seventh day (2:1-3). These opening verses of Scripture set forth an unchangeable pattern concerning how God restores a ruined creation, with both the means that He uses and the time that He takes being dealt with.
Following manís fall (resulting in the ruin of man, and also the material creation once again), God, again, began a restorative work pertaining to His creation. And, in keeping with the pattern that God Himself established, the latter work must be brought to pass in exact accord with the former work ó both as to Godís means and the time that He takes. And, as in the former, the latter work must be followed by a day of rest.
The Latter Restoration
In the latter restoration, rather than six twenty-four-hour days (as in Genesis 1:2b-31), there are six 1,000-year days. Scripture often uses the expression ďdayĒ in ways other than to designate a twenty-four-hour period (e.g., Manís Day, the Day of the Lord [or, the Lordís Day]). And different places in Scripture plainly reveal that the pattern from Genesis 1:2b-2:3 has to do with six days of 1,000 years each in the latter restoration, with the seventh day being the Messianic Era of 1,000 years duration (e.g., Exodus 31:13-17; Numbers 19:11, 12; Hosea 5:13-6:2; Matthew 16:28-17:5; John 11:6, 7; Hebrews 4:4-9; 2 Peter 1:15-18; 3:3-8).
In other words, God is presently working during a period that will last 6,000 years in order to bring about the restoration of two ruined creations (man, and the material creation), and at the end of this period, God will rest for 1,000 years. This is not only in complete accord with the established pattern set forth at the beginning of Scripture, but this is plainly what subsequent Scripture reveals is happening and will happen.
ďSixĒ is manís number, and ďsevenĒ is Godís number in Scripture (man created on the sixth day, God rested on the seventh day). The 6,000 years comprising Manís Day form one age, and the 1,000 years comprising the Lordís Day form another age.
Manís Day in Scripture (one age) is comprised of three dispensations, consisting of 2,000 years each. And the Lordís Day (a subsequent age) forms a fourth dispensation, consisting of 1,000 years. These two ages, four dispensations, total 7,000 years and were foreshadowed by the seven days in Genesis 1:2b-2:3.
Then, Scripture uses years of 360 days each (which is in keeping with the lunar month [that upon which the Jewish calendar was later based] rather than the solar year). The 6,000 years comprising Manís Day are 6,000 years of 360 days each, with each of the three dispensations during Manís Day being 2,000 years of 360 days each.
The first dispensation during Manís Day extends from the creation of Adam to the birth of Abraham (2,000 years). During this dispensation, God dealt with mankind at large. This could be referred to as the Gentile dispensation, though technically that expression would not be correct, for there were no Gentiles at that time. A Gentile is someone who is not a Jew (or, today, someone who is not a Jew or a Christian), and there were no Jews (or Christians) for the first 2,000 years of human history to make this distinction.
(If biblical chronology in Genesis chapters five and eleven is followed, one will arrive at a figure showing 2,008 years extending from the creation of Adam to the birth of Abraham. There are twenty generations in the two genealogical records extending from Adam to Abraham, and only figures showing complete [full] years are used throughout the two records. Parts of years are not reckoned [months extending from the time a person was born until the end of the year, etc.], which could easily account for the additional eight years derived through using the figures as they appear in the two genealogies.)
The second dispensation during Manís Day extends from the birth of Abraham to the Messianic Kingdom. This dispensation comprises a 2,000-year period in which God deals with the Jewish people. Thus, this dispensation could be called the Jewish dispensation.
However, seven years short of this dispensation being completed (at the time Israel crucified her Messiah), God stopped the clock on the progression of time during the dispensation, set Israel aside, and began an entirely new 2,000-year dispensation (the dispensation in which we presently live). Only when the present dispensation has been completed will God again begin to deal with Israel, allowing time to resume and be completed in the previous dispensation (Daniel 9:24-27).
(Computing time during dispensations, biblical chronology can be followed only as far as the Exodus from Egypt under Moses, which occurred exactly 500 years [years of 360 days each] beyond the birth of Abraham [Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old, and the seed of Abraham (Isaac and his descendants) were to wander in a land which was not theirs for a period of 400 years (they were still pilgrims in the land of Canaan, and part of this time was spent in Egypt ó Genesis 15:13; 21:5)].
The best date archaeologists today can provide for the date of the Exodus is about 1445 B.C. But this date was reckoned by using years of 365 1/4 days per year, which, to use in biblical chronological computations, would have to be converted to years of 360 days each. And converting these years to 360-day years will provide a date of about 1466 B.C. for the Exodus under Moses.
The 500 years from the birth of Abraham to the Exodus, plus the 1,466 years from the Exodus to the point where our calendar changes from B.C. to A.D. is, thus, 1,967 years [of 360 days each]. But 30 more years must still be added to take time to the end of the dispensation [actually about 30 1/2 years, converting these 30 years to 360-day years]. That provides an elapsed total of 1,997 years, which can be accounted for in the second dispensation.
But bear two things in mind. A secular archaeological date is being used [which could be off a few years], and seven years yet remain to be fulfilled in this dispensation. Actually, the correct figure for the years which have elapsed should be 1,993 rather than 1,997 [leaving seven years for Danielís unfulfilled 70th Week], showing that archaeologists would have to be within three or four years of the correct date for the Exodus [if 30 A.D. is the correct year for the crucifixion].)
Then, the third dispensation during Manís Day began at Pentecost (Calvary, fifty-three days earlier, marked the point where Christís side was opened in the antitype of Adamís side being opened in Genesis 2:21, 22, allowing the two elements to flow forth which were necessary to bring the bride for the second Man, the last Adam into existence ó blood and water [John 19:34]; but Pentecost marked the point where the new creation ďin Christ,Ē separate from both Jew and Gentile, was actually brought into existence). This dispensation will last 2,000 years, as the previous two dispensations, and could be referred to as the Christian dispensation.
At the beginning of the present dispensation, God sent the Holy Spirit into the world for a singular purpose ó to acquire a bride for His Son, in the antitype of that seen by Abraham sending his eldest servant into Mesopotamia to acquire a bride for his son in Genesis chapter twenty-four. In this respect, God sending the Holy Spirit into the world on the day of Pentecost had nothing to do with the Spiritís mission relative to His already being in the world, which would have had to do primarily with manís eternal salvation.
(The Holy Spirit had to be in the world prior to Pentecost, else salvation for man prior to this time could not have occurred. And when the Spirit departs this world after He has acquired the bride [also seen in Genesis 24], He will still be in the world relative to eternal salvation. He would have to be; else no one could be saved in the world beyond that time.
The Spirit has always been in the world relative to eternal salvation, for the means and that upon which eternal salvation is based never change. The pattern that God follows in manís eternal salvation was set forth in the initial part of the restoration of the ruined creation in Genesis 1:2b-5; and once God establishes a pattern, He never deviates from that which He has established. Consequently, salvation had to be [and was] exactly the same in Eden following Adamís sin as it is for fallen man today.
The Spirit is the One Who effects manís salvation, bringing to pass the birth from above. He is the One Who breathes life into the one having no life, based on two unchangeable things ó death and shed blood [Genesis 1:2b; 2:7; 3:21; Exodus 12:6, 7, 12, 13; Ezekiel 37:1-10; John 1:29; 1 Corinthians 2:2].
The word for either ďspiritĒ or ďbreathĒ is the same in both the Hebrew and Greek texts. One word in each language [Hebrews Ruach; Gk. Pneuma] does service for both words seen in the English text. That is to say, ďthe Spirit HimselfĒ is the Breath that brings about life in the one having no life [the one having no breath]. And He always does this on the basis of death and shed blood.)
The present dispensation exists in the type set forth in Genesis chapter twenty-four between two events ó between the death of Abrahamís wife (Sarah, chapter 23 [which follows the offering of Abrahamís son, chapter 22]), and Abrahamís remarriage (to Keturah, chapter 25). And the whole of chapter twenty-four, lying between these two events, concerns itself with Abraham sending his eldest servant into Mesopotamia for a singular purpose (to procure a bride for his son), the completion of that purpose, and that which then followed (the bride being removed, Isaac coming forth to meet his bride, the journey to Isaacís home, and the bride becoming his wife).
And that which has occurred, is occurring, and is about to occur in the antitype should be simple enough for anyone to see and understand. Following the events of Calvary (chapter 22), Israel, the wife of Jehovah, was set aside (chapter 23). Then, God sent the Holy Spirit into the world to procure a bride for His Son (chapter 24). After the bride has been procured, the Spirit will remove the bride, and the Son will come forth to meet the bride (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). They (Christ and Christians), as in the type, will meet at a point between the brideís home and the Sonís home. And, also as in the type, the bride will go with the Son as He returns back to His home; and there the bride that the Spirit will have previously procured and removed from the earth will become Christís wife (Genesis 24:61-67).
Then, as Abraham remarried and gave all that he had to his son, God will restore Israel and give all that he has to His Son, which places matters in the seventh day, the seventh 1,000-year period (Genesis 25:1-5).
The first of the three dispensations during Manís Day has been completed. The second dispensation during Manís Day though has not been completed. Seven years yet remain in this dispensation. The third dispensation (occurring during the time that the clock is stopped in the second dispensation, seven years short of this dispensation being completed) is almost complete. And only when this third dispensation has been completed will time resume in the second dispensation, allowing this dispensation to be completed as well. And the completion of these three dispensations will bring Manís Day to a close.
A Restoration Almost Complete
There is one 2,000-year period which is over, and there are two 2,000-year periods that are almost over. And the closing years of the latter two periods, two dispensations, form all the time left in Manís 6,000-year Day ó the present 2,000-year dispensation (almost over), and the last 2,000 year dispensation (with seven years yet remaining).
We know exactly how many years remain in the Jewish dispensation (seven). But can Christians know exactly how close we are to the end of the present dispensation? The answer would have to be that Christians canít know exactly, but they can know approximately (actually, very close). They can know within a time-frame of a few years ó years that can be counted on one hand. And that is quite easy to illustrate.
The dispensation began in 30 A.D. (some individuals use 29 A.D., and others use 31-33 A.D. for the crucifixion year; but using any one of these other years would change things only one to three years, making it immaterial to the whole thought of the nearness of the end of the present dispensation). From the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. to the end of 1999 (or the beginning of the year 2000) is a few months short of 1,969 years of 365 1/4 days each (note that the whole year in 30 A.D. should not be used, for Pentecost occurred during the late spring of that year).
As previously seen, if the number of years between Pentecost in 30 A.D. and the end of the year 1999 (1,969 years of 365 1/4 days each, minus several months from the first year, from 30 A.D.) are converted into years of 360 days each, a person would come up with a figure between 1,997 and 1,998 years. And note something relative to all three 2,000-year periods, comprising one 6,000-year period ó God has an affinity for numbers, and He works with total numeric accuracy when carrying out His plans and purposes over time (e.g., Exodus 12:40, 41). The time allotted for the present dispensation has been clearly revealed ó two days, 2,000 years (e.g., John 11:6, 7). Before that time elapses, the dispensation canít end; but when that time has elapsed, the dispensation will have to end.
(God works through events during time two different ways in Scripture. He works through events during time over a set period of years in which the whole of the period is brought to pass, to the very day [e.g., The Israelites under Moses ďwent out from the land of EgyptĒ on the very day that a 430-year period ended (Exodus 12:40, 41; cf. Galatians 3:17, 18)], and He works through events during time after a fashion in which part of a day is counted for the whole of that day [e.g., the time that Christ spent in the place of death extended from Friday afternoon until Sunday morning, yet this time is reckoned as ďthree days and three nights.Ē This is why it could be stated that He was in this place for the whole of the period, yet He was raised on the third day (Matthew 12:40, 41; Luke 24:21; cf. Genesis 40:13, 20; 42:17, 18; 1 Samuel 30:1, 12, 13; 2 Chronicles 10:5, 12; Esther 4:16; 5:1)].
Thus, in the preceding respect, time in any one of the three dispensations during Manís Day could have been stopped short of a full 2,000 years [but yet be looked upon as 2,000 years, as two days]. Note though that this type reckoning of time would have to be limited to time under 2,000 years, for if it were allowed to go over 2,000 years, a third 1,000-year period [a third day] would be involved; and this would not only be out of line with the septenary structure set forth in the opening two chapters of Genesis [six days, followed by a day of rest] but with all Scripture drawing from and reflecting back on this structure as well [e.g., Numbers 19:11, 12; Matthew 16:28-17:5].
It is apparent though from chronological computations that the first two dispensations ran/will run [seven years yet remain in the second] the full 2,000 years allotted. And it seems apparent that the third dispensation will run for the same length of time, for only several years remain to complete a full 2,000.
Scripture though leaves no room for time to be thought of as possibly extending beyond this 2,000-year period during the present dispensation. Such a thought, as previously shown, would run completely contrary to that seen in numerous sections of Scripture.)
The present dispensation is almost over. It lacks a few years at the very most. And once the Spirit has completed His mission ó once He has procured a bride for Godís Son ó the Church will be removed, completing another 2,000-year dispensation (the first was the 2,000-year dispensation extending from the creation of Adam to the birth of Abraham). Following the completion of the present dispensation, God will turn to Israel and complete His dealings with this nation, completing the last 2,000-year dispensation. The last seven years of the preceding dispensation will run its course, and this will bring Manís 6,000-year day to a close.
And the central problem throughout Christendom in relation to the nearness of the end of this present dispensation is the fact that almost no one is being told these things. Those in the pulpit are strangely silent, dealing with other issues, most not even remotely related. They are dealing with practically everything but the real ó that this 2,000-year dispensation is almost over, and Christians are going to be called to an accounting once it is over. They are going to be called into the Lordís presence to give an account of that which they had done with the talents and pounds left in their possession during the time of their Lordís absence (Matthew 25:13-30; Luke 19:11-27).
At that time, some Christians will be prepared; but most Christians, not so. And where will the blame lie?
(The picture in modern-day Christendom is that of viewing things very much in line with the world ó uniformitarian, with the thought that ďtimeĒ is going to continue indefinitely, unchanged. Christians are talking about and building for a time that will not exist, and they are refusing to talk about and build for a time that will exist.)
Once this present dispensation has been brought to a close and Christians have been removed from the earth, the last seven years of Danielís Seventy-Week prophecy can then be fulfilled, completing the only unfulfilled dispensation left. And as events during these final seven years of Manís Day begin to unfold, bringing Israel to the place where the nation will have no choice but to repent, conditions of a nature that have never existed before or will ever exist again will befall all those dwelling upon the earth.
Most of the population of the earth will be killed during these final seven years of Manís Day (Zechariah 13:8; Revelation 6:8; 9:15). In fact, Scripture foretells conditions becoming so terrible during this time that ďexcept those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be savedÖĒ (Matthew 24:22a).
But the Lord will return back to the earth at the end of those days, bringing not only Manís Day to a close but also all those things associated with Manís Day as well. Then the long-awaited Messianic Era ó the Sabbath, the day of rest following six days of work ó will be ushered in. And it is that coming day (the Lordís Day), not the present day (Manís Day), upon which Christians are to fix their attention.