By now, the harsh reality of the 2020 presidential results has smacked many people square in the face and is beginning to sink in. It was always positioned as a pivotal election that would have grave consequences for the near and distant future. Half of the people are jubilant that they have won something – what is unclear. For the other half, they are furious about election theft. Has America turned into a banana republic? Still, others believe that this will be the end of America as we know it, foretelling an apocalyptic future.
In times like this, one has to ground ourselves in a bigger picture of our world’s beliefs and faith on a millennial timeline basis. For some, mostly those of little or no faith, believe the world is merely bouncing along through history. For others who have faith in a Christian God believe the events of these elections could be the start of something bigger and the coming of an end of an age. The ending of the age is referring to an actual apocalyptic future and the second coming of Christ. A rather shocking belief and, to some, a very irrational thought. In any case, for this Sunday Thoughts article, we ask, just when will this apocalyptic future might occur? We always want to know when – assuming if it is as real as people think. Hence, this author will attempt to speculate the date of the second coming of Christ. For non-Christians or this author’s naysayers, you can read on with amusement.
To be clear, the Biblical text clearly states in Mark 13:32, “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” – referring to the second coming of Christ. However, we are told that we can know the season or a time period era. As stated in Mathew 24:32-34, “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.” Note that the time period is less than a generation. So no one for sure can know – however, we can always try to speculate.
Mathew 24, often called the Olivet prophecy, talks about the end of the age – the apocalypse. The prophecy is speaking of human events and not just a spiritual state of mind. Specifically, verse 22 says, “In fact, unless those days are shortened, all mankind will perish. But they will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen people.” In other words, if God does not save man from himself, we all would perish as a human race – but it does seem conditional. So the end time is when it is technologically possible to destroy the entire world – we are in this possible era today.
Can we at least know the day of the year? Every autumn in ancient Israel, they observed a holiday called Rosh Hashanah (meaning “head of the year,” because it begins the civil year). This is a Biblical festival known in Scripture as Yom Teruah, the Day of Trumpets, because the Israelites were to blow trumpets on that day (Leviticus 23:24). Most Christians find little meaning to this day. In ancient Israel, the shofar was blown for various reasons, including a call to war. One can go into detail in Revelation 8-11 where it talks of the seven trumpets, broken down further into woes, horseman, scrolls, two witnesses, etc … – a topic for you to research further. Suffice to say it is on the seventh trumpet, Christ returns (Revelation 11:15) and begins his reign with his followers. Indeed, the resurrection of the saints to reign at Christ’s return will come at the sounding of the last (seventh) trumpet (1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). The Feast of Trumpets has been speculated by many as the day of the year of Christ’s return. But this is hardly helpful if we don’t know the year.
So what would be key in possibly narrowing down our speculation to a specific year?
The key involves understanding the chronology of the Feasts of the Lord (note that these are God’s feast days and are NOT Jewish or any man’s as stated in Leviticus 23) during the ministry of Christ, as well as the old testament teachings related to the Sabbatical and Jubilee Years cycles (Leviticus 25). Then applying these understandings against other prophesies noted in the Biblical text, we can begin to piece together a timeline that could give us an indication of the year of Christ second coming.
The Sabbatical Year is explained in Leviticus 25:3–5 and states, “For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. But in the seventh year, the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.”
The Jubilee Year is explained in Leviticus 25:8-13 and states, “Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement, sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields. In this Year of Jubilee, everyone is to return to their own property.”
There is a question as to whether the Jubilee Year is the first year of a new 7-year Sabbatical Year cycle (resulting in 49 year cycles) or whether the Jubilee Year occurs and then the first year of the next 7 year Sabbatical Year cycle begins (resulting in 50 year cycles). It is important to understand that there are two sides to this controversy. Each side has its supporters, and Scripture does not offer much in the way of clarification. The majority view is the Jubilee is every fifty years. This author believes that the seven-year cycle is stated separately. It continues without interruption every year, as does the weekly Sabbath. Besides, imagine two years without growing food. Therefore, while the Jubilee is the 50th year of the cycle, it would occur every 49 years.
Josephus and other first-century writers mentioned Sabbatical Years in relation to events they had written about. But it should be noted that Josephus often cited Sabbatical Year observance but rarely mentioned the Jubilee Year. Nevertheless, these cycles may, in fact, existed in Biblical times and may have significance today. According to William Whiston’s footnotes to Josephus’s book entitled “Antiquities of the Jews,” 24 BC was a Sabbatical year, and 23 BC was a Jubilee Year. If 23 BC was a Jubilee Year, then its next Jubilee would be 27 AD. That was the year that Christ presumed to began His ministry. Josephus is not a Biblical character. However, as a recognized historian – it strengthens the thesis stated in the Biblical text.
So why are these definitions of the Sabbatical Year and the Jubilee Year relevant? These time cycles give us a window to mile markers relative in the Biblica text to our own known calendar timeline.
The first-mile marker we want to identify is the famous Daniel 70 weeks prophecy as stated in Daniel 9:24, “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.” The idea here was to prophesy the first coming of Christ. Starting at the time of Daniel and the decree to rebuild Jerusalem in about 457 BC (not precise, but decree by Artaxerxes 457 BC for the first time granted autonomy of Judah), we count the first 69 weeks (or 483 years using the day for a year principle), added to the final 70th week for a total of 490 days. The final week would be cut off mid-way, indicating the crucifixion of Christ, as indicated in Daniel 9:27. There are other prophecies in Daniel, identifying other events of interest – but another topic of further significance for you to study. The following is a chart that explains this better, but do note that dates implied on this chart are based upon our assumptions.
This first-mile marker on the timeline is important because we need to find the Jubilee Year during Christ’s lifetime. In addition, we must then obviously understand when this Jubilee Year is on own our own modern calendar to then project dates of the second coming of Christ. Why is this Jubilee Year during Christ’s lifetime relevant?
Many people believe that the Jubilee Year has significance throughout the Biblical timeline, hence God’s importance. It does seem when reading the Biblical text that God is obsessed with numbers, especially when it comes to Biblical law and prophecies. Here are specific references that connect the Jubilee Year with the return of Christ:
- Leviticus 25:9: “Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.” Proclaimed on the first covenant given to man through Moses when God spoke to him on Mount Sinai. The feast day of the “Feast of Trumpets” is the new testament belief of Christ’s return.
- Luke 4:17-20: “To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” The term “acceptable year of the Lord” is also the term used in the prophecy of the end of the age.
- Isa 61:1-4: “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” Another set of verses prophesying the return of Christ and the end of the age. Again we see the term “acceptable year of the Lord.”
Now back to the timeline of Christ, to find the Jubilee Year during Christ’s lifetime:
- There is speculation and debate by many that suggest that Christ was actually born between 4 BC to 1 AD. But perhaps this point is mute because what is more important to understand when the Jublie occurred during Christ’s life relative to our Gregorian Calendar that we use today – as it is at this point, we can begin to calculate into our modern age.
- Luke 3:23: “Now Jesus himself was about thirty years old when he began his ministry.” Note the word “about,” so this is not precise, but close (27 AD).
- Luke 4:18: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Some believe this was a New Testament (not observed by the Jews) of the Jubilee for the time Christ began his ministry (27 AD).
- Then, based upon the Daniel 70 weeks prophecy, a half of a Sabbatical Year is 3 and 1/2 years, was the crucifixion of Christ (31 AD).
The date of the crucifixion of Christ is backed up by others and was most likely between AD 30 and 33, though it is controversial – see here and here. Hence, we shall assume that Christ began His ministry in 27 AD and was the Jubilee Year. With this assumption, the Jubilee Years (using the 49-year cycle) that are the most recent past, and the next are the following years: 1987 and 2036, and 2085. One would have to wonder if the world could last until 2085. Here is a reference where the author has come up with a similar calculation. This is yet another reference to an author that is close. These references are to aid you if you decide to go down the rabbit hole – it is complicated and vast. You won’t be able to figure it out in a single sitting.
So which Jubilee Year is the right one? The Biblical millennia period of 1000 years is a well-advertised concept. See reference in Revelation 20:7, “And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison …” The idea is that the Sabbatical millennia of God’s period of rule is after the 6000 years of man’s rule – be aware that today’s world is not God’s rather man’s until Christ’s return. After the millennia is yet another story for another timeline. Working backward from the year 2036, this places the creation date of about 3,963 BC. This date is well within the range of many experts that have postulated the creation date. Note here that this is not to say that the earth is only 6000 years old. This author subscribes to the idea of an old earth creation concept that maybe support by science, Intelligent Design, and evolutionary aspects – click here to get you started on this topic. But this level of wide granularity of the creation date will make computing an exact Jubilee Year cycle date for Christ’s return dubious.
In summary, the following are key assumptions in speculating the date of Christ’s second coming:
- On the day of the Feast of Trumpets.
- On the Jubilee Year (49-year) cycle.
- The 27 AD is on the Jubilee Year cycle timeline on our current calendar.
- The next coming Jubilee Years are 2036 and 2085.
- With current devastating war technology (WMD) and human nature, man’s existence on the earth may be limited to less than 100 years.
Hence, the speculated date of Christ’s second coming: September 21, 2036.
To give this date meaning for us today, one must not just sit back and wait for “the” date. The “Great Tribulation” period occurs in the Sabbatical Year (7-years) just prior to Christ return, noting that it really heats up mid-week (3 and 1/2 years) as described in detail in the Biblical book of Revelations. See Daniel 9:27: And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Obviously, events in this time period are yet another rabbit hole deep study.
And, just think of the momentous events that would happen even prior to this Great Tribulation, as stated in Matthew 24:6: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that ye be not troubled, for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” However, do remember the last time the world went into a traumatic global event, as stated in Matthew 24:37-38, “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark.” This means by the end of 2029, which is only about 8 years away, could get real treachours as the setup to these events may occur.
Consider this just an executive summary. We just barely scratched the surface on this topic – it is just a Sunday Thought, done with an extreme set of assumptions and speculation to start you to consider. Many other topics are related to this, which yet are even more studies. This includes the three-temple periods and the Dome of the Rock, further numerical Biblical prophetic events, and an understanding and overall plan of God on a timeline basis. All these notions are hotly debated. As stated before, no man, not even Christ, knows the date of His return. For non-Christians or even other Christian persuasions, this may all be gobbledygook – but fun, wasn’t it? Hence, this article is stated in all humility. Anyone that thinks they know the correct answer – beware.
After these 2020 presidential elections, many in our country feel in despair – depending on whether you feel you won or lost. Take a deep breath and hold on to your sanity and take a longer-term view of life. In the end, what you do in your personal life will be far more important.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the Right Wire Report’s views. Also, note that any references to external links do not imply the specific organization’s endorsement, rather strengthening the assertions that indicate that it is not just this author who has had the same ideas.