Eschatological Topics

What “day” was man fashioned and what “day” are we currently in?
Elucidating the 6th and 7th "parallel days"

Man's place in God's Creative “Timeline” as described in Genesis is such a complex subject that it is systematically avoided in a host of analyses. However, the more complicated an issue is, the more majesty it hides for those who are not discouraged from penetrating deeper into the sacred texts of the Church. 


1. Introduction

In another article, we addressed this issue as a first approach. In the present article, we will provide the reader with some supplementary details on the subject - which is inextricably linked, not only to the Genesis description of Creation, but also to many other matters such as eschatology, cosmology, salvation, anthropology, Orthodox psychotherapy, and much more.

For the first outline, go to the article titled   "The Fall of the first-fashioned humans from God’s eternal “State of Rest” - Our placement within the Creative “days”

The first 3 Paragraphs below are a brief reminder of the contents of the aforementioned article.

1. The 7 “days” of Genesis and man

It is well-known that in Genesis, the Bible narrates how God had fashioned “heaven and earth” (i.e., the material environment in which man lives and moves) within 6 Creative “days”, and how these 6 “days” were followed by a 7th “day”, “during which God ceased from all His works.”  It is also known that man was created at the end of the 6th Creative “day” - after the land animals (Genesis 1:27-36) - and how Adam, after being created, was placed by God in the 7th "day"  - aka "Paradise". (Genesis 2). 

2. Entering God’s Eternal State of Rest

But let us recall for the needs of this article exactly what God’s “Eternal State of Rest” implies.     (In Greek, it is the term êáôÜðáõóçwhere ðáýóç = pause, pronounced kut-a-puff-see, and it implies the permanent pausing of God's Creative opus; the term is also used for describing the state of blessedness, and is also a term that relates to the Sabbatical "rest".)

Adam's exodus (his “fall”) was from God's êáôÜðáõóç, which he was enjoying while he was “in the likeness of”; It was his fall from the 7th Creative “day”.  

3. How are the 6th – 7th – 8th “days” related?

This is where we need to focus on the critical element of “Time” and the association between the Creative “days”.  If - after sinning - Adam had “fallen” from the 7th Creative “day” (God’s êáôÜðáõóç), in which “day” did he find himself?”

But before we explain this in more detail, it is necessary that we show how these three “days” are related.

A. The “day” that never ended

It is of great importance to note that of the 7 Creative “days” mentioned by Genesis, the only one that has not “ended” is the 7th!   Let's remember how all the preceding “days” of Creation, we read: “and evening came, and morning came, and it was “day” so-and-so” (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).   On the contrary, for the 7th “day” (and more so for the 8th “day” – the first “day” of New Creation), the verse of Zechariah 14: 6,7 states that BOTH these "days" are never-ending; that they are eternal, never-setting “days” of the Lord, where there will be no need for illumination, and cold and ice...

The indirect reference of the verse to the Creative “days” of Genesis is obvious. The verse purposely indicates the differentiation from the first six Creative “days” - which have an “evening” and a “morning” - because it says: “...even towards dusk there is light”. This is clearly the “day” of the Lord and His saints, as seen in Zechariah 14:5: “.....and the Lord my God and all the saints shall be with Him”.

These words pertain to both the 7th and the 8th “day”, inasmuch as both of them do NOT have an end; that is, they are “never-setting”. Interestingly, the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç has no “beginning” whatsoever, since Genesis makes no such mention.  After all, how could the “day of rest” of the beginning-less and Time-less God have a beginning or an end?  It is the pre-eternally existent “day” of God’s eternal state, intended for mankind to enter; it existed, prior to the emergence of mankind and all the temporal “days”!

B. The difference between the 7th and the 8th Day

Let’s clarify this for a moment:

Let’s take the “week” as an example.  The Israelites began it on the 1st day and “ended” it on the 7th, which was their Sabbath. They didn’t work on that day, because it was observed as a form of God’s 7th Creative “day” during which He had “rested from His works” and had “sanctified it” (Exodus 20:8-11)

In the Christian era, we mainly have Sunday** as our “day of rest” (because the Lord was resurrected on a Sunday), thus acquiring the “value” of a salvific “day” (êáôÜðáõóç ) for man, and because it also prefigured as the first “day” of the Age to come. Thus, apart from being the first day of the week, Sunday is also the “day of rest” for Christians - that is, a “Sabbatical” (for resting)! But Sunday is simultaneously the day after Sabbath/Saturday, as the culmination of the week – in other words, the 8th “day”!  This means that, depending on how one  counts, Sunday can be regarded as first day of the week, a Sabbatical, or as the 8th day of the week; in fact, the Bible itself mentions it as “one of the Sabbaths”.  (Acts 20:7)

**Sunday, in Greek = ÊõñéáêÞ, meaning “of the Lord”;  Lord = Êýñéïò in Greek

Both the 7th and the 8th are NEVER-SETTING “days”; that is, they are periods that do not have an end, the way that the previous 6 material Creative “days” end.  And just as the 7th “day” runs parallel to the 6th, so does the 8th, upon embracing the final, General Resurrection of all the Dead and inaugurating the Age to come.  (see above "Timeline" with Parallels)

So, what is the difference between the 7th and the 8th “day”?

The difference is that the 7th “day” pertains to the progression of man’s Spiritual perfection for as long as the 6th Creative “day” of Deterioration lasts, whereas the 8th will include the resurrected bodies of those who will have been rendered incorruptible for the Age to come.

The 8th “day” therefore, is the state of the “complete” man ("according to the likeness") and also of all material Creation then rendered incorruptible for the Coming Age, while the 7th “day” pertains solely to the state of man’s Spiritual course towards the “likeness of”.

The fact that the 8th “day” (which identifies with the “Age to come”), is an extension of the 7th “day” of êáôÜðáõóç for Creation also, can be seen in passages like the following:

“For it is impossible for those who were once illuminated and had savoured the heavenly gift and had become partakers of the Holy Spirit and savoured the good word of God and the powers of the Age to come - should they fall again - to be renewed towards repentance, as they will have crucified the Son of God and put Him to shame...” (Hebrews 6: 4-6).

Obviously, if there are certain people already savouring the powers of the FUTURE age from now, then this Future Age is not a foreign or inaccessible feature: quite clearly, those powers CO-exist with them, within the 7th “day of rest" of the saints, inasmuch as they are the ones who have “crossed through” from the 6th to the 7th Creative “day” (where most of us are, who have not yet attained the 7th -day's state of the "likeness". 

The saints savouring the state of the 7th “day” already partake of those powers - prior to enjoying the final incorruptibility of their bodies and of Creation during the 8th “day”, as the 8th is only the projection-extension of the 7th “day” which will be embracing all of material Creation - and not abolishing it.   The 6th Creative “day” as already mentioned, is the state of CARNAL and CORRUPTIBLE material, which will eventually have an end! 

C. Linear and Crucial Time 

This refers to the way that Time is perceived in God's Creative plan; Time can be perceived in two different ways: 1. As Linear time, and 2. (and more Christian) as Crucial time.

Linear Time is the perception of events lined up in order - a fixed sequence of events. According to Linear Time, after the first 6 Creative “days” comes the 7th “day” (of êáôÜðáõóç), from which Adam had “fallen”. But with this Linear logic in mind, the 7th Creative “day” should likewise have an end, with no sequel or continuance (since Time moves linearly); this would logically make people set their sights “after” it, on the “age to come” - on another, new, eternal  “day” that would replace the 7th – just as Sunday replaced the Jewish Sabbath. This is the “day” that certain Fathers refer to as the 8th, identifying it with the “day of the Lord”.   This perception is not incorrect. It is the customary perception of Time, as we humans perceive it. But there is also another, more accurate way of perception:

 Crucial time (i.e., per the Crucifix). This is the most accurate –Christian– way of perceiving the divine plan. According to this, events do not necessarily move in linear fashion only, with the one following the other; the Creative “days” can exist in parallel, and they can alternate during the procession of human history. This is the most fitting way to perceive the divine plan, not only because it flows smoothly and seamlessly with God’s Time-less state, but also because expiration of the 6th “day” is not a requirement for acknowledging the existence of the 7th “day”; just as an expiration of the 7th “day” is not a requirement for acknowledging the commencement of an 8th “day”. Quite simply, these two “days” can exist - in parallel. In other words, we don't have a compulsory temporal succession here, given that, within the 7th “day”, created Time is “dissipated”, leaving only a “modal” succession: a succession involving the manner that beings exist there.

So, how would we describe God’s Creative week, on the basis of the Crucial perception of Time?

According to this perception, the never-setting, blessed 7th “day” of the Lord is not something variable, in spite of our Linear perception of Time. We find it very significant that in Genesis 2:4, immediately after expounding all that pertains to the 7th “day” (God’s êáôÜðáõóç), the 6 preceding “days” are then merged into one “day” – seeing how Genesis 2:4 says: “This is the book of creation of heaven and earth when they were created, on the day that God made the earth and the heavens...”.   Notice how Creation is previously described with 6 “days”, which are then suddenly unified and are regarded as one, uniform period, clearly separated from the 7th.

This is because the 7th “day” (like the 8th) intersects (crosses through) the other creative days - without replacing them - because it is a loftier kind of “Timeline”, which is characteristically for the saints (=those who have attained the state of the "likeness").

While all creations were originally living within Linear Time, Adam had suddenly been "given a taste” of something superior. On receiving the “breath” of the Holy Spirit (and attaining the "likeness"), he was elevated to another kind of Time: God’s êáôÜðáõóç - the 7th "day".  After his disobedience, Adam "returned" to Linear Time, where people continued to live "according to the image" only - until the Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ in History, thanks to which Event, the door of God's êáôÜðáõóç was opened once again.

This is beautifully showcased by Matthew at the beginning of his Gospel. In verses 1:1-17, Matthew divides the names of the forefathers of the Lord Jesus Christ into three groups of 14 names. These three groups, however, consist of 6 heptads (sevenths), which represent the six (Linear) Creative “weeks”, corresponding to the 6 Creative “days”.  It was at the end of these 6 (Linear) Creative “weeks” that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ appears: it was the specific point in Linear Time that human nature was deified (in the enfleshed Person of Jesus Christ) and was enabled to be elevated into the 7th phase of God's êáôÜðáõóç.  From then on, “... blessed are the dead who have died in the Lord. Yes, says the Spirit, so that they shall rest from their labors, for their works follow along with them.” (Revelation 14:13). These saved saints partake of the paradise from which Adam had "fallen", back to Linear Time. And while for ordinary people Time moves linearly, in a dimension “loftier” than Time, the saints can also partake of God's Time-less “êáôÜðáõóç”.

This parallel “dimension” of Time can be seen in various statements of the Holy Bible, such as the verse in Ephesians 1:4:   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, in Christ,  just as He chose us in Him, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love” . 

Saint Gregory Palamas says the same thing:

“Whose word was therefore, 'I shall give you respite'? But also 'I shall give you rest, from the earth which God had cursed'?  Who, therefore, is the One who will give us rest from this earth, unless it was the One who opened the heaven and led our nature there, and had indicated with words and works the ascent to heaven, by inviting us to it?  And if the Deluge was a type of that rest – but only as a excision and a final pausing of sin – there would have been no comfort and rest for the sinners.”   (Saint Gregory Palamas, Homily 67:4)

So, bearing in mind that Linear Time is abolished when the 6th Creative “day” is terminated and replaced by the “Age to Come”, and that the 7th “day” also SPANS between the 6th and the 8th “days”, obviously the only “day” that post-fall Adam  could find himself (along with all those who have not yet entered into God's 7th "day") is the 6th “day” of deterioration!

  4. On which Creative “day” was Eve fashioned?

In order to comprehend the matter of the 6th and the 7th “days”, it would be useful to take a look at an apparent paradox in Genesis.  How could Eve have been fashioned on the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç, if God had already “paused” creating after the 6th ?

Á. The apparent paradox of Eve’s formation

If Eve was created within the terrestrial Paradise of Eden when “detached” from Adam’s side, she must have also been spiritually in parallel with the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç (which prevailed in Paradise, since Adam and Eve were both “there”, walking the path towards the “likeness of”).   We have already mentioned that the 7th , never-setting “day” is the “Age” of the Saints, during which they were already living the “in-the-Holy-Spirit” life, being transformed “from glory to glory”  (2 Cor. 3:18). As also mentioned, the 7th never-setting “day” of God’s and the Saints’ êáôÜðáõóç is not a Linear continuation of the six Creative “days”, inasmuch as it also “crosses over” or “intertwines” with - the 6th Creative “day”.


·    the 7th “day” is the state of spiritual rest (êáôÜðáõóç) - both for the souls of Saints who have departed from this world, as well as the for the souls of the Saints who are still living among us on earth;

·    the 7th “day” also embraces “Liturgical Time”: during every Divine Liturgy that takes place in our material world of the 6th Linear “day”, it is simultaneously mirrored in the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç, and is perceived by both God and His Saints. This is evident in our Hymnology, when saying for example, “Christ is born today...”, or “today He is nailed upon the Cross...” which is not meant literally as today, but is rather a statement that transcends Linear Time.

·    Should the soul of any Saint still living in this world fall from the state of God’s êáôÜðáõóç through sinning, they too return spiritually, back to the state of the 6th Creative “day”, exactly as Adam and Eve had fallen through their disobedience, from the 7th “day” (“according to the likeness”) , back to the state of “according to the image", of the 6th Linear Creative “day”.

However we will notice here something that seems paradoxical, when reading the following in Genesis:

And the heavens and the earth and all of their adornment were completed. And God completed on the sixth day His works that He had made, and He ceased on the seventh day from all His works that He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, for in it, He had ceased from all His works, which God had begun to make.”  (Genesis 2:1-3)

It says here that God completed all of His Creative works at the end of the 6th Creative “day”.  If we agree that Eve was created during the 7th “day” (where Adam had been placed after receiving the breath of the Holy Spirit and rendered "according to the likeness")  and that God had completed ALL His works during the 6th "day", how do we explain God's fashioning Eve during the 7th "day"?  Wasn't she also a creation like the others?


Â. How is Eve linked to the 6th and the 7th “days”?

Pursuant to the preceding analysis, we are now in a position to perceive what the answer will be to the last question pertaining to Eve.

Given that the 6th and the 7th “days” run parallel to each other, with the Linear 6th pertaining to material Creation and the 7th pertaining to the spiritual progress of saints (whether they are still living in the material, 6th “day” or as souls of the deceased in the 7th whose souls are spiritually progressing towards the “likeness”), we have the following sequence of events:

The fashioning of Eve pertains to her BIOLOGICAL creation; as such, she too was created during the 6th “day” – as was Adam - as a physical human being, “according to the image”.  This detail immediately clarifies the answer to “how did God fashion her bodily from Adam’s side... in the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç

As already elaborated, the 7th “day” pertains to the SPIRITUAL state of people’s souls; Eve was fashioned bodily by God during the 6th “day”, just like Adam before her, but when God breathed the Holy Spirit into Adam, his spiritual self was placed in the state of the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç, from where he could have progressed towards the “likeness”.  Eve was taken from Adam’s side physically during the 6th; but, as Adam had been placed SPIRITUALLY in God’s parallel 7th “day” before being given Eve as his helper, she was “automatically” made present (spiritually) in the 7th “day”, to be with Adam.

This is how Eve partook of the 6th AND the 7th “days” together with Adam (before their Fall): in the 6th “day” as a material creation, “according to the image”, and in the 7th “day” as a spiritual creation, “according to the likeness”.

While the first anthropological narrative in the first chapter of Genesis pertains to God’s MATERIAL CREATION, the second anthropological narrative in the second chapter of Genesis focuses SPECIFICALLY on the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç: NOT on the material fashioning of the first-fashioned humans.

This of course in no way marrs the fact that Eve was “fashioned in Paradise” within the 7th “day”, given that from the commencement of her life, she too had the Holy Spirit as a creation “according to the likeness”, having been “extracted” from the side of Adam, who was already in the state of the “likeness”.   She had merely not experienced the conditions of the 6th Creative “day” from the beginning of her life - like Adam and all of fallen mankind thereafter...

When Adam and Eve “fell” (through their sinful disobedience) from God’s êáôÜðáõóç, they had spiritually fallen from the 7th “day”, back to the 6th Creative “day” of deterioration;  this was the reason God made it clear to them that Eve would thereafter give birth to her children with pains (like an ordinary, physical woman), while Adam, after falling from the loftier state of êáôÜðáõóç that he had forfeited, would thereafter earn his “bread” with the sweat of his brow, in a deteriorating world (along with all of deteriorating, fallen mankind of the 6th “day”).

God had blessed the humans of the 6th Creative “day”, however, He had a purpose when fashioning Eve, which included Eve as part of that “day”. In His omniscient foresight, God knew that she would fall and would also become a part of that deteriorating “day”; He could foresee that both Adam and Eve would descend to the carnal state from the spiritual state that they had been placed in.

Eve was created in an in-between state in Eden: between corruptible and incorruptible, with a physical body belonging to God’s six Creative “days”, but spiritually a “co-denizen” among the saints of the 7th “day”, from the very first moment of her life. It was only after her sinful disobedience to God’s instruction that she ended up fallen - into the 6th material “day” – but now in soul also.

The sainted one who is “according to the likeness” is not ONLY “according to the likeness”, but ALSO “according to the image”. This is why – despite their fall - Adam and Eve were also included in that blessed 7th “day” state - for the sake of all the humans in the 6th “day”; it is why their physical bodies are included in God’s general Creation of the 6th “day”, while their spirit is simultaneously the “spirit of adopted sons of God” and belonging to the 7th “day” of the saints.

Genesis gives us all of the above seminally, mentioning only that Eve was created in the Paradise of Eden, without clarifying analytically whatever pertained to the formation of her body and her spirit within God’s êáôÜðáõóç.  These details are left out, for those who thirst to penetrate deeper into God’s Creation – for those who do not bypass details and apparent contradictions – but for those who want to delve into the Scriptures and look for the minutest detail.  Even for those who want to research the grandeurs of God, God has provided them with all they need for answers that will satisfy their hunger for truth, depending on their desire to be taught.

All the above categorically evidence and explain the parallels as well as the intertwining between the 6th and the 7th “days”. 

 5. How Adam as humanity’s Hypostatic Principal is linked to the 6th Creative “day”

This matter of Adam as humanity’s hypostatic principal has been expounded in another article. We aim to further expand on this matter now, the main question being:  Was Adam absent as the hypostatic principal from the 6th Creative “day”?

 Á. No such thing as a “bare” essence

As highlighted in the past, according to Orthodoxy, “essence that is bare of hypostasis does not exist”.  Thus, when we speak of “God” we are not speaking of a bare essence, but the hypostasis of the Father, Who is the “hypostatic principal” of godhood.  In the same way, when we speak of “man”, we are not referring to the “essence of mankind”, but to its hypostatic principal: the hypostasis of Adam.

God does not “interact” with masses, but with persons. This is because a relationship and love can only be developed between persons.  This is also why, when speaking of “man”, the Holy Bible firstly and mainly refers to Adam, as representative of the human race, and it is through him that God sees all the other humans when referring to our entirety.

The Holy Bible says the following about Adam:

“She (Wisdom) safeguarded the first-fashioned - the only created - father of the world, and delivered him from his own transgression"  (Wisdom of Solomon 10:1)

It makes clear here that Adam is the one who – as the first-fashioned one – is the only father of the world; in other words, the sole hypostatic principal of mankind.

Saint John of Damascus also says the following regarding Adam:

“It was also imperative that not only the first principal of our nature (Adam) is to partake of the superior (God), but also every person who desires to be born through a second birth and be nurtured with strange and suitable sustenance for his rebirth, and thus reaching the measure of perfection.”  (Saint John the Damascene, “Precise Edition of the Orthodox Faith”, ch.86: "On the holy and immaculate Mysteries of the Lord").

In other words:

The Saint refers to Adam’s hypostasis as the “principal” of human nature, just as the “principal” of Godhood is the Father!  Adam was our Hypostatic Principal, as the representative of mankind up until the time of Christ, Who (as the “second Adam” according to the Holy bible) was then our Hypostatic Principal and the model based on which we were fashioned, but also as the Representative in the place of Adam, who had fallen from Grace!

 Â. Was Adam absent from the 6th Creative “day”?

As pointed out in other articles, Adam was the first one who was "hand-made" - fashioned by God - not only biologically, but spiritually as well, by having received the Holy Spirit and rendered a Spiritual person “according to the likeness”, and not only “according to the image”.

Adam and Eve had both received the Holy Spirit with the “breath of God” and had become “living souls” – which they had forfeited with their sin of disobedience and had died (spiritually) “on the “day” that they ate...” (Genesis 2:17) the forbidden fruit.  This is what expelled them from the state of “the likeness” (=their active relationship with God and the course towards deification-theosis), back to the simpler state of “the image” (=back to the potential to strive towards the “likeness”).

Thus, the question is posed: In Genesis 1:26-28 - where God is referring to the humans fashioned “according to the image” – was He not including Adam (because Adam was also “according to the likeness” and not only “according to the image”)?  Well, since God does not interact with masses but with persons, He cannot be referring to any “bare essence”.   From the very beginning of his existence, Adam had been given the Holy Spirit “within him”, through the breath of God, which is why his existence was not confined to the humans of the 6th “day”, since he was also a human of the 7th “day” .

Given that God’s plan was to create man “according to the image" AND "according to the likeness”, the hypostatic principal of humankind can only be one who has both these characteristics, as a complete person, and not one who is ONLY “according to the image”!

Consequently, as a creation that was made “according to the image” AND “according to the likeness” – that is, the first human who had entered the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç – Adam was the hypostatic principal of mankind. He belonged simultaneously in the 6th Creative “day” biologically, as a person “according to the image”, but also in the 7th “day”, as a person “according to the likeness”, thus simultaneously representative of both these states.

A reminder of what was said earlier, that the connection between the 6th and the 7th “days” is NOT a successive one, but a PARALLEL one, so that whenever any person who is created “in the image” activates the Holy Spirit within him and embarks on the course for “completion” towards the “likeness”, the 6th “day” merely intersects with the 7th.  The human who is “according to the image” is created within the 6th “day”, within what we are familiar with, i.e. “Time”; the human Adam who is “according to the likeness” is co-created within the Paradisiacal “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç, which runs parallel to the 6th “day”, along Linear-terrestrial “Time” and on the same planet.  Consequently, Adam belonged to the 6th “day” biologically as a creation “according to the image” – as do other humans who have not received the Holy Spirit – but he was also simultaneously in the 7th “day”, in the state of “the likeness”. 

This is why the Holy Bible says the following regarding Adam: “And God planted a garden in Eden in the East and placed there the human that He had fashioned” (Genesis 2:8). Therefore, since the Holy Bible says that Adam “was placed” in the “garden” of Eden (“Paradise”), the bible itself acknowledges both states in Adam: “according to the image” outside the “garden of Paradise”, and simultaneously “according to the likeness”, inside the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç.

The same applies to Eve:  biologically, she was a creation of the 6th “day”, but spiritually, she was also a creation of the 7th ! 

However, AFTER HIS FALL (having forfeited the “likeness of” while in the 7th), Adam found himself in the 6th Creative “day”; as such, we now have the Hypostatic principal (Adam) as a person, but only in his FALLEN state, so that by being fallen, he also became the representative of that human state.

By forfeiting the eternal state of Paradise and the Saints, Adam fell into the deteriorative, Linear Time that we are familiar with.  Thus, during the 6th Creative “day” when God had pronounced “let Us make man”, this also included Adam – the post-Fall Adam – who would eventually lose the “likeness” and be left with the “image” – except that it would thereafter be a “soiled” one...

Consequently, this means we again do not have “bare essence” during the 6th “day”, given that we have the FALLEN Adam as a person in that state.

God is Time-less, beyond created Time; even before Adam was fashioned in material form by Him, it doesn’t mean that Adam was nonexistent. According to the Holy Bible, the Church is named, “before the beginning of the world” (Ephesians 1:4), and God “calls those who are not yet existent as existent” (Romans 4:17), simply because they existed in His pre-eternal will.  If that were not possible because material Adam had not yet been fashioned, then we must also reject the teaching of the Holy Bible, that man was fashioned “according to the image of God” and “in the image of the man Christ”, given that the man Christ had not yet come in the flesh...

According to Saint Basil the Great, these are “states” and not strictly temporal periods.  In the last segment of his second Homily on the Hexaemeron, he says: 

If Scripture speaks to us of many ages, saying everywhere, "age of age, and ages of ages," we do not see them enumerated as first, second, and third. It follows that we are hereby shown not so much limits, ends and succession of ages, but as distinctions between various states and modes of action. "The day of the Lord," Scripture says, "is great and very terrible," and elsewhere "Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord: to what end is it for you? The day of the Lord is darkness and not light." A day of darkness for those who are worthy of darkness. No; this day without evening, without succession and without end is not unknown to Scripture, and it is the day that the Psalmist calls the eighth day, because it is outside this time of septads (sevens). Thus, whether you call it day, or whether you call it eternity, you express the same idea. Give this state the name of "day"; there are not several, but only one. If you call it eternity still it is unique and not manifold. Thus, it is in order that you may carry your thoughts forward towards a future life that Scripture marks by the word "one" the day which is the type of eternity, the firstfruits of days, the contemporary of light, the holy Lord's day honoured by the Resurrection of our Lord. And the evening and the morning were one day."

 Saint Basil is therefore saying that both the notion of “ages” and of the Genesis “days” are conventional meanings that reveal “distinctions and differences between states and varying things” and not necessarily temporal successions and limits.  This denotes how Adam is representative of states, rather than periods of time.

It is along this line that Adam was not “absent” from the 6th Creative “day”, and that he is representative of both those who are “according to the image” AND those who are “according to the likeness”, as the Hypostatic Principle of mankind - given that he too partakes of the human essence that we all have in common.

6. What Creative “day” are we in today?

Á. The “convention” pertaining to the two anthropological narrations of Genesis

As we have said, in Genesis we have two different anthropological narrations – each of which is intended to highlight its own particular objective. 

The first narration is located in the first chapter, and the second one in the second chapter of Genesis.  Thus, the first anthropological narration (Genesis, ch.1) has, as its point of reference, the 6th Creative “day” – where humans were created “biologically”, i.e., “according to the image” - while the second anthropological narration (Genesis, ch.2) has, as its point of reference, the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç, i.e., the rendering of humans “according to the likeness”.

In the first chapter, the Creative “days” are the central theme, during which God created the earth, animals, plants and man: in short, MATERIAL Creation. This is why the first chapter only pertains to humans being made “according to the image” and not “according to the likeness” – which was in God’s original plan.  This is also why the chapter ends during the 6th Creative “day” and does not hasten to also describe the 7th “day” of êáôÜðáõóç/Paradise therein.

The second chapter however has a distinct difference: it pertains to the SPIRITUAL progress (=progress in the Holy Spirit) of God’s creation, with Adam as its “crown”.  It does not describe the “external” life, but rather the “inner” life, within the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç/Paradise.  We are informed in there that the God-fashioned, material Adam was then given the “breath” of the Holy Spirit, thus becoming “according to the likeness”.

That God’s material creation is completed in the first chapter is made evident by the words: “…and God saw everything that He had made, and behold, they were very good. And it became evening and it became morning, day six.” (Gen.1:31).  The word “evening” is the key word which clearly denotes the end of a period - in this case, the period of the 6th “day” of material creation, to be followed by the 7th “day” – of spiritual creation, “according to the likeness”.

Thus begins the second chapter, with the words that link it to the precedent first “day”:  “And the sky and the earth and all of their adornment were completed.  And God completed on the sixth day all of His works which He had made, and He ceased on the seventh day from all His works which He had made. And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it; for He had ceased from all His works which He had begun to make.” (Gen.2:1-3).

It is obvious here that for Moses to have inserted the second anthropological narration of the 7th “day”, it was necessary to specify that the creation of the material cosmos had previously been completed, and that during the pursuant “day”, material creation was to be elevated to a superior level – to a spiritual height.  After all, how could there have been a seventh “day”, if the works of the sixth had not been completed?

We must especially note that - upon clearly stating the ending of the 6th (material) period - Moses then focuses and remarks exclusively on the events during the pursuant 7th period – the “era” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç and of the saints.

The fact that Adam and Eve eventually sinned and “fell” from the 7th spiritual state, back to the 6th material-only state, is something that Moses did not touch on – not in the first, nor even in the second chapter of Genesis.  Their “fall” from the spiritual state was still a forthcoming event.  Thus, the 7th “day” was strictly dedicated to spiritual creation, where material creation (“according to the image”) is elevated to a loftier status (“according to the likeness”), where even the animal kingdom is transformed by the Grace of God; predators (beasts that prey on other beasts) were gentle and at peace among themselves (Gen.2:19).

In the state of "Paradise", there is no longer the need for a new Creation; the pre-existing material creations are elevated to something newer and superior.  THAT is the significance of the 7th “day”:  it is not about Creation, but about supra-Creation – the “refining” of pre-existing, 6th “day” material Creation.  And as such, it is the reason Moses was not talking about about a new, biological-material Creation; only its elevation to a higher, blessed state of existence.

Moses then suddenly introduces the third chapter in Genesis, where man chooses to fall away from that blessed state – from the êáôÜðáõóç of God, from Paradise, from the blessed 7th “day”, back to … where?

Of course Adam didn’t land in the 8th “day”, as this day has not yet dawned and is the day of the Era to come, when Creation is to be resurrected "bodily" and rendered incorruptible. Neither did Adam remain in the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç, given that God clearly told him “…with the sweat of your brow you shall hereafter eat your bread”. So much for êáôÜðáõóç – his final rest.  He had rendered himself “condemned” to toil thereafter for his needs - in the 6th !

Fallen from the spiritual state (“according to the likeness”) by forfeiting the gifts of the Holy Spirit, man again becomes “carnal” – or “sensual” (Jude 19) - thus returning to the state of the 6th (material-carnal) “day”...

But how can this possibly happen?  How can a human re-enter aday that is mentioned as ended?

Let’s take a look at an example of “returning” to a previous “time/day” by comparing it to a familiar phenomenon in our terrestrial, everyday experience - known as the International Date Line.

This “dividing line” was considered a necessity (only as a point of reference, without being a tangible-visible division) on account of Earth’s spherical shape.  So, to likewise perceive the correlation between the 6th and 7th “days” of Genesis, we should keep this example in mind:

When someone resides on the one “side” of that International Date Line and the day there is Friday (say "6th day”), then for the one residing on the other “side” of that “dividing line”, we know it is Saturday (say "7th day"). This basically acknowledges them as two entirely different days – even though they are immediately “next” to each other – just like the proximity of the 6th and the 7th “days”!  What should be stressed here is that an airplane crossing this “line” will –within seconds find itself in another day! 

So, given that this is an acknowledged phenomenon, it should not be difficult to acknowledge the interchange between 6th and 7th “days” and how Adam and Eve were similarly “transferred” from the 7th “day” back to the 6th

Some may ask:  ok, but the International Date Line is merely a conventional line, which serves a specific purpose. How does it relate to the 6th and 7th “days” of Genesis?  

Well, the answer is:  IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME KIND OF THING!  Who said that the reference to the Creative “days” in Genesis is NOT a conventional one?  Is there anyone who believes that the Garden of Eden was in another space-time or another planet or another universe, but not on earth, where the rest of God-made Creation is?  On the earth that we all live on (in material form) – as well as the saints who have earned God’s êáôÜðáõóç and are savouring the benefits of the (spiritual) “Age to Come” while living among us today?

Â. Saint Basils testimony

Towards the end of his 2nd Homily “On the Hexaemeron”, Saint Basil states the following, as to what the Creative “days” symbolize:

"Even though Scripture presents us with ‘age of ages’ and ‘ages of ages’, even so, none is enumerated as first, or second, or third ‘age’; rather, it reveals states and extents and succession of ages… So that even if you say day or age, you will be saying the same in meaning.  Thus, therefore, was the ‘state’ referred to as ‘day’…”. 

In his own words, Saint Basil is telling us that the mention of “ages” and “days” in Genesis are conventional terms that pertain to “states” and “extents” and “successions” – and NOT temporal successions and extents.

So, if it is NOT about literal days and ages, but “states” of things, then it was certainly possible for someone (Adam and Eve) - albeit in the spiritual “state” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç - to “go back” to the carnal-material-corruptible “state” of the 6th “day”, even after having received the Holy Spirit - after the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç had been inaugurated; and the 6th Creative “day” had been “completed” !

When the carnal - “according to the image” - Adam received the “breath” of the Holy Spirit in him, he was the first being to be "elevated" by God to “the likeness”, hence completing God’s original designs for the human species. 


CA topical convention

Let’s take look at another, related convention in the Holy Bible – this time not a “temporal” one, but a “topical” one.

Not only is the difference between sky and earth clearly mentioned therein, but so is their contradistinction.  Most of us usually contradistinguish between earth and sky on the basis of the distance that separates them. For example:

“For, just as the heavens are far away from the earth, thus far  away is My road from your roads, and your thoughts from My thoughts”  (Isaiah 55:9).

So, according to the Holy Bible, there is an incomparable distance between “sky” and “earth”, which is why it contradistinguishes them as being far, far away from each other.  However, note what the Apostle says about the connection between sky and earth:

“ But God, who is rich in mercy, […] even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ […]  and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace… (Ephes.2:4-7)

In other words, Paul is saying - albeit living on earth when writing the Epistle to his fellow-Christians and earthlings – that their God has co-seated them with Christ…in the “heavens” !!!

So, what happened to that “incomparable distance between sky and earth”?  How could Paul have been making such declarations while he was still on earth?  Where was the chasm between sky and earth?

It was simply because Paul – and the saints of the Church - albeit living on earth (in the material world of the 6th Creative “day”), are also simultaneously living in the SPIRITUAL (= “in the Spirit”) state, as co-denizens of the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç (Ephes.2:19).  Hence Eve – who was created bodily out of earthly material – had begun her life spiritually (=in the Spirit), in Paradise, in the state of the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç!

Here we have a topical convention, with the Creative “days”. What is interesting to note here, is that in both Scriptural instances, we are looking at exactly the same event, except in reverse:  Adam’s fall had “returned” him from the spiritual state of the 7th “day”, back to the first, carnal, non-spiritual state of the 6th “day”.   Reversely, after receiving the Holy Spirit, the terrestrial Apostle Paul “rose” to that very state from which Adam had fallen: to the 7th spiritual “day” – from earth, up to heaven!

The state, therefore, of one’s course towards the “likeness” is regarded as the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç, whereas the state of fleshy or “sensual” people – of those “not having Spirit” (Jude 19) - is regarded as the post-fall, 6th Creative “day”.  We must again stress that these are STATES, which are conventionally referred to, either as “earth” and “6th day” or “heaven/sky” and “7th day”.

When Christ later introduced the Holy Spirit to mankind once again – through Holy Baptism – man was once again enabled to enter the never-setting Light of the 7th “day”: 

“giving thanks to the Father who has enabled us to be partakers of the portion of the saints in the light.  He has delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colos.1:12-13).

From the Pentecost and thereafter, each and every Christian who is illuminated or God-sighting – whether still living on earth or deceased – becomes a partaker of the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç: 

Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ”  “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so that they may rest from their labours…”  (Revel.14:13).

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, so that we may also be glorified together” (Rom.8:14-17).

Thus, whether we say “earth” and “sky/heaven”, or “6th” and “7th” day, these are conventional terms here, which signify various states.  They signify the difference between the saints who are “in the Spirit” and “according to the likeness”, and the “sensual” humans created “according to the image”, who are “without the Spirit” (Jude 19).  Every change from one state to the other is conventionally referred to with spatial or temporal symbolisms.

D. Indications that we are in the 6th Creative “day” 

All of us have been created by God, even though originating through biological parents:

“The Spirit of God is what made me, and the breath of the Almighty is what teaches me. […] You are composed of clay just as I am; both of us are formed out of the same.” (Job 33:4-6)

If God had literally ceased making material creations during the 6th “day” BEFORE we were born, then, either God had not created us, or, we would not be creations. Therefore, since we ARE God’s creations, and God ceases creating at the end of the 6th Creative “day”, we are obviously still in that 6th “day” and God is still creating.  It is only in the Age to come that new people will no longer be born.

The Lord Jesus Christ Himself had said: “…My Father even until now is working, and I too am working…”  (John 5:17).   Was Christ lying when He uttered those words, and had God indeed ceased working, if the 6th “day” had actually ended?

So, if the Lord was telling the truth, then we are still within the  Creative “days” and more specifically, in the 6th and final Creative “day”:  on the “eve” of the Age to Come.

Given that man was created during the 6th Creative “day” and not earlier, and, since the 7th “day” is the state of the saints, then it stands to reason that the majority of mankind today (with the exception of saints) is in the 6th Creative “day”.  A reminder again, that although saints may be living alongside us biologically in the 6th “day”, they are simultaneously in the state of the 7th “day” of God’s êáôÜðáõóç , by being “in the Spirit” according to Scripture.

Yet another reminder, that, if the characteristic of the 6th Creative “day” is ONLY of those who are “according to the image”, while “according to the likeness” exists as the state of ONLY those who are in the 7th “day”, then those who have NOT (yet) become “according to the likeness” cannot possibly be in the 7th “day” – only the 6th – since the 8th and pursuant, last “day” is destined for the Resurrection of bodies and their eternal incorruptibility, and is the future and final phase of God's plan.

Furthermore, since God’s fashioning all material creations belongs to the 6th “day” and was declared “very good” but not “perfected”, and, since we do not see any perfection around us, it is not possible for us to be outside that 6th Creative “day”, among all the other, not-yet-“perfected” creations.

5. Saint Epiphanios informs us that we are in the 6th “day”

Beyond all the Scriptural and logical evidence presented here, regarding our continuing presence in the 6th Creative “day”, we also have Saint Epiphanios’ testimony on this subject.  Observe what Jesus Christ had said to Adam – through the mouth of Saint Epiphanios:

“Look at My feet that are pierced and nailed upon the wood, for the sake of your feet which had wrongly hastened to the wood of disobedience, on the sixth day when you made that decision – and when I was planning your restoration and  the opening of Paradise…”

[By our Father among saints, Epiphanios, Bishop of Cyprus, Essay on the burial of the Divine Body of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and on Joseph of Arimathaea, and the Lord’s descent into Hades, along with the salvific event that paradoxically took place.  (PG 43-461)]

According to Saint Epiphanios, it was during the state of the 6th, not the 7th “day” that Adam had decided to disobey God’s instruction and forfeit the state of the 7th "day's" (spiritual) state - and it was also during the 6th "day" that Christ worked on the restoration of man, with His incarnation, His teachings and miracles, His personal, living example and supreme sacrifice for the sake of His creations - thanks to which, He re-opened Paradise and re-inaugurated the 7th "day" of  God's êáôÜðáõóç for the sainted ones.

So, if the 6th “day” had ended before Adam was created, how could his disobedience have taken place on the 6th “day”?  Saint Epiphanios asks. Also, how was the Lord working for the restoration of Adam, if the 6th “day” had finished?


 6. Saint Irenaeus of Lyon also informs us that we are still in the 6th “day”.

In his work describing the faith of a Gnostic group, Saint Irenaeus – who lived around the end of the 2nd century A.D., wrote the following:

"And for this reason did Moses declare that man was formed on the sixth day; and then, again, according to arrangement, it was on the sixth day, which is the Preparation (=aka "Friday", eve of Sabbath/'Saturday"), that the Last Man appeared, for the regeneration of the first, Of this arrangement, both the beginning and the end were formed at that sixth hour, at which He was nailed to the tree."

(Saint Irenaeus, Book 1:14, 6)

Even though it is the credo of an agnostic group, and the Saint debunks all the beliefs of the Gnostics, when it came to this specific excerpt, not only did he NOT debunk it, he expounded it even more, as his own belief, in his 5th Book, as follows:

"Now in this same day that they did eat, in that also did they die. But according to the cycle and progress of the days, after which one is termed first, another second, and another third, if anybody seeks diligently to learn upon what day out of the seven it was that Adam died, he will find it by examining the dispensation of the Lord. For by summing up in Himself the whole human race from the beginning to the end, He has also summed up its death. From this it is clear that the Lord suffered death, in obedience to His Father, upon that day on which Adam died while he disobeyed God. Now he died on the same day in which he did eat. For God said, "In that day on which ye shall eat of it, ye shall die by death." The Lord, therefore, recapitulating in Himself this day, underwent His sufferings upon the day preceding the Sabbath, that is, the sixth day of the creation, on which day man was created; thus granting him a second creation by means of His passion, which is that [creation] out of death. And there are some, again, who relegate the death of Adam to the thousandth year; for since "a day of the Lord is as a thousand years," he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them, thus bearing out the sentence of his sin. Whether, therefore, with respect to disobedience, which is death; whether [we consider] that, on account of that, they were delivered over to death, and made debtors to it; whether with respect to [the fact that on] one and the same day on which they ate they also died (for it is one day of the creation); whether [we regard this point], that, with respect to this cycle of days, they died on the day in which they did also eat, that is, the day] of the preparation, which is termed "the pure supper," that is, the sixth day of the feast, which the Lord also exhibited when He suffered on that day; or whether [we reflect] that he (Adam) did not overstep the thousand years, but died within their limit,-it follows that, in regard to all these significations, God is indeed true. For they died who tasted of the tree; and the serpent is proved a liar and a murderer, as the Lord said of him: "For he is a murderer from the beginning, and the truth is not in him."

(Saint Irenaeus, Book 5:23,2)

It is abundantly clear, therefore, that - according to Saint Irenaeus - Adam was fashioned and fell during the 6th "day", while by the Crucifixional sacrifice of Jesus Christ he was also reborn during the 6th "day".


Selected Notes

Christ has risen, brethren, opening once again for the righteous the gates of the Seventh, Never-setting day of the Saints - the state Adam had forfeited through his disobedience, and condemned himself to remain in the sixth day, of deterioration, sweat and thorns.

Let us strive to enter the  7th day - the Lord's day of ÊáôÜðáõóç - for, "...from the days of John the Baptist, the Reign of God is forcibly accessed, and forcers grab it."  (Matth.11:12).  Our faith is not of future promises without realization ; it is an ALREADY EXISTENT prospect of the eternal, never-setting Liturgical Time, which the Illuminated ones and the Theumens (God-sighters) already partake of, even during the present Age!

Reigning there, in  the 7th "day", together with the Lord are the three groups that the Evangelist John disclosed in his Book of Revelations (20:4):  the  Living Saints, the ones who slept in the Lord, and the holy Martyrs. They are the ones that he referred to with the words:  "...who from now on are resting together with the Lord, and their works follow them" (Rev.14:13). They are the ones who according to Paul "êáôÜðáõóç now awaits them":

"There remains therefore a êáôÜðáõóç for the people of God.  For he who has entered His (God's) êáôÜðáõóç has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.  Let us therefore be diligent to enter that êáôÜðáõóç , lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience."  (Hebr. 4:9-11).

" is already high time to rise from sleep; for our salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night has moved on, and the day has approached; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us don the armor of light.  Let us walk decently, as during the day: not in revelry and drunkenness, not in beds and lust, not in quarelling  and envy. But don the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not cater to the flesh by fulfilling its desires."  (Rom. 13:11-14).



Related article:  Parallels in Genesis and the Apocalypse

Translation :  A.N.


Article published in English on: 05-01-2021-12-2020.

Last update: 05-01-2021.