And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the
evening and the morning were the sixth day.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the
seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day
from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified
it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
The six days of Creation followed by the 7th day of rest was not just an historical
account but is also a prophecy of the entire history span of Planet Earth according to
the patristic early church fathers. This interpretation dates back to the writings of the
early church fathers after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and before the Bar Kochba
revolt in 132 AD. The ancient Epistle of Barnabas illustrates their interpretation :
Of the Sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation; And God made the works
of His hands in six days, and He ended on the seventh day, and rested on it, and He
hallowed it. Give heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days. He meaneth
this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end; for the day with
Him signifyeth a thousand years; and this He himself beareth me witness, saying; Behold,
the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six days, that
is in six thousand years, everything shall come to an end. And He rested on the seventh
day. this He meaneth; when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless
One, and shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon and the stars,
then shall he truly rest on the seventh day.
We know from Revelation 20:2-6 that after the Great Tribulation the Millennial Reign of
Christ lasts a thousand years. The early church fathers equated the 7th day of rest
in Genesis as a foreshadow prophecy of the Millennial Reign found in Revelation. They
also applied a similar pattern of prophecy to the previous six days of Creation, each
day as a thousand years. And what follows the 7th Day/Millennial Reign? According to
Revelation a last rebellion is put down and a New Heaven and a New Earth are instituted.
The Epistle of Barnabas addresses this as well:
Finally He saith to them; Your new moons and your Sabbaths I cannot away with. Ye see
what is His meaning ; it is not your present Sabbaths that are acceptable [unto Me], but
the Sabbath which I have made, in the which, when I have set all things at rest, I will
make the beginning of the eighth day which is the beginning of another world. Wherefore
also we keep the eighth day for rejoicing, in the which also Jesus rose from the dead,
and having been manifested ascended into the heavens.
Here they do not equate the 8th day to a thousand year period but it appears open ended
lasting for all eternity.
And who were the Sunday School teachers of the early church fathers? It was the
Apostles and those that immediately followed them.