by Hermanus W. Smeenk
You're probably thinking: "Another cult coming up with the claim to know when Christ is returning. Alright, what's the date this time?" You would be wrong to think this. I do not have, nor am I aware of anyone that has a firm date for His return. The only One that knows the exact date and time is the Father Himself.
If you hear of someone making the claim that they have it all figured out, I'd advise you to put as much distance between yourself and that individual because you are about to be taken in.
Christ told His disciples to look for certain signs that would precede His coming in Matthew 24 and Luke 21.
The Apostles all believed in His imminent return, but it wasn't until much later, after Christ had given the revelation from the Father to John, that those who practiced The Way as taught by Jesus Christ realized that He would not return in their lifetime.
However, in each of the following centuries, the conditions in the world have always appeared to fulfill Christ's prophecy so that people continued to look for Christ's return during their lifetimes.
And, its no different today. Many are still looking for Christ to return during their lifetime, but many more have become like that evil servant in Matthew 24:48-49, who said to himself that his lord was delaying his coming and began to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with the drunkards.
As Jesus Christ said in Matthew 24:42 "Watch therefore, for you know not in what hour your lord comes."
But, is there no way at all that we may know when Christ will return?
Not the exact date but we can approximate the time of His return.
How can we determine that? Believe it or not, God reveals these things to those that love Him and keep all of His commandments, not just the ten but every law, commandment, statute, and precept written in the Bible for our instruction.
As someone said, "Christ never made any suggestions--everything He taught us and told us were commands."
The Bible, Torah, or Scriptures, however you may think of the sacred writings, is like a map and a tour guide book such as is published by AAA that helps us to find places to eat, sleep and rest up from our travels and finally get us to our destination.
So also does the Bible provide us with spiritual food, teach us to walk in God's Way, and help us to rest and be refreshed from our weekly labors.
It also shows us many attractions along the way from which we can learn what can hurt us, what is good for us,how to treat others,and how to love God.
Thus it serves the same function as a map to help us reach our final destination.
By carefully studying the Bible, putting related scriptures together, and, in some cases, using history to verify prophesied events, we can find the guide posts in the Bible that lead us to our destination.
One of these guide posts is found in Psalm 90:4 in which Moses prays to the Eternal and says "For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."
Also, Peter writes in II Peter 3:8 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Eternal as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
These two verses have been understood to symbolize a relationship between the seven day week and a seven thousand year period that God has set aside for creating man in His likeness.
Just as the week consists of six days of work for man and one day of rest, so these six days symbolize six thousand years of Satan's rule over mankind in this world and one thousand years of God's rule (commonly referred to as the Millenium) as symbolized by the seventh day or day of rest (Sabbath).
Bible prophecy bears this out, as well. In Daniel 11, the longest running single prophecy in the Bible, God has set forth a series of events over this 6000 year time period that, taken together with Christ's prophecy in Matthew 24, Luke 21, and Revelation, clearly reveal what has already taken place since Daniel wrote the prophecy, and what will yet take place in the near future.
Almost all the signs about which Christ warned His disciples, and us through their writings, have taken place, and are even now taking place.
Furthermore, all the blessings and many of the curses that Moses recorded for us in Deuteronomy 28 have come upon Israel as a whole.
Taken together, all these sign posts clearly indicate that we are living in the end times or latter days as the Bible describes them.
So, if this doctrine of the six days or six thousand years is true, where in that time period are we now?
Below is a table that lists the patriarchs from Adam to Abraham (with Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Manasseh added, although they are not considered in the calculations).
There is also a biblical reference for each data entry so you can verify the years in your own Bible.
Note that Abraham was born in the year 2009.
This is the base year from which we will begin to add several periods from that year to this year, 2004.
(On a different
note, notice that Shem was the last individual to reach the age of 600.
He outlived many of his progeny and even Isaac may have known Shem since
he died when Isaac was 50 years old. Interesting only, but not really applicable
to our calculations.)
|Yehowah||N/A||N/A||Adam||N/A||N/A||Genesis 1:27, 2:7|
|Adam||0||130||Seth||930||930||Genesis 5:2 & 5|
|Seth||130||105||Enosh||912||1042||Genesis 5:3 & 8|
|Enosh||235||90||Cainan||905||1140||Genesis 5:6 & 11|
|Cainan||325||70||Mahalaleel||910||1235||Genesis 5:9 & 14|
|Mahalaleel||395||65||Jared||895||1290||Genesis 5:12 & 17|
|Jared||460||162||Enoch||962||1422||Genesis 5:15 & 20|
|Enoch||622||65||Methuselah||365||987||Genesis 5:18 & 24|
|Methuselah||687||187||Lamech||969||1656||Genesis 5:21 & 27|
|Lamech||874||182||Noah||777||1651||Genesis 5:28 & 31|
|Noah||1056||503||Shem||950||2006||Genesis 5:28, 29 & Ch 9:29|
|Terah||1879||130||Abraham||205||2084||Genesis 11:32 & Ch 12:4|
|Abraham||2009||100||Isaac||175||2184||Genesis 11:26 & Ch 25:7|
|Isaac||2109||60||Jacob||180||2289||Genesis 21:5 & Ch 35:28|
|Jacob||2169||91||Joseph||147||2316||Genesis 25:26 & Ch 47:28|
|Joseph||2260||31||Manasseh||110||2370||Genesis 41:46, 45:11, 47:9 & 50:22|
As I mentioned earlier, we'll use the year of Abraham's birth, 2009, as our starting point to determine the estimated total number of years since the Creation.
In Genesis 12:4 we find that Abram (later changed to Abraham) was 75 years old when he departed from Haran in Syria where he, his father, brother, and their wives and families had moved from Ur of the Chaldees.
When Abram's father, Terah, died, the Eternal (the one who later became Jesus Christ) instructed Abram to leave Haran for a land that the Eternal would show him.
Abram did as he was commanded and dwelt as a sojourner in the land of Canaan, and in Egypt during a famine, for ten years when the Eternal appeared to Abram (Genesis 15) and entered into a covenant with Abram to bless him with an heir from his own body.
The Bible is silent on this, but one can imagine what Abram did after the Eternal had made the covenant with him.
We can imagine Abram being very excited about the things the Eternal told him.
We can be sure that he immediately went to his wife Sarai and told her everything that had happened and how that the Eternal had promised him an heir out of his own body.
Sarai, being 75 years old at that time, would have been glad for Abram, but would have reminded him that that she was too old to give Abram an heir.
After having discussed it between the two of them, Sarai most likely would have convinced Abram that the Eternal must have meant that the heir would come from a younger woman.
As a result and according to the custom of the day, Sarai gave her maid, Hagar, to Abram to give him an heir in that manner.
All these things happened 10 years (Genesis 16:3) after Abram came to the land of Canaan.
At this point, then, Abram was 85 years old and we have now come to the year 2094.
Now we need to backtrack just a little bit to Genesis 15:13-14 and 16.
Here we find that the Eternal spoke to Abram and told him: "...Know of a surety that your seed shall be a stranger in the land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them 400 years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance....But in the fourth generation they shall come out again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full."
This is a very important piece of information in the Bible because this links the year 2094 with the year that the Israelites came out of Egypt. Many people have accepted that the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years. I was one of them--until my eyes were opened by a very knowledgeable and astute student of the Bible.
The lynchpin to understanding the time element is found in Genesis 15:13 which I quoted in the previous paragraph.
The Eternal told Abram that "...your seed shall be a stranger in the land that is not theirs..."
This statement applied to Abram as well as Isaac and Jacob, for they were all strangers and sojourners in the land of Canaan.
Each had his share of afflictions with the Canaanites and Amorites. The next part of verses 13 and 14 "...and shall serve them...also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge..." refers to the Israelites serving as the slaves of the Egyptians.
Thus, the period of time that the Eternal is talking about commenced on the date that He gave this prophecy to Abram.
And that was, most likely, just shortly before that scene I postulated earlier between Abram and Sarai.
So the Eternal made the covenant with Abram 10 years after Abram came to the land of Canaan.
Therefore, Abram was 85 years old and the new base year to which we now must add the 430 years is the year 2094.
How do we know that the time element that the Eternal is talking about started at the time of the covenant with Abram?
For that we need to put a few scriptures together to come up with the answer.
Notice in Genesis 15:16 that the Eternal tells Abram that his descendants would come out of servitude in the fourth generation.
In Exodus 6:16-25 we find the genealogy from Levi to Phinehas, Aaron's grandson.
Amram, the grandson of Levi was the father of Miriam, Aaron, and Moses.
Their mother was Amram's aunt and daughter of Levi, Jochebed.
Levi lived 137 years. Kohath, Amram's father, was born in the land of Canaan and lived 133 years, while Amram, born in Egypt, lived 137 years.
Aaron and Moses were 83 and 80 years old, respectively, when they came before Pharaoh (Exodus 7:7).
If the children of Israel had stayed in Egypt for 430 years, Jochebed could not have been their mother, since at the most, she would have been between 40 and 50 years old when she first had Miriam and, afterwards, Aaron and Moses.
If she was 50 years old when she had Moses, she would have been 130 years old when the children of Israel came out of Egypt.
Clearly, there is not enough time here, even if she was born when Levi was already well past 100, to come up with 430 years for the Israelites to spend in Egypt.[¹]
Therefore, the only other logical point from which to count the time would be from the day of the covenant in 2094.
Concerning the prophecy of Abram's descendants coming out of Egypt in the fourth generation, we find that four generations were indeed born in Egypt.
These were the grandsons of Levi and sons of Kohath--Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel, of the first generation, then the sons of Amram, Moses and Aaron, of the second generation, the sons of Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, of the third generation, and finally Eleazar's son, Phineas, the fourth generation (Exodus 6:18-25).
Two or more witnesses establish the matter. Let's go back to Genesis 6:12.
The sons of Judah that went with him to Egypt: Shelah, Pharez, and Zarah.
Also, Pharez had two sons that came to Egypt with them, Hezron and Hamul.
In I Chronicles 2:9 we find the sons of Hezron. One of them is Chelubai or also known as Caleb.
Caleb was born in Egypt and begot Hur who begot Uri, who begot Bezaleel. Thus, we can see that there were also four generations born in Egypt to Judah.
Bezaleel was the one to whom the Eternal gave the spirit of wisdom, understanding and knowledge in all manner of workmanship (Exodus 31:2-3).
There is one other point that needs to be covered and that is the seemingly inconsistent time periods in Genesis 15:13 where the Eternal tells Abram that his descendants will be sojourners for 400 years, but in Exodus 12:40 we find that when they came out of Egypt the total time period was 430 years.
To explain this, we need to go to Acts 7:23-25 and 29-30 where Stephen recounts the events relating to Moses: "And when he [Moses] was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him and avenged him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: For he supposed his brethren would have understood that God by his hand would deliver them; but they understood not....Then fled Moses at this saying, and he was a stranger in the land of Midian, where he begat two sons. And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sinai an Angel of the Eternal in a flame of fire in a bush."
According to Stephen, forty years before the Israelites left Egypt, or three-hundred-ninety years after the covenant with Abram, Moses tried to inform the Israelites that God had chosen him to lead them out of Egypt.
Instead, the Israelites refused to recognize him as their savior.
As a result, the Eternal made them stay in Egypt an additional 30 years past the original 400 years because of their hardness of heart, before he sent Moses to bring them out of Egypt. (See also Galatians 3:16 - 18 in which Paul confirms this when he writes to the Galatians "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed, who is Christ. And this I say, that the law, which was four hundred and thirty years later, cannot annul the covenant that was confirmed before by God in Christ, that it should make the promise of no effect. For if the inheritance is of the law, it is no longer of promise; but God gave it to Abraham by promise).
Thus, the difference in years is not because the Eternal was wrong in His prophecy, but because of the attitude of the Israelites He made them stay longer than He initially intended for them to be in Egypt.
At this point we are ready to add 430 years to the 2094 and find that the Israelites left Egypt in 2524 "at the end of 430 years, even the selfsame day it came to pass that all the hosts of the Eternal went out from the land of Egypt (Exodus 12:41)."
(The selfsame day here refers to the day of the covenant between the Eternal and Abram).
Now we can go to I Kings 6:1 where we find the length of time from the exodus to the day that Solomon began to build the temple. "And it came to pass 480 years after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Eternal."
Now we can add 480 years to 2524 and find that Solomon began to build the temple 3004 years after creation.
The next step is to determine the length of time from the year Solomon began to build the temple to the present year.
From history we know that David ascended the throne of Israel in the year 1000 BC.
He reigned for 40 years (I Kings 2:11), and Solomon, who succeeded him, (I Kings 2:12) ascended the throne in 961 BC and started the building of the Temple in the fourth year of his reign, or in 958 BC. (The kings of Judah counted the period of their reign starting the first day through the last day of the year as the first year. Therefore, 961 is the first year, 960 the second year, 959 the third year, and 958 as the fourth year).
So, to come to the total number of years from creation to the present year, we add 958 years plus 1 year for the year zero to the 3004 years and come up with 3963.
2019 plus 3963 equals 5982.
However, because there are 24 periods in our calculations in which we do not know the specific month from which to start the count, we should take the average of 24 or 12 years to add to the 5982 and come up with a total estimate of 5994.
We can see, then, that mankind has now existed approximately 5982 years, plus or minus 12 years, since God first created Adam.
If the six days of the week symbolize 6000 years of Satan's rule then according to these numbers we are very near to the end of that time.
From these calculations you can estimate for yourself how much longer it will be before Christ returns.
Let me also caution you to continue to pray and expect the return of Christ, no matter what information our calculations may give us.
Remember what Christ told His apostles in Matthew 24:36 and 50 "But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only....The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of..."
But, when He comes, His coming shall be "...as the lightning comes out of the east and shines even to the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be (Matthew 24:27)."
Remember this last verse so you won't be deceived in accepting a false christ coming upon the world scene who claims to be Christ (Matthew 24:26)."
Be wary and pray always for God's Kingdom to be established in Zion.
read the next chapter titled "What
Do You Mean - The Lord Is One?"
* I am indebted to M. Joseph for teaching me much of the content of this bible study
was 39 years old when Jacob, Joseph's brothers and their families came
to Egypt. This was approximately in the year 2299. If the Israelites had
spent 430 years in Egypt, they would have left in 2729. Adding the 480
years between the exodus and the building of the Temple, plus 957 years
to the end of the year zero, plus 2003 years through the current year would
bring us to 6167. No one would subscribe to that since it is commonly believed
that Jesus Christ was born approximately 4000 years after the Creation.
Adding those years to 2003 would bring the total years close to 6000, give
or take a few. Therefore, the Israelites could not possibly have spent
430 years in Egypt and there is then greater support for starting the count
of those years at the time that the Eternal made the covenant with Abram
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