June 2024

Return of Jesus

The great controversy between Christ and Satan, that has been carried forward for nearly six thousand years, is soon to close; and the wicked one redoubles his efforts to defeat the work of Christ in man’s behalf, and to fasten souls in his snares. To hold the people in darkness and impenitence till the Saviour’s mediation is ended, and there is no longer a sacrifice for sin, is the object which he seeks to accomplish. {GC88 518.1 1888}

“The saints will rest in the Holy City and reign as kings and priests one thousand years; then Jesus will descend with the saints upon the Mount of Olives, and the mount will part asunder and become a mighty plain for the Paradise of God to rest upon. The rest of the earth will not be cleansed until the end of the one thousand years, when the wicked dead are raised, and gather up around the city. The feet of the wicked will never desecrate the earth made new. Fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour them–burn them up root and branch. Satan is the root, and his children are the branches. The same fire that will devour the wicked will purify the earth.” {EW 51.3 1882}

The six thousand year and one thousand year scenario, which parallels the six working day and then the Sabbath day is well understood among many Christians.

So let us look at it a bit more in detail.

Creation week:
James Ussher (or Usher; 4 January 1581 – 21 March 1656) was the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland between 1625 and 1656. He was a prolific scholar and church leader, who today is most famous for his identification of the genuine letters of the church father, Ignatius of Antioch, and for his chronology that sought to establish the time and date of the creation as “the entrance of the night preceding the 23rd day of October… the year before Christ 4004”; that is, around 6 pm on 22 October 4004 BC, per the proleptic Julian calendar.
What day of the week was October 23 4004 BC?
Modern equations place the autumnal equinox of 4004 BC on Sunday, October 23 (by the Julian calendar). Ussher’s understanding of creation placed the “first day” referred to in Genesis 1:5 on October 23, but with a “pre-creation” event, which he identified as the “beginning of time” occurring the previous night.

For example:
23 October 4004 BC is executed as being a Sunday.
NB: Their output year being incorrectly shown as -4003 owing to there being no year zero. See the comments upon this page which state:
539 BC is calculated as -538, since the AD/BC numbering system has no year 0 between 1 BC and 1 AD.
Examples: year 0 = 1 BCE, -100 is 101 BCE, -538 is 539 BCE.

Day commencement:
Ge1.5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
Ge1.8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Jo8.29 And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, [that remaineth] unto this day.
2ch18.34 And the battle increased that day: howbeit the king of Israel stayed [himself] up in [his] chariot against the Syrians until the even: and about the time of the sun going down he died.
Ne13.19 And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and [some] of my servants set I at the gates, [that] there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day.
Mk1.32 And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils.
Ju9.33 And it shall be, [that] in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, [when] he and the people that [is] with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion.
Da6.14 Then the king, when he heard [these] words, was sore displeased with himself, and set [his] heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
Lk4.40 >Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.
Our convention of starting a new day at midnight is an arbitrary, humanly devised practice. God, who created the heavenly bodies and set them in motion to mark the passage of time (Genesis 1:14), counts time differently—from evening to evening.
We see this indicated in the creation account in Genesis 1. After dividing day from night, God tells us that “the evening and the morning were the first day” (verse 5). “Evening” is mentioned first, followed by “morning.” God describes each day’s creation in similar terms (verses 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).
In the Bible, evening began when the sun went down (Joshua 8:29; 2 Chronicles 18:34; Nehemiah 13:19; Mark 1:32), and at that time a new day began. Regarding His Sabbaths, God commands that they be observed “from evening to evening” (Leviticus 23:32). This was the usual way at that time of calculating the beginning and ending of days (Exodus 12:18).
In New Testament times, days were calculated the same way. Mark 1:32 records that, after the sun had set, marking the end of one Sabbath, crowds brought many ailing people to Jesus to be healed, having waited until after the Sabbath to come to Him. The Gospel accounts also record that Joseph of Arimathea entombed Jesus’ body before evening to keep from working on an approaching annual high-day Sabbath (Matthew 27:57-60; Mark 15:42-46; Luke 23:50-54; compare John 19:31).
God, Creator of the Sabbath, determines when the day begins and ends, and it was observed from sunset to sunset throughout the Bible. His Sabbath begins Friday evening at sunset and ends Saturday evening at sunset.

6000 years from Creation of “around 6 pm on 22 October 4004 BC”
This gives a date of around 6 pm on 22 October 1997 AD
But Jesus did not come. Why?

In consideration of the shortness of time we as a people should watch and pray, and in no case allow ourselves to be diverted from the solemn work of preparation for the great event before us. Because the time is apparently extended, many have become careless and indifferent in regard to their words and actions. They do not realize their danger and do not see and understand THE MERCY OF OUR GOD IN LENGTHENING THEIR PROBATION, that they may have time to form characters for the future, immortal life. Every moment is of the highest value. Time is granted them, not to be employed in studying their own ease and becoming dwellers on the earth, but to be used in the work of overcoming every defect in their own characters and in helping others, by example and personal effort, to see the beauty of holiness. God has a people upon the earth who in faith and holy hope are tracing down the roll of fast-fulfilling prophecy and are seeking to purify their souls by obeying the truth, that they may not be found without the wedding garment when Christ shall appear. {4T 306.3 1876-1881}

So by how much has God lengthened our probation?
Well, in Scripture we do have some parallels:
Nu14.33 And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.
Nu14.34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
De8.2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.
Ac7.36 He brought them out, after that he had showed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
De6.3 >Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do [it]; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD GOD OF THY FATHERS hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey.

God’s people were taken out of Egyptian slavery [worldly], given a time to prove themselves [to God] of 40 years, before being faced with a seemingly earthly event [to cross the Red Sea as being the only way to be saved from Pharaoh’s pursuing army], and then permitted to enter into the promised land. That the only way Moses and the Israelites could be saved from death and destruction was to fully trust in God. All others, of the world, perished.

Ge7.4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
Ge7.5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.
Ez4.6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each DAY FOR A YEAR.

God’s people [8 souls] were taken out of their very sinful and worldly surroundings, given a time to prove themselves [to God] of 120 [=3*40] years, before being faced with a seemingly earthly event [that their world would be destroyed by water / flood – when rain was no more that a watering mist]. That the only way Noah and his family could be saved from death and destruction was to fully trust in God. All others, of the world, perished.

2p3.8 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.
Ex24.12 >And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
Ex24.13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.
Ex24.14 And he said unto the elders, Tarry ye here for us, until we come again unto you: and, behold, Aaron and Hur [are] with you: if any man have any matters to do, let him come unto them.
Ex24.15 And Moses went up into the mount, and a cloud covered the mount.
Ex24.16 And the glory of the LORD abode upon mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days: and the seventh day he called unto Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
Ex24.17 And the sight of the glory of the LORD [was] like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.
Ex24.18 And Moses went into the midst of the cloud, and gat him up into the mount: and Moses was in the mount forty days and forty nights.

Moses was instructed by God to go up Mount Sinai to be given His Law and Commandments for teaching purposes. Moses was a type of Christ {1SP 343.2 1870}; [God’s people are called to be a type of Christ] – he was [and we are] on probation for six days [six thousand years] until being called by God on the seventh day [one thousand years]. Here we see that for us, there is a link to the Sabbath / week, a time of waiting and testing before being called by Jesus at His second coming to be with Him for a thousand years.
Those left with Aaron and Hur, were told to tarry but failed their test to follow God. Fortunately, they were given a longer probation time in so far that Moses returned to the Mount to receive a second set of tablets of stone.

Ex34.28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
Note the parallels here between Moses and Christ:
Lk4.1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
lk4.2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
Lk4.3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
Lk4.4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. [de8.3, mt4.4]
Lk4.5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
Lk4.6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
Lk4.7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
Lk4.8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, THOU SHALT WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE. [de6.13, mt4.10] {The LORD THY GOD is God the Father – and no-one else.}
Lk4.9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
Lk4.10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: [ps91.11-12]
Lk4.11 And in [their] hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Lk4.12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
Lk4.13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Here we see Jesus, at a time of great need for food and drink, during a probational time also of 40 days and nights, being heavily challenged by Satan [just like God’s people will be during the last days], before being given a time period where the temptations of the devil will have ended [with Christ it was then for a season – with His second coming it will be for a thousand years – before His act of final destruction].

Using Scriptural parallels as a guide it is possible that our extended probation will be a maximum of 40 years.
It is a maximum time period for the following reason:
2p3.12 Looking for and HASTING UNTO THE COMING OF THE DAY OF GOD, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Either way:
2co6.2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now [is] the accepted time; behold, now [is] the day of salvation.)

An extended probation of 40 years gives 22 October 2037; perhaps this is a back-stop date for our entry into the Promised Land with the return of Jesus.

When you look at Biblical numbers and their meanings, the number 40 is one of very few that satisfy this criteria:
40 means Trials – Probation – Testing / Severe Test – Days of Jesus’ Temptation – Time of Proving – Closing in Victory / Judgement – A Very Long Time – Tribulation

Mt24.20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
With God’s people being both in the southern and northern hemisphere of the earth; then to satisfy the prayers of His people, we can expect that our loving God of mercy would choose to fully the prayers of all His people.
Therefore, it seems reasonable to conclude that the date for the return of Jesus will be during sometime in the Spring or in the Autumn of the year when He comes.

So this is about as far as we can determine regarding the return of Jesus. We need to be aware of the following:
Mt24.36 >But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. [Mk13.32]
Note: When Jesus said this, He was on earth and did not know. Now He does as, in His divinity, all things and powers have been given to the Only Begotten Son of God.

Will we ever know before He comes? Yes.
The voice of God is heard from Heaven declaring the day and hour of Jesus’ coming, and delivering the everlasting covenant to his people. Like peals of loudest thunder, his words roll through the earth. The Israel of God stand listening, with their eyes fixed upward. Their countenances are lighted up with his glory, and shine as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai. The wicked cannot look upon them. And when the blessing is pronounced on those who have honored God by keeping his Sabbath holy, there is a mighty shout of victory. {4SP 458.1 1884}