Six Thousand Years and Beyond . . .

 

        Are We Nearing the

        END of this World?

 

 

                                 In Biblical times it was commonly believed among

                                 the Jews, and early Christians, that God was working

                                 out a 6,000 year plan on this earth.  Since Darwin's

                                 theory of evolution stole the scene, this concept has

                                 become widely rejected and ridiculed.  Nevertheless,

                                 doesn't it seem strange that at this precise juncture

                                 in human history, after 6,000 years since the time of

                                 Adam and Eve, mankind stands poised with the

                                 ability to blow up and blast out of existence all life

                                 on planet Earth?  Is there perhaps something to the

                                 "6000-Year" theory after all?

 

                                                     William F. Dankenbring

 

 

         God Himself is the author and creator of "time."  We read in the book of  Genesis, "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years" (Gen.1:24).

 

         But wait a minute!  Days, weeks, seasons, and years are NOT "human" measurements of time.  GOD HIMSELF defines a "day" (Genesis 1).  "He appointed the moon for seasons:  the sun knoweth his going down" (Psalm 104:19).

 

         God told Adam, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Gen.2:17).  Adam died at the ripe old age of 930 years (Gen.5:5).  The "day" in which he died was certainly not the "24 hour" day.  But the Word of God also speaks of the "millennial" day, or the "thousand year day."

 

         In Psalm 90:4, we read:  "For a thousand years in thy sight

are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."

 

                                             The Apostle Peter's Commentary

 

         The apostle Peter seems to have this Scripture in mind when he writes, in the New Testament, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that ONE DAY is with the Lord as a THOUSAND YEARS, and a thousand years as ONE DAY.  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night:  in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up" (II Peter 3:8-10).  

 

            When the Messiah returns, He will inaugurate a millennial kingdom lasting one thousand years.  As John wrote, when Messiah comes, the Adversary -- Satan the devil -- will be bound for one thousand years (Rev.20:1-3).  During that same period, John says, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and REIGNED WITH CHRIST A THOUSAND YEARS. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished" (Rev.20:4-5).

 

         This "millennial rest" of 1,000 years is termed a "Sabbath rest" by Paul in the book of Hebrews.  Paul speaks of this mystery in the 4th chapter of Hebrews, saying: 

 

                                 "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into

                                            his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.  . . For he spake

                                            in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest

                                            the seventh day from all his works. . . . There remains therefor a REST

                                            to the people of God" (Heb.4:1-9).

 

            The Moffatt translation is even plainer.  It says: "There is a sabbath-Rest, then, reserved for the people of God" (Heb.4:9).  Moffat goes on, "(for once a man enters His rest, he rests from work just as God did).  Let us be eager then to enter that Rest, lest anyone fall into that same sort of disobedience" (Heb.4:10).

 

         Clearly, then, the millennial reign of the Messiah is pictured in Scripture as lasting one thousand years, and is called a "Sabbath Rest." 

 

         Why a "Sabbath" rest? 

 

         Let's understand this!  The Sabbath day, according to the Word of God, is the seventh day of the week.  Almighty God commanded:  "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work.  But THE SEVENTH DAY IS THE SABBATH of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work . . ." (Exo.20:8-10).

 

         And in Deuteronomy, we read:  "Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee.  Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:  But the seventh day is the SABBATH of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work . . ." (Deut.5:12-13-4).

 

         The pattern of the seven day week, concluded by a Sabbath day of rest from work, labor, and toil, is a picture of the Plan of God.  If the Sabbath of rest from "man's works," lasts 1000 years (Rev.20:4), then it stands to reason that the previous SIX "days" would equal SIX THOUSAND years in fulfillment!

 

         Thus when Peter said a "day" with the Lord is as a thousand years, he was not just joking, or being rhetorical!  Literally a "day" in God's plan is a thousand years, and therefore a "week" in  God's plan is seven thousand years!

 

                                                      The Origin of the Week               

 

         Is there any prophetic significance to the "week," which God established at Creation?

 

         Let's face the fact squarely.  The "day" has an astronomical basis -- the day is one diurnal rotation of the earth upon its axis, every twenty four hours.  The "month" also has an astronomical basis -- it is based on one revolution of the moon around the earth.  Likewise, the "year" also has a basis in astronomy -- the earth proceeds along its orbit, the plane of the ecliptic, and completes one revolution around the sun in what we define as the "year." 

 

         But what about the WEEK?  Is there an astronomical basis or derivation for the week?

 

         The answer is a resounding NO!  There is no astronomical event to explain the creation of the seven day "week."  It is a purely NON-astronomical creation!  Yet it is a fundamental part of the beliefs of almost every ancient culture, and is the major time interval given in the Scriptures after the day itself!  This fact itself is incredible!  The WEEK, then, is of DIVINE revelation! 

 

         Therefore, when the apostle Peter tells us that a "day" is with God as a thousand years, we should sit up and take notice!  This implies that seven days of the week would equal SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS.  And when we learn from prophecy that the Millennial day of "rest" or Millennial SABBATH is "one thousand years," literally (Rev.20:4), then this tells us plainly that the preceding six days equal six thousand years! 

 

         Also, David tells us, "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night" (Psalm 90:4).  Thus the concept of a "day" equaling a "thousand years" is well founded in Biblical eschatology and testimony.

                                             Biblical "Hints" of a 6000 Year Plan

 

         Aside from this evidence, we have internal Biblical evidence which suggests strongly that God is indeed working out a 6000 year plan on this earth. 

 

         The patriarch Isaac was a "type" of Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  Even as he was about to be "offered" as a sacrifice by his father Abraham, when God stopped him, and supplied a ram instead (Gen.22:1-14), so God the Father did offer up His only Son as our sacrificial redeemer (John 3:16).  Interestingly, Isaac was 40 years old when he was "married" (Gen.25:20), but his first children were born when he was 60 (Gen.25:26). His marriage at age 40 relates to Jesus Christ's first coming to earth after 4000 years; and his having children relates to the second coming of Christ after 6000 years.  Jesus paid the "price" for His bride at His first coming; and at His second coming He will redeem all Israel and bring the whole nation of Israel to "birth," as in a single day (Isa.66:8-16).

 

         Solomon was, of course, a "type" of the Messianic King who is coming.  His bountiful reign was a "type" of the coming Kingdom of God, where plenty will abound.  As a "shadow" of the Messiah, it is noteworthy that six steps led up to Solomon's throne, representing six thousand years (II Chron.9:17-19).

 

         Also, in the first two chapters of the Gospel of John, if we count carefully, we see another picture of the "countdown" to the Kingdom of God and the Marriage of the Lamb (Rev.19:6-9).  John begins his account [day one], saying, "And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem . .." (John 1:19).  "The next day [day two] John seeth Jesus coming unto him . . ." (v.29).  "Again the next day [day three] after John stood . . ." (v.35).  "The day following [day four] Jesus would go forth . . ." (v.43).  Now notice:  "And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee" (John 2:1).  Four days splus three days equals seven days.  Could this be a "type" of the "six days" of work, followed by a day of "celebration" -- that is, 6,000 years, followed by the Millennial Sabbath of joy and feasting?

 

         Another interesting parallel is the life of Noah.  Noah was 600 years of age when God destroyed the world with the Deluge (Gen.7:6).  Even so, when the world is 6000 years of age, God will once again intervene to destroy the wicked and usher in the Kingdom of God.

 

         In II Kings we read the story of Joash, who was the rightful king of Israel, but who was hidden from view for six years, while an impostor reigned (Queen Athaliah).  Athaliah is a picture of Satan the devil, the great usurper. Notice the story and its Messianic implications:

 

                                 "And he was with her [his nurse] hid in the house of the Lord [a type of heaven]

                                            SIX YEARS.  And Athaliah did reign over the land.  And the SEVENTH YEAR

                                            Jehoiadah sent and fetched the rulers over hundreds, with the captains and the

                                            guard, and brought them unto him in the house of the Lord, and made a covenant

                                            with them . . . and shewed them the king's son. . . . And he brought forth the

                                            king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony, and they

                                            made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands, and said, God

                                            save the king" (II Kings 11:3-12).

            Notice!  After six years, which represent 6000 years, the king was brought forth to sit on his rightful throne, and the usurper was put to death (v.16).  Even so,  Yesua the Messiah will come to sit on His rightful throne, after 6000 years of rule by Satan the devil.  Satan, too, will be banished, exiled, and destroyed (Rev.10:1-2, 10; Heb.2:14; Ezek.28:16-19).

 

         The story of Absalom also has Messianic insights.  Absalom, whose name means 'Father of Peace," was a rebel and adversary against David, a type of Christ (even though Absalom was a son, or procreation, of David!).  The story begins with a temptor encouraging Amnon, another of David's sons, to seduce and rape his sister Tamar.  This seduction reminds us of the temptation and fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Amnon, then, is a type of Adam.  Amon sins, setting in motion a series of events that concludes seven years later. 

 

         Absalom, Tamar's brother, kills Amnon two years later (II Sam.13:23-29), and flees for his life to another kingdom, and remains there three years (vs.37-38).  David longs for the restoration of his son, but Absalom feigns repentance, and when he is allowed to return to Jerusalem, dwelling there two years, he plots to take over the kingdom at the beginning of the seventh year (II Sam.14:25-28).  Absalom is a type of the Antichrist, or Anti-Messiah, who will fight Christ at His return to retake His Kingdom.  The story ends with Absalom being killed and David, after fleeing for his life, being restored as King.  Again, notice that the story is a seven year story -- a type of the 7,000 year plan of God, which ends with

Christ overcoming Satan and the rulers of this world.

 

         A final clue to the 6,000 years of man, followed by the Messianic Kingdom, is found in the New Testament, the story of the Transfiguration of Yeshua.  Notice the account:

 

                                 "And AFTER SIX DAYS Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother,

                                            and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured

                                            before them:  and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white

                                            as the light" (Matt.17:1-2).

 

            Here again, six days equals 6,000 years, in typology.  At the end of 6,000 years, Jesus Christ will appear IN HIS GLORY (Matt.24:30; 25:31; Rev.1:13-16; 11:15-17; 19:11-16).  Thus the fact that "six days" passed before Christ revealed to His chief disciples His glory, in an awesome vision (Matt.17:9), since a "thousand years is as a day" (II Pet.3:8-9), pictures clearly the 6,000 years that will pass before the Son of man comes in His glory!

 

         But sadly, most church denominations of the mainstream, as well as the Roman Catholic Church, the Worldwide Church of God, and many others, today, deny and reject the prophetic significance and symbolism of the "day" equalling a thousand years, and the "week" being a pattern of God's plan.  The vast majority of professing "Christendom" have allegorized away the plain, literal, simple teachings of the Word of God, hiding spiritual truth behind a mountain of allegorical and metaphorical garbage -- in a "classic snow-job."  And millions have been deceived by this powerful deception!

 

 

         Notice, for a moment, what the historic Worldwide Church of God used to teach, on this crucial, fundamental prophetic subject!  Notice the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course, lesson one, copyrighted in 1954 and 1965.  Beginning on page 11, we read:

 

                                                                    "God's Plan"

 

                                            "The pattern for GOD's little-understood PLAN is given in the first two

                                            chapters of Genesis.  It is the WEEK of seven days.  As God originally

                                            set time in motion, He gave man a week of six work days followed by a

                                            day of rest.  In Hebrews 4:4, 11, the seventh day is also a type of the peace-

                                            ful rest -- a 1000-year rest -- that will follow this present age of human labor

                                            and futile struggle to master the earth.

 

                                            "Observe that after Christ's intervention the time of peaceful rest under His

                                            rule is specifically termed 'a thousand years' (Rev.20:4).  Since the last 'day'

                                            of God's 7000-year plan is 1000 years, then the preceding SIX DAYS WHICH

                                            HE HAS ALLOTTED FOR MANKIND to WORK out his own ideas would

                                            amount to 6000 years.  And this is exactly what world events today are prov-

                                            ing.  Look about you!  This world is crashing to its  DOOM!

 

                                            "Notice your Bible.  Many Bibles are complete enough to contain chronological

                                            charts showing that human life began on this earth around 4000 years B.C. --

                                            four millenniums before Christ.  And almost another 2000 years have elapsed

                                            since -- making nearly 6000 years of human civilization to date.  In other words

                                            the TREND OF WORLD EVENTS is now PROVING we are VERY NEAR the

                                            time the scriptures reveal CHRIST will RETURN -- when the probability of

                                            world destruction would become a reality.  Six thousand years of human history

                                            are almost complete.  Here, then, is proof -- DOUBLE PROOF -- that CHRIST

                                            IS COMING in our generation!" (emphasis theirs throughout).

 

         Notice this!  A decade or two or three ago, this knowledge was literally SHOUTED forth in the pages of the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course!  Today, it has been squelched, squashed, smothered, and BURIED! 

 

         The old Correspondence Course continues:

 

                                            "The apostles did not fully understand this PLAN OF GOD when Christ was

                                            yet on earth.  They thought the kingdom would be established in their day --

                                            after only about 4000 years of God's plan had been completed.  But before

                                            they died, the APOSTLES KNEW GOD'S PLAN.  Peter said:  'The Lord is

                                            not slack concerning the promise [of Christ's coming] . . . but is longsuffering'

                                            (II Peter 3:9).  God is patient.  He has refrained from intervening in world

                                            affairs for nearly 6000 years.  Why?

 

                                            "Because He will not intervene until humanity is forced to cry out to God in

                                            utter fear of COSMOCIDE!

 

                                            "Notice that this day of Christ's intervention and rule is compared to 'a thousand

                                            years' (Rev.20:4).  Peter also says the same thing -- that a day in God's plan is as

                                            'a thousand years,' and 'a thousand years' of human civilization is as one day in

                                            His planned week of seven 1000-year days (II Peter 3:8).

 

                                            "Peter knew that CHRIST WOULD COME AFTER SIX ONE-THOUSAND

                                            YEARS of human struggle and slavery -- that God would send Jesus Christ to

                                            set up His government in the seventh one-thousand years, which will usher in

                                            a time of rest and peace.

 

                                            "How AWE-INSPIRING that in our day-- at the very time the world is threatened

                                            with extinction of life -- 6000 years have ALMOST ELAPSED!  How MARVEL-

                                            OUS that Jesus Himself said that when we see this taking place HE WOULD

                                            COME AGAIN!" (Lesson 1, ACBCC, p.11-12, emphasis theirs).

 

            How amazing -- how clear -- how remarkable!

 

                                                      "A Thief in the Night"

 

         This concept of the 7000-year plan of God was a cornerstone of the teachings of Herbert W. Armstrong -- and one of the major prophetic TRUTHS which he proclaimed boldly, showing that we are living in the very TIME OF THE END, the END of this age, very close to the SECOND COMING of Jesus Christ, the Messiah!

 

         The very thought that Jesus is coming soon sends chills down my spine; it causes my mind to ripple with emotion, and our hearts to palpitate with anticipation and longing.  But now the end-time successors of Herbert W. Armstrong have unceremoniously destroyed this pillar of faith and foundation of truth.  They have dug it up, uprooted it, pulled it out of the ground, and thrown it on a heap of cord wood, to be burned and incinerated.

 

         But what does this truth have to do with us, of this present generation?

 

         Stop and consider:  IF the week is indeed a "pattern" of God's plan in dealing with mankind, and the "Sabbath" represents the Millennial Kingdom of the Messiah, then since careful Biblical chronology shows that the Creation of mankind was about 4004 B.C., then man's "6,000 years" has come to a smashing CLOSE! 

 

         TIME IS NOW JUST ABOUT UP!

 

                                               "Closed Up and Sealed UNTIL"

 

         After the prophet Daniel had finished writing the words of his prophetic book, God told him, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end:  many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Daniel 12:4).   Notice!  These prophecies were to be SEALED up and SHUT UP -- not forever, that we could not understand them -- but UNTIL A SPECIFIC TIME -- until the "TIME OF THE END"!

 

         Daniel was further told, "Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and SEALED TILL THE TIME OF THE END.  Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and NONE  OF THE WICKED SHALL UNDERSTAND; but the wise shall understand" (Daniel 12:9-10).

 

         Did you get that fact?  The knowledge of the End-Time prophecies will be closed up and sealed TILL the End Time.  Therefore, at the Time of the End, God will reveal these HIDDEN PROPHECIES, which have been closed up for 2,500 years!  God has now begun to do that very thing!  But the WICKED will never understand these things -- ONLY THE WISE and holy and obedient ones will grasp the truth of these prophecies!  The wicked, as God calls them, will continue in their willful denial of the truth.  They will disown prophesy; they will deny prophecy; they will QUENCH the Spirit of prophecy!  They will even FORBID to prophesy!

 

         As Paul wrote:  "Quench not the Spirit.  DESPISE NOT PROPHESYINGS.  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good" (I Thess.5:19-21).

 

         Unfortunately, for thousands of God's people, many End-Time religious leaders, including the leadership of the Worldwide Church of God, have begun to TURN THEIR BACKS on Bible prophecy, and ridicule it, snort at it, sneer and jeer at it, and hoot and scorn it derisively. 

 

         Will YOU make the same mistake?  Will you follow them in their pernicious, erroneous ways?  As Peter wrote of these false teachers, "And MANY shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.  And through covetousness shall they with FEIGNED WORDS make merchandise of you:  whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not" (II Pet.2;2-3).

 

                                                      Jesus' Step-by-Step Prophecy

 

         Jesus' disciples came to Him and asked Him privately, "When shall these things be?  And what shall be the SIGN of thy coming, and of the END of the world [Greek aion, "age"]?" (Matt.24:3).  Jesus warned them first of all to beware of false

prophets and false religious teachers who proclaim heresy (Matt.24:4-5).  He then prophesied wars and rumors of wars, but said these did not signal the end (verse 6).  He even predicted wars, earthquakes, famines and plagues, but said these were but "the beginning of sorrows" (verses 7-8).

 

         Jesus then warned that persecution of true Christians would greatly increase (verses 9-20), and many false prophets and deceivers would rise up (verse 11).  This has begun to happen around the world -- with Christians being persecuted vehemently in Turkey, Egypt, India, China, Moslem countries, and even in "secular" societies like the United States, and the western world!

 

         Jesus then announced, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold" (verse 12).  This has begun to happen!  The world has seen a sharp increase in violence, lawlessness, and general "immorality" and iniquity.  Riots, looting, arson, murder, pornography, violence in movies, profanity, and the breakdown of the home and family -- all are contributing to a world gone berserk and gangs and rioters running amok!  Civil disorder and ethnic strife and hatred are rapidly increasing. 

 

         In the midst of this, Jesus said, "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in ALL THE WORLD for a WITNESS unto all nations; and THEN the END will come" (verse 14).  That also has begun to happen!  In the pages of Prophecy Flash, and via short-wave radio beamed around the world, and via the Internet, this final message of the coming of God's KINGDOM is being hurled around the world though the airwaves, phone lines, and the postal service!

 

         Jesus said that the next thing to look for is "the abomination of desolation" standing in the Temple of God in Jerusalem (Matt.24:15) -- and when we see that happening, those in Jerusalem should FLEE to the hills and mountains for safety (verses 16-20).  That final invasion of Israel and Jerusalem in the Middle East will lead to a captivity and time of travail lasting 42 months (compare Matt.24:21-22 with Rev.13:4-6, 11:1-2, 12:6, 14). 

 

         Notice -- Jesus gave us a specific TIME TABLE of many sequential prophecies, each to be fulfilled in their proper order, BEFORE and LEADING UP TO HIS SECOND COMING!  After this Great Tribulation, Jesus foretold great signs in the heavens, followed by the "Day of the Lord" -- the time He will return in awesome glory and power (Matt.24:29-31).  This will occur at the seventh or "last" trumpet (I Cor.15:50-51; I Thess.4:14-17; Rev.11:15).

 

         Isn't this plain?

                                     

         Despite all the current evidence around the world which points to the soon return of the Messiah, including the threat of nuclear annihilation, biological and chemical weapons which could also destroy all human life, worldwide pollution, increasing world disasters, and such like, scoffers refuse to believe.  Said the Plain Truth in the July 1992 issue:

 

                                 "Thus, if there is any prophetic significance to the year 2000 it is

                                            unknown.  Rather than following UNCERTAIN SPECULATIONS

                                            ABOUT PROPHECY, we should concern ourselves with following

                                            the sure instructions of Jesus Christ" (emphasis mine).

 

            But wait a minute!  Is it fair to refer to all statements and facts about prophecy of the End time, as "uncertain prophetic speculations"?  Are the words of Jesus Christ, found in Matthew, Mark, Luke and Revelation all "uncertain prophetic speculations"?

 

         These are NOT mere "speculations"! The apostle Peter wrote in these terms:

 

                                 "We have also a MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY; whereunto

                                            ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a LIGHT that shineth in a dark

                                            place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

 

                                            "Knowing this first, that NO prophecy of the scripture is of any private

                                            interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man,

                                            but holy men of God spake  as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Pet.

                                            1:19-21).

 

         Prophecy is a vital and integral part of the Word of God!  It is not something which should be treated lightly, cavalierly, with disrespect and dishonor.  It is vital to our SALVATION!  If it were not so important, then God would not have inspired 2/3rds of His Word to deal with prophecy, and 90% of that to apply to the LAST DAYS, the generation alive just before the return of the Messiah in awesome power and glory to deliver His people and to save the earth from utter annihilation, destruction, and cosmocide!

 

         Paul wrote, even commanded, "Never disdain prophetic revelations" (I Thess.5:20, Moffatt), or, "Do not scoff at those who prophesy" (TLB).  Have you become a scoffer in these last days?

 

                                       7000 Year Plan Understood by Early Church! 

         The knowledge of God's 7000-year Plan is not a new revelation from God to His Church during this End-Time age.  In fact, this prophetic knowledge was known and understood by the early Church of God, during the first century and thereafter!

 

         Says the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge:

 

                                 "The early fathers most commonly looked for the second advent at the

                                            end of 6000 years of the world's history" (vol.VII, p.376).

 

            The Epistle of Barnabas, written about 200 A.D., actually expounded on the concept of the 7000-year plan of God, stating that the "end" would occur at the point of 6000 years from the creation of mankind.  States this ancient document of the early church period:

 

                                 "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 signifieth 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" (Epistles of Barnabus, chap.

                                            15, The Apostolic Fathers, pp.151-152).

 

         Early Christians expected the age of mankind's self rule to come to an end, to be replaced by the Messianic Kingdom, after a period of 6,000 years.  The "Epistle of Barnabus" bears eloquent testimony to this historical fact.

 

         Irenaeus, who lived from A.D. 120 to 202, was a disciple of Polycarp, one of God's true servants in Asia Minor, who himself was a disciple of the apostle John.  Polycarp sent Pothus into Celtic Gaul at an early date to establish the region, and he settled in Lyons, when Irenaeus joined him, having been his fellow-pupil under Polycarp.

 

         In his battle against raging heresies which were inundating the church at that time, Irenaeus wrote his Against Heresies.  In book 1, chapter xxviii, 3, we read:

 

                                 "For in as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand

                                            years shall it be concluded.  And for this reason the Scripture says:

                                            'Thus the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their adornment.

                                            And God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth day the works that

                                            He had made; and God rested upon the seventh day from all His works.'

                                            This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy

                                            of what is to come.  For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and

                                            in six days created things were completed:  it is evident, therefore, that

                                            they will come to and END at the sixth thousand year" (Ante-Nicene

                                            Fathers, vol.1, p.557). 

 

         But, even before the time of Christ, the Jews also understood that the Messiah would come after 6000 years of human history!

 

                                            Ancient Jews Understood This Truth! 

 

         States the Encyclopedia Britannica, eleventh edition, concerning the Talmud:

 

                                 "The view most frequently expressed there . . . is that the Messianic

                                            kingdom will last for one thousand (some said two thousand) years.

                                            'In six days God created the world, on the seventh He rested.  But a

                                            day of God is equal to a thousand years (Ps.90:4).  Hence the WORLD

                                            WILL LAST FOR SIX THOUSAND YEARS of toil and labor; then

                                            will come one thousand years of Sabbath rest for the people of God in

                                            the kingdom of the Messiah.'  This idea must have already been very

                                            common in the first century before Christ" ("Millennium," p.459).

 

         Notice that the concept of a thousand year "Sabbath" following six thousands years of human toil and labor was "already very common" in the "first century BEFORE Christ"!

 

         The Jewish Encyclopedia goes even further:

 

                                 "The Perso-Babylonian world-year of twelve millenniums, however, was

                                            transformed in Jewish eschatology into a world-week of seven millenniums

                                            corresponding with the week of Creation.  The verse, 'A thousand years in

                                            thy sight are but as yesterday' (Ps.90:4) having suggested the idea that the

                                            present world of toil is to be followed by a Sabbatical millennium, 'the

                                            world to come.'  Of these the six millenniums were again divided, as in

                                            Parsism, into three periods:  the first 2000 years devoid of the law; the

                                            next 2000 years under the rule of the law; and the last 2000 years preparing

                                            amid struggles and through catastrophes for the rule of the Messiah"

                                            ("Eschatology," The Jewish Encyclopedia, V, p.211).

 

            The Encyclopedia Judaica quotes a source written about 200 A.D. which declares that the world will exist for "6000 years, of which the first 2000 will be a period of desolation, 2000 of Torah, and the last 2000 the messianic era" ("Eschatology," Encyclopedia Judaica, VI).

 

                                        The Jewish New Testament Commentary

 

         A much more complete and interesting explanation of this ancient Jewish belief, which long ante-dated the time of Christ and Peter, is given in the Jewish New Testament Commentary, by Dr. David H. Stern.  In a commentary on II Peter, chapter 3, dealing with the "day" for a "thousand years" equation, Dr. Stern writes that this idea "has deep roots in Judaim, specifically in connection with dating the Messianic Era."  He then quotes the Talmud, in tractate Sanhedrin, as follows:

 

                                 "Rav Kattina said, 'The world will exist for six thousand years, then

                                            for one thousand it will be desolate, as it is said, "The Lord alone will

                                            be exalted in that day"' (Isaiah 2:11).  Abaye said, 'It will be desolate

                                            two thousand, as it is said, "After two days he will revive us; on the

                                            third day he will raise us up, and we will live in his sight"' (Hos.6:2).

 

                                            "It has been taught in accordance with Rav Kattina, 'Just as every seventh

                                            year is a year of sh'mittah [letting the land lie fallow], so it is with the world:

                                            one thousand years out of seven are to be fallow -- as proved by the follow-

                                            ing three texts taken together [in which the key word is "day"]:  'The Lord

                                            alone will be exalted in that day' (Isaiah 2:11); 'A psalm and song for the

                                            day of Shabbat' (Psalm 92:1), meaning the day that is entirely Shabbat;

                                            and, "For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past"

                                            (Psalm 90:4).

 

                                            "The school of Eliyahu teaches:  'THE WORLD EXISTS FOR SIX

                                            THOUSAND YEARS -- two thousand of them tohu ["void"]; two

                                            thousand, Torah; and two thousand, the era of the MESSIAH.  But

                                            because of our numerous iniquities many of these years have been

                                            lost'" (Sanhedrin 97a-97b).

 

         Notice that even the seven year Sabbatical cycle points to the truth of a Six Thousand Year Plan of God.  Each series of "six years" is followed by a seventh year which is a SABBATICAL YEAR -- or year of release, and rest to the land! (Leviticus 25:1-8).

 

         Notice also that that the first 2000 years are characterized, by the school of Elijah the prophet, as years of "tohu" -- that is, waste, emptiness, confusion and chaos -- or "void."  That would be the world prior to Abraham, including the Flood of Noah's time, from 4004 B.C. to 2004 B.C. The next 2,000 years is the time of the "Torah," or "Law" of God -- from the time of Abraham, 2004 B.C. to the birth of Jesus Christ in 4 B.C.! 

 

         The "Messianic Era," then, runs from 4 B.C. to 1997-98 A.D. -- our time, today!

 

         Yet, because of the sins of the people, the prophecy states, the Messianic Era itself would be "delayed."  When Christ came in 4 B.C., and began His ministry in 27 A.D., He -- the Messiah -- was rejected by His people, and scorned, and crucified -- killed!  That was the beginning of the Messianic Era, when Christ came, and offered Salvation to His people.  But since they rejected Him, He returned to heaven where He sits today, waiting for His people to repent of their sins, and cry out for Him -- at which point He will return to save them from utter destruction!

 

         David H. Stern writes concerning this fateful prophecy:

 

                                 "According to Jewish tradition, there were 2,000 years without Torah

                                            -- spiritual tohu -- between the creation of Adam and the time when

                                            Abraham, aged 52, began convincing people to worship the one true God.

                                           

                                            "The second 2,000 years supposedly lasted from then until 172 years

                                            after the destruction of the second Temple, that is, until 244 C.E.  That

                                            was the year 4000 by the Jewish calendar.  But no significant event in

                                            Jewish history took place then.  However, Biblical chronology has a

                                            number of uncertainties, so that not all agree that the Jewish calendar

                                            accurately dates the biblical beginning of creation.  James Ussher, Arch-                                                bishop of Armagh, Ireland, writing in the 17th century, placed the creation

                                            according to Genesis at 4004 B.C.E., exactly 4000 years before Yeshua's

                                            supposed birthdate . . .

 

                                            "Concerning the third 2,000 years, a footnote to this passage in the Soncino

                                            English edition of the Talmud says, 'Messiah will come WITHIN THAT

                                            PERIOD.  He should have come at the beginning of [it]; the DELAY is

                                            due to our SINS.'  It should be obvious that the Messiah, who 'should have

                                            come at the beginning' of the last 2,000 year period is in fact Yeshua, who

                                            did come then.  The delay is not of his coming but of our recognizing him,

                                            and this delay is indeed 'due to our sins.' . . .

 

                                            "Yet as Kefa [Peter] points out, there is a delay in his second coming, and

                                            this is, in a different sense, 'due to our sins':  'The Lord is not slow in keep-

                                            ing his promise . . . on the contrary, he is patient with you; for it is . . . his

                                            purpose that everyone should turn from his sins,' literally, 'that everyone

                                            should come to repentance' . . . ." (Jewish New Testament Commentary,

                                            page 763-764).

 

            Notice that the "Jewish Calendar" says this fall begins the Jewish year 5760 from Creation. This itself creates confusion in terms of chronology.  The creation date set by the Jewish calendar is 235 years later than the carefully reconstructed date discovered by Archbishop James Ussher, of 4004 B.C.  The Jewish calendar puts creation at 3760 B.C.E.  This date is impossible.  How could this have occurred, since the Jews are a very talented, mathematically gifted people?  It has been suggested that the Jewish calendar actually begins with the

time or birth of Enos -- grandson of Adam and Eve -- who was born 235 years after the creation of Adam (Gen.5:3-6).  This fact may indicate or suggest that Adam and his progeny discovered the secrets of the calendar, and began making conclusions concerning astronomical timetables, the orbits of planets, and comets, and the revolution of the earth about the sun, at the time of the birth of Enos -- thus beginning the calendar from that point.

 

 

                                             Another Ancient Source of Evidence  

 

         A friend alerted me to another astonishing passage found in an ancient manuscript called "The Book of the Secrets of Enoch."  This book is found in The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden.  We read of its remarkable discovery and history in its introduction, which goes as follows:

 

                                 "This new fragment of early literature came to light through certain

                                            manuscripts which were recently found in Russia and Serbia, and so

                                            far as is yet known has been preserved only in Slavonic.  Little is known

                                            of its origin except that in its present form it was written somewhere about

                                            the beginning of the Christian era.  Its final editor was a Greek and the

                                            place of its composition Egypt. Its value lies in the unquestioned influence

                                            which it has exerted on the writers of the New Testament. Some of the dark

                                            passages of the latter being all but inexplicable without its aid. . . .

 

                                            "Here is a strange dramatization of eternity -- with views on Creation,

                                            Anthropology, and Ethics.  As the world was made in six days, so its

                                            history would be accomplished in 6,000 years (or 6,000,000 years), and

                                            this would be followed by 1,000 years of rest. . . . At its close would begin

                                            the 8th Eternal Day, when time should be no more" (p. 81).

 

            Now, having read this introduction to this seminal work, which purporsts to come down to us from among the extensive writings of the patriarch Enoch, who was a righteous man and who "walked with God" (Gen.5:22), notice what the author states about the "plan of God":

 

                                 "God shows Enoch the age of this world, its existence seven thousand

                                            years, and the eighth thousand is the end, neither years, nor months,

                                            nor weeks, nor days.

 

                                            "And I appointed the eighth day also, that the eighth day should be the

                                            first-created after my work, and that the first seven revolve in the form

                                            of the seventh thousand, and at the beginning of the eighth thousand

                                            there should be a time of not-counting, endless, with neither years nor

                                            months, nor weeks nor days nor hours" (chapter 33:1, p.93).

 

         But are we now on the threshold of the final "seventh day"?  Have we come to the conclusion of mankind's "six days" of human labour and work?  Are we now approaching the END of this age, and the New Age of the Messiah's Rule?

 

                                             More Prophecies from Daniel on the

                                                        Coming of the Messiah

 

         One of the most powerful proofs that we are indeed living in the End Time,  is the fact that the nation of Israel has been re-established in the Middle East.  Many prophecies of the second coming presuppose the existence of a state of Israel existing at the time of the End (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21).  The Jews did not return to Israel until after the Balfour Declaration in 1917, when General Allenby captured Jerusalem from the Turkish Empire.  The UN voted to establish a state of Israel in the Middle East in fall of 1947.  A state of Israel itself was formed in 1948.  In 1967 the Jews recovered the Old City of Jerusalem along with the Temple Mount, in the "Six Days War."

 

         We know that when ancient Judah was taken captive by Babylon in 604 B.C., "seven times" of punishment were to pass over them (Lev.26).  As a time is a prophetic year of 360 days, seven "times" equals 2520 days.  And as each day is a year being fulfilled (Num.14:34; Ezek.4:4-6), this means 2520 years were to pass, when Judah would be "restored."  Counting 2520 years from 604 B.C., we come to 1917 A.D. -- the very exact year when General Allenby captured Jerusalem and the British opened the gates for the Jews to return to Palestine!

 

         However, one half of 2520 is 1260.  If we count the "time, times and half a time" mentioned in Daniel 12:7, as prophetic years of 360 days each, then we have 1260 days -- one half of 2520 years.  Midway between 604 B.C. and 1917 A.D. is 657-58 A.D.  That was the year the Muslim Empire in the Middle East permitted the Rabbinic colleges to teach the truths of Judaism freely, without restraint, or political pressure from opponents.  From that benchmark date we count 1260 years to

1917.

 

         But then, Daniel is told, there is to be "a thousand two hundred and ninety days" -- that is, an additional 30 days or years (Daniel 12:11).  An additional 30 years, added to 1917, brings us to 1947-48 -- the very year the United Nations voted to create the state of Israel -- and the very time when modern Israel was BORN! 

 

         Daniel continues, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days" (verse 12).  Here is 1335 days, or years being fulfilled -- an additional 45 years.  If we add 45 years to 1947-48, we come to 1992-93!  What occurred then? 

 

         Amazingly enough, in September 1993, fall to fall reckoning, the Oslo Peace process was established and the Israelis and Palestinians signed the Peace Accords, setting the framework for establishing "peace" in the Middle East, supposedly by the year 2000 -- a seven year process!   Could this indeed be one meaning we can derive from this strange prophecy of the 1335 days?

 

                                               When Are the 6000 Years Fulfilled?

 

         With these things in mind, let's backtrack on chronology.  To know when the 6000 years are to end, we must establish when they begin.

 

         Archbishop Ussher, a brilliant Protestant theologian of the seventeenth century, studied the chronology of the Bible and concluded Creation was 4004 B.C.  His calculations, if right, would indicate the 6000 years would be up in the fall of 1997.  To be precise, October 23,1997.  Of course, the world did not end on that date, nor did the Messiah come.  However, the stock market took a dive of 560 points on that day.  Could that have been a warning of things to come?

 

         Archbishop Ussher was a great Biblical historian and theologian.  He was born in Nicholas Street, Dublin, in 1581 A.D., and was one of the first scholars admitted to Trinity College, at the tender young age of 13.  Ussher believed the Bible was literally true, like other scholars of his day, and attempted to work out the precise day and time of Creation, and when we could expect Christ's second coming.  He was an expert in Hebrew, Latin and Greek, and was assisted by one of the largest libraries in all of Western Europe. 

 

         Ussher concluded Creation occurred on noon, October 23rd, 4004 B.C.  His reasoning was simple:  Since history showed Nebuchadnezzar died in 562 B.C., and Biblical chronology showed his death was 3,442 years after Creation, then Creation had to be 4004 B.C.  3442 plus 562 equals 4004.  Simple.

 

         Ussher's scholarship was published in 1650 as The Annals of the World.  Ussher also deduced that the Temple of Solomon was finished on 2004 B.C., 2000 years after Creation, and Christ was born 4 B.C., 4000 years from Creation.

 

         Ussher believed, as many did in his time, that the end of the world or age would occur 6000 years from Creation.  His calculations were widely accepted at the time and were inserted into the margins of many published Bibles of the Authorized King James Version in 1701. 

 

         6000 years from 4004 B.C. brings us to the year 1997.  However, as we can all see, at this time, the world did not end and Christ did not return at that date.  Why not?  Was Ussher wrong?  Or is there more to the story?

 

                                        The Plot Thickens -- The Book of Jubilees

        

         The Jewish book of Jubilees tells us that the 6,000 years of man's rule should not be counted from the date of Creation, but implies that we should count from the date of Adam and Eve's transgression in the garden of Eden -- when they came under the influence of the serpent, Satan the devil.  This was seven years after their original creation!

 

         Although we cannot state with absolute certainly, the indication from Biblical prophecy and Biblical evidence, is that the 6,000 years from Adam and Eve should be counted from the time they sinned, and were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  That's when the countdown began.  The book of Jubilees tells us that this occurred seven years after their original creation in 4004 B.C.  Notice:

 

                     "And during the first week of the first jubilee Adam and his wife had been in the

                            garden of Eden for SEVEN YEARS tilling and guarding it.  And we gave him work

                            and we were teaching him to do everything which was appropriate for tilling.  And

                            he was tilling.  And he was naked, but he neither knew it nor was he ashamed.  And

                            he was guarding the garden from the birds and beasts and cattle and gathering its

                            fruits and eating.  And he used to set aside the rest for himself and his wife.  And what

                            was being guarded he set aside.

 

                            "At the END OF SEVEN YEARS which he completed there, SEVEN YEARS EXACTLY,

                            in the second month on the seventeenth day, the serpent came and drew near to the woman"

                            (Jubilees 3:15-17).

 

            As we know, Eve and Adam both sinned, were enticed into transgression, and banished from the Garden.  This occurred most likely, therefore, seven years after their original creation, in 4004 B.C. -- or in the year 3997 B.C.  The seven years of idyllic paradise should not be counted in the 6,000 years during which mankind has been subject to the "god of this world," Satan the Adversary (II Cor.4:4, Eph.2:2).  Thus we have:

 

                     4004 B.C.                      6000 years                             2003 A.D.

                          -7                            -3997 B.C.                                  +1  

                     3997 B.C.                      2003 A.D.                              2004 A.D.!!!

                                                      

         Some may wonder why we "add" a year in the final column, to reach 2004 A.D.  The answer is simple.  There is no year "zero."  Therefore, when counting from B.C. to A.D., we must "add" an extra year for the years to correspond to reality. 

 

         This suggests that the Messiah could return at the Feast of Trumpets, in the fall of 2004 A.D. -- unless God cuts short the time (Matt.24:22).  But there is even more to the story!

 

                                                   The Year 2000 in Prophecy!

 

         Interestingly, we note from God's Word that He placed the heavenly bodies in the sky for a very special purpose.  We read in Genesis 1, "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for SIGNS, and for seasons, and for days, and years" (Gen.1:14).

 

         A "sign" in Hebrew is owth and means "a signal, as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence."  Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon points out that this word means "a sign," "a token" (Exo.12:13; Josh.2:12), "signs and times" (Gen.1:14), i.e., "signs of times." It is used of a military ensign, a sign of something past, and a sign of something future, a portent, as well as a sign of anything which cannot be seen.

 

         Thus heavenly bodies, and the periodic return of comets, and celestial meteor showers, can be, in Biblical terms, a "heavenly sign"!  Yeshua spoke of such signs occurring berore His return to planet Earth (Matt.24:30-31).  The apostle John also associated them with the coming of "the Day of the Lord" (Rev.6:12-17).  Such signs are also mentioned as occurring before the day of the Lord in the Tanakh -- the Old Testament  Scriptures (Joel 2:30-31; Joel 2:10; Joel 3:14-16).

 

         What is most interesting is that in the year 2000 several "heavenly signs" are going to appear in the heavens.  In the year 2000 we will witness the following conjuctions:

 

                                 May 5, 2000 A.D. -- all five visible planets, Mercury, Venus,

                                 Mars, Jupiter and Saturn --  will be in alignment

                                 May 31, 2000 A.D. -- a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

         The Jewish expectation of a Messiah was connected with a peculiar sidereal conjunction.  According to the well-known Jewish commentator Abarbanel, in his commentary on the book of Daniel, the Rabbi declared that --

 

                     "the conjuction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation Pisces betokened

                            not only the most important events, but referred especially to Israel . . . He

                            further argues that, as that conjunction had taken place three years before

                            the birth of Moses, which heralded the first deliverance of Israel, so it would

                            also precede the birth of the Messiah, and the final deliverance of Israel"

                            (quoted in Edersheim's The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, p.211).

 

            Such a conjunction occurred two years before the birth of Christ.  The conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces only occurs once in 800 years -- but did take place three times in the year 747 A.U.C. (in May, October and December), or two years before Christ's birth.  Says Edersheim, "This conjuction is admitted by all astronomers.  It was not only extraordinary, but presented the most brilliant spectacle in the night sky" (p.212).

 

         Do these amazing conjunctions scheduled for May, 2000, also forecast the SECOND coming of the Messiah to bring about the Reign of God on the earth?

 

                                        Another Hidden Prophecy Points the Way

 

         Another Biblical "SIGN" points to our day as being the "Time of the End," or the "crisis at the close" (Dan.12:9), or "crisis at the end" (Dan.12:4, Moffatt translation).

 

         We read in Deuteronomy 32:7, "Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations . . ."

 

         Jewish rabbis believe that the "days of old" are a reference to the "days of creation."  If so, then there were six days of creation, each day with 24 hours -- or a total of 144 hours.  Let's apply these to the "years of many generations."  Since a "generation" in Scripture is revealed to be 40 years (Num.14:34), all we need do is multiply 144 X 40 which equals 5,760.

 

         What is so significant about 5760?  Just this:  According to the Jewish calendar, the year 5760 begins September 11, 1999 and lasts till September 30, 2000!

 

         What makes this story even more interesting is the fact that Jewish rabbis began counting the verses in the Hebrew text of the Torah -- the first five books of the Bible.  According to their simple count, Deuteronomy 32:7 -- the verse just mentioned -- is the 5,760th verse in the Bible!

 

         Is this mere "coincidence"?

 

         Could this verse be a prophecy for the future -- indicatring that the Jewish year of 5760, which is the Roman year 2000, will be a "year to remember" -- a "year of consequences" -- a "year of the turning point" in prophecy?  Is this a year that sets apart "the end of days," the "time of the end"?

 

         According to a thirteenth century Jewish commentary:

 

                     "The 'days of old' are the six days in which God made the world; and these days

                            know and are acquainted with all the years of the world, and all generations up

                            to this generation to which we ourselves belong" (R. Abba).

 

            Writes J. R. Church in Prophecy in the News:

 

                     "In other words, the six days of Creation, along with the seventh day wherein

                            God rested, represent a heavenly plan in which this present world should last

                            for seven thousand years -- that man's work will cease at the end of six-thousand

                            years , followed by a thousand years of utopian Divine rest.

 

                            "It is astounding that such a statement should appear in a verse that corresponds

                            to our calendar year 2000.  According to accepted biblical chronologies, 4,000

                            years transpired from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ.  There have

                            been 2,000 years since then.

 

                            "Think of it!  We are approaching the conclusion of 6,000 years of human

                            history.  It is certainly time for us to consider those six Creation days" ( J.R.

                            Churc, "The Days of Old," November 1998, Prophecy in the News, p.13-15).

 

                                                            The Year 5760 in Hebrew Gematria

 

            It should be obvious that the year 5760 in the Jewish calendar, which corresponds to the year 2000 in our modern Roman calendar, is a very significant year -- a year of great mystery -- a year of amazing prophetic fulfillment!  Shortly after the beginning of this fateful year, in December 1999, the Leonid meteor shower is expected to create a most marvelous, tantalizing spectacle of meteor fireworks in the night sky -- perhaps the greatest such spectacle in hundreds of years!

 

         But there is even more to the story.  The numbers "5" and "7" in Hebrew numbers are represented by the letters Tau [t] and Shin [v].  Together, these letters signify "in the days of," or, "as it was in the days of."  The number "60" in Hebrew is represented by the letter Samech [s].  This letter is shaped like an "O" in English, with a "hook" on the upper left, and represents an endless cycle, beginning and recycling at the "hook."  It symbolizes the fundamenteal truth of the Word of God -- the whole Torah of God.  The "end" is inwedged in the beginning, and the beginning in the end.  Thus this letter signifies the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new cycle -- in other words, a fateful year of TRANSITION!

 

         The letter Samech means "to support," and "Divine presence."  It can also mean "to rely on."  It reflects the power of God to support His people -- shows that we can "rely on" God in time of need.  Will the year 5760 be such a year, when we will need to learn to RELY ON GOD AND HIS DIVINE PRESENCE FOR OUR SUPPORT -- THIS YEAR OF THE BEGINNING OF A NEW "CYCLE" -- THIS "TRANSITION YEAR"?

         The circular shape of Samech also symbolizes a "wedding ring."  This emphasizes our Christian-Messianic relationship with the Bridegrrom, Yeshua -- our covenantal relationship, as His Bride for all eternity, based on the "marriage" vows of the Torah, which is our marriage document.  In a circle, all points on the perimeter are equidistant from the center -- Christ.  This illustrates how all of us are equally loved and important before God -- and He should be the center of our lives.  Just as in the Israeli "hora" dance, where the participants all form a circle, if we all together hold hands, and look to God as our center, our central focus, we should cling together in perfect harmony, unity, hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder.

 

         It is also interesting that the Aaronic blessing recited by the priests in the Temple of God consisted of sixty (60) Hebrew letters -- the numerical value of Samech.  Also, since each hand has thirty (30) bones, when the priest raises his hands to bless the people, 60 bones are thus used in blessing.  The blessing reinforces the theme of "new beginning," in the endless cycle represented by the letter Samech.  This letter first appears in Scripture in Genesis 2:11 and 2:13, in the word sabab, meaning "to surround, compass, revolve, or border" (Strong's Concordance), referring to the rivers that flowed from and surrounded the Garden of Eden.  The river divided into four, and like the Word of God, represents the water of life that "surrounds all worlds."  According to Rabbinic thinking, this is contained in the blessing when the Kohanim -- priests -- bless the people of God.

 

         Thus the "Year of Samech" -- the year 5760 in the Hebrew calendar -- is pregnant with powerful meanings and symbology!  It represents the end and beginning of a cycle -- and the support and divine presence and blessing of God!  Surely, we will need God's help and support more than ever as we enter this "transitional period" -- the entrance to Daniel's 70th week -- this onrushing "chamber of horrors" called the Great Tribulation which separates us from the rest of eternity and the Kingdom of God!     

 

         Jesus Christ foretold,

 

                     "And there shall be SIGNS in the sun, and in the moon, and in the

                     stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the

                     seas and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and

                     for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for

                     the powers of heaven shall be shaken.  And then shall they see the

                     Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory" (Luke

                     21:25-27).                     

 

                                                   Daniel's 2300 Day Prophecy

 

         Another crucial prophecy proving that this is the END TIME is found in Daniel 8 -- the mysterious 2300 day prophecy!  Daniel is given a vision of a great goat with one huge horn from the west trampling a two horned ram in the east alongside a riverbank (Dan.8:1-1-7).  The archangel Gabriel interpreted the vision for Daniel, saying that the king of Greece -- who was to be Alexander the Great -- would conquer Persia (verses 19-22).  Connected with this prophecy was one which stated the host of Israel, the Temple, and daily sacrifice were to be cast down "until 2300 evenings and mornings" (Dan.8:11-13, 14), and "then shall the sanctuary be cleansed ["restored," Hebrew]" (verse 14).

 

         How does this mysterious prophecy tie together?  History records that Alexander fi5st defeated the huge Persian army at the river Granicus in 334 B.C., after which all Asia lay before him.  Using the "day for a year" principle, again, we find that 2300 years from that pivotal history-changing battle in 334 B.C. brings us to the year 1967 A.D. -- the year of the crucial, pivotal Six Day War between Israel and its surrounding Arab states -- when Israel recaptured the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan river, or "Samaria," and the Old City of Jerusalem, including the HOLY TEMPLE MOUNT!  For the first time since the Bar Kochba Rebellion in 135 A.D., the Temple site was restored to Israel!  For the first time since 70 A.D., the Jews could REBUILD THE

TEMPLE OF GOD! 

 

         Truly this was an earth-shaking, prophecy-fulfilling war!  1967 was, interestingly enough, exactly one Jubilee cycle of 50 years from 1917.  It pinpoints the "time of the end."

 

         What is the real significance of this amazing fulfillment of Biblical prophecy?  Since this prophecy terminates with the year 1967, that year itself must be a key linchpin in the overall plan of God.  It must be extremely significant.  Could it be the key pointer that tells us we are now living in the "time of the end"? 

 

         The Messiah, Jesus Christ, told us, "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" (Matt.24:34). 

 

         What is "this generation"?  He is talking about the generation that sees these signs of fulfilled prophecy given in the Mount Olivet prophecy.  Surely the fulfillment of the 2300 day/year prophecy is a major dating key in God's overall plan.  It must pinpoint the "last generation" of which Christ speaks. 

 

         In Biblical language, a "generation" is generally a period of forty years (Numbers 14:34).  Therefore, since "all these things" must be fulfilled within the lifetime of one end-time generation, this means that the coming of the Messiah must be no later than 40 years from the final "benchmark."    Therefore, we have this scenario:

 

                                 1967 A.D.  =  Six Day War

                                    40 years  =  End-Time Generation

                                 2007 A.D.  =  Time Limit for End of Age

 

         Could the year 1967 be the beginning point of this final end-time "generation," pointing to the coming of the Messiah as being no later than the year 2007 A.D.? 

 

         The fulfillment of this prophecy shows that we are surely living in the days called "the birthpangs of the Messiah"!

 

        

                                              The Evidence of Rosh Hashanah

 

         Another indication or "evidence" that this scenario may indeed be the correct one is the fact that in God's Holy Day Plan, Rosh Hashanah, the Blowing of Trumpets, is a warning to the nations and peoples to repent of their sins and to prepare themselves for judgment.  It occurs 10 days before the "Day of Judgment," Yom Kippur.  The intervening ten days, counting from the beginning of Rosh Hashanah to the ending of Yom Kippur, are known as the "Days of Repentance" or "Days of Awe."

 

         Since a "day" can equal a "year" being fulfilled (Num.14:34), in prophecy, therefore these 10 days can equal ten years!  

 

         The year of 1997, the end of 6000 years from Creation, may be the deadline or target date when God began the final countdown to the Messianic Age -- giving mankind TEN YEARS to repent of its sins, and return to God's path!  Rosh Hashanah, in God's Holy Day sequence, is the day of "blowing of trumpets" -- the day of calling the people to repentance of their sins!  Thus if 1997 (the end of 6,000 years according to Ussher's chronology) represents "Rosh Hoshanah," the call to repentance, for the world, then ten years later brings us once again to 2007 A.D.!

 

         The Hale-Bopp comet appeared in in the sky in 1997, as a mighty "sign" from God that this age is nearing its end.  Could it not have been a Rosh Hashanah type "final warning" from God for the world to begin repenting of its sins, and to prepare for final judgment?

 

                                                Reconciliation of the Two Scenarios

 

         At this point, then, we have two scenarios:  One depicts Christ returning at the end of 6,000 years beginning the count from the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden.  This expulsion occurred seven years after Creation.  This could put the return of the Messiah in 2004 A.D.

 

         The other scenario puts the time of the end as beginning in 1967, and the "Six Day War," and lasting 40 years for a "generation."  It would end in 2007.  Fitting in with  this would be calculating the end of the 6,000 years in 1997, as Archbishop Ussher calculated, from the Creation of man, and counting that as the beginning date of the final "Ten Days of Awe," or final ten years, leading up to 2007 A.D.

 

         Is it possible that these two scenarios can both be reconciled?  The answer is an emphatic YES!  Notice this astounding fact!  Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, had a ministry lasting 3 years, precisely, and then He was crucified in 30 A.D.  Jesus' ministry started in 27 A.D., at Passover, and this date was specifically prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27.  That is, He was to "come" 69 prophetic "weeks" (or 483 prophetic years) after the decree went forth to rebuild Jerusalem (v.24).  That decree was issued by Artaxerxes in 457 B.C.  483  years later brings us to 27 A.D.  After preaching the gospel for three years, Messiah was "cut off" (Dan.9:26).  Forty years later, in 70 A.D., after Jesus was killed, the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple.

 

         How does this relate to the End Times? 

 

         In the next few years we expect to see the rebuilding of a Temple in Jerusalem.  This will be the crux event before the

re-introduction of sacrifices on the Temple Mount (see Rev.11:1-4).  Mid-way through the final week of  "seven" years, the sacrifices will cease (Dan.9:27).  The time period of all these events will be in our generation (Luke 21:32). 

 

         Just as it was in the first century, Jesus Christ was crucified in 30 A.D. and 40 years later -- during one generation -- the Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D.  In the Six Day War of 1967 the Jews regained control of the Temple Mount and 40 years from that time brings us to 2007, the end of this generation and therefore the very likely year of the coming of the Messiah! 

 

         Jesus Himself said, "Verily, I say unto you, THIS generation shall not pass [the generation that SEES these things!], till all these things be fulfilled" (Matt.24:34).                                                       

         Jesus Christ came as the personification and manifestation of the Kingdom of God on this earth.  He was a pure, sinless lamb of God (John 1:29).  He was also the express image and personification of God the Father (John 8:19; John 14:8-11).

 

         Prior to His ministry of three years Jesus, qualified to rule this earth and replace Satan as world ruler, when He defeated him in spiritual battle during 40 days of fasting in the wilderness (Matt.4:1-11).  Shortly after this event He commenced His three year ministry of preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God (Matt.9:35; Mark 1:13-14).  He performed amazing miracles, and Satan could do nothing to stop Him.  He even raised the dead on several occasions, including Lazarus (John 11).  Could His "40 days" of fasting in the wilderness, before proclaiming the gospel of the Kingdom, be a TYPE of these final "40 years" of this Age? -- a TYPE of mankind's "final generation" of forty years on this planet, before Christ returns the second time to install His Kingdom?

 

         During His ministry, Jesus -- Yeshua -- the coming KING of the Kingdom of God -- was in COMPLETE AUTHORITY.  By His presence, during His ministry, He was the manifestation of God's Kingdom on earth.  He was in complete control.  Even the wind and seas obeyed Him. He commanded, and storms ceased. He walked on water, showing His power over the very elements.

 

         But what does this mean?  Jesus at one point in His ministry was asked by unbelieving Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come (Luke 17:20).  He answered them, "The kingdom of God cometh not [present tense, speaking of that very time] with observation" (same verse).  The word for "observation" here is the Greek parateresis, meaning "inspection, i.e., ocular evidence."  Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon has, "in such a manner that it can be watched with the eyes, i.e., in a visible manner."  In other words, Jesus Christ -- the King of the coming Kingdom of God -- came incognito, without fanfare, and was unrecognized by the vast majority of people.    

 

         Yeshua added:  "Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for behold, the kingdom of God is within you" (v.21).  The word "within" here can also be translated, "AMONG."  Jesus was most certainly not saying the kingdom was within the evil hearts of these wicked Pharisees.  But the Kingdom was AMONG THEM, that is, in the midst of them, within their presence, being manifested in the physical presence of Yeshua Himself! 

 

         Jesus told His disciples that they would one day hope to see the coming of Christ (v.22), but "ye shall not see it."  Why?  Because He did not return in that generation!  They did not "see" Him again.  But He is coming in OUR generation!  And He will be VISIBLE (Rev.1:7).  Every eye will behold Him, as He descends from heaven like lightning (Luke 21:24).

 

         What is the significance, then, of Jesus appearing on earth and preaching, for three years, after having defeated the devil?  During those three years the KINGDOM OF GOD WAS ON EARTH, IN THE PERSON OF THE MESSIAH, JESUS CHRIST!

 

         Therefore, it is very possible that in determining the final "COUNTDOWN" to the coming of the Messiah, and the END of man's 6,000 years of rule under the sway of Satan the devil, we should consider those three years as not being counted as years of Satan's rule and domination.  Therefore, those three years would be subtracted from Satan's rule, and ADDED to the end of the 6,000 year countdown from Adam and Eve's expulsion from Eden.  Since those 6000 years end in 2004 A.D., then adding these 3 years would bring us to 2007 A.D.

 

         This would in effect make the final week of seven years of this age, of Daniel's prophecy in Daniel 9:24-27, to extend from 2001 to 2007 A.D.!

 

                                               2007 A.D. in Bible Prophecy!

 

         Will Christ return in 2007 A.D.?  Or will He "finish the work and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth" (Rom.9:28)?  Speaking of the last days, the end-time generation, Jesus said:  "And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]:  but for the elect's sake, those days SHALL BE SHORTENED" (Matt.24:22). Luke 13:32-33).

 

         More and more, as we approach the end of this age, we see a world careening out ofcontrol, and rapidly coming to a smashing crescendoing CLIMAX!

 

         This new understanding of Biblical chronology would also imply that the "final week" of Daniel's "70 weeks prophecy" will begin in 2000 A.D. (Dan.9:24-27).  This "seven years" corresponds to the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jeremiah 30:6-8), and the "crisis at the close" spoken of by Daniel -- a "time of trouble" such as has never been upon the earth in all its gory,

bloody, sanguinary, cruel history (Daniel 12:1).  It also corresponds to the "seven times" punishment prophesied in Leviticus 26 and expounded also in Deuteronomy 28.  Remember, a "time" in prophecy refers to a "year" in fulfillment (compare the 3 1/2 "times" of Dan.7:25, 12:7 and Rev.13:5, with Rev.11:2-3 and 12:6 and 12:14). 

 

         Therefore, the last year of this world's "crisis at the close" (Dan.12:4, Moffatt translation) would very likely be from 2006 A.D. to 2007 A.D (either spring to spring or fall to fall reckoning, we don't know for sure).  This means that the prophesied "Great Tribulation" foretold by all the prophets, and the Messiah Himself (Matt.24:21-22) will begin very possibly in the MIDST of the final week, and be the last 3 1/2 years of this age,  from 2003-4 to 2007 A.D.  The final YEAR, 2006-2007, would then be the ultimate and calamitous and awesome "Day of the Lord" -- the final year of this age of Satan's dominion!  (Zeph.1:14-18; Joel 1:15-20). 

 

         Nevertheless, no matter how we examine it, the indication is that the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, to put an end to man's hellish inhumanity, is less than ten years away -- He will most likely come back to Planet Earth within the next DECADE!

 

         The exact date of the end of the 6,000 years, of course, is not the crucial thing.  Jesus Christ indicated that no one would know the precise day or hour of His return.  He said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt.24:36).  Nevertheless, He did give us distinct signs to look for!  And He did not say we could not know the approximate date and time of His return!  Certainly, as we see these events unfold, in the future, and see the "abomination of desolation" spoken of by Daniel the prophet, that should be firm indication that there are only "three and one half years left" (see Dan.9:26-27, 12:7 and Matthew 24:15-16).  However, those days could also be "shortened" (Matt.24:22 and Rom.9:28).

 

         What is the main lesson these vital End-Time prophecies show us?  Simply this:  Despite the cries of the critics and the taunts of scoffers, the prophecies of Daniel and the Word of God reveal that

 

                                 OUR GENERATION -- this present generation -- will be

                                 the FINAL, LAST, END-TIME GENERATION that will

                                 see all these things come to pass, and that will WITNESS

                                 the awesome, spine-tingling return of JESUS CHRIST,

                                 THE MESSIAH in tremendous power and unimaginable

                                 GLORY!!!

 

         Jesus Himself said:  "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till ALL these things be fulfilled" (Matt.24:34).  You and I -- those of us of THIS present generation of the Atomic Bomb, nuclear weapons, biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction -- WE are the ones living in the Biblical "time of the end" -- the FINAL generation!   The time has come.  The Messiah's footsteps are approaching.  His coming is near.  His heavenly stallion is getting nervous, chomping at the bit, getting ready for that great ride through the sky (Rev.19:11-14).  The heavenly army is growing tense with excitement and anticipation.  The time is near -- the moment we are all breathlessly waiting for. 

 

         Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord!  Barch haba ha shem Adonai!