Though we cannot know the exact day or hour (Mat 24:36), the evidence strongly suggests that we be prepared for our King to return in approximately 25 years.
- Year 6000 will mark the end of human history and the return of our King.
1.1. We need to remember that Jesus and the apostles predicted His return (1-2).
1.2. Sinful people ignorant that God has already made good on His promise to destroy this world will laugh at our claims of the King’s return and the final destruction of this world in fiery judgment (3-7, 10).
1.3. God wants us to have some sense of when Jesus will return so as to be ready versus eternally perish (9; Mat 24:32-36 = Though [once more] we cannot know the exact day and hour, we can know when we are “near” – i.e. within 40 years, “this generation will not pass away until all these things take place” = The King’s first return in 70 A.D. [~40 yrs later]).
1.4. We must not overlook the “one fact” most important to determining when our King’s final return is near [~40 yrs?]: the ancient Jewish and early Christian belief that each day of Creation represents 1,000 years of human history – or 6,000 years of human history to be immediately followed by the return of the King and eternal rest in the new heavens and earth (as represented by God’s Sabbath or seventh-day rest) (8; The main source of this belief: Non-canonical books containing ancient Jewish/Christian tradition, history and beliefs; Though never on par with Scripture itself, Jesus and the church saw these non-canonical books as important. Hence why we see them referenced in Scripture- e.g., Num 21:14; Jos 10:13; 2Sa 1:18; 1Ki 11:41; 2Chr 9:29, 12:15, 13:22; Mat 27:9-10; 2Ti 3:8; Jud 1:9, 14-15).
1.4.1. Ancient Jewish non-canonical sources:
188.8.131.52. Jewish Talmud (1st – 7th century collection of rabbinical writings meant to preserve ancient Jewish beliefs and oral tradition after the destruction of the Temple):
“Six thousand years the world will exist and for one thousand, [the seventh], it shall be desolate [no longer exist], as it is written, ‘And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day” (Sanhedrin 97a)
“The world will exist for six thousand years: two millennia of void (i.e. without Torah) [covs: AC/NC/AbC]; Two millennia of Torah [cov: OC]; and then two millennia of the age of Moshiach (i.e. Messiah)[cov: NC].” (Tractate Avodah Zarah [9a])
184.108.40.206. The writings of 2nd century, Jewish rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrcanus:
“Six eons for going in and coming out, for war and peace. The seventh eon is entirely Shabbat and rest for life everlasting.”
1.4.2. Early Christian non-canonical sources:
220.127.116.11. The writings of Irenaeus (Early Church Father, a disciple of Polycarp who was a direct disciple of the apostle John; 130-202 AD)
“For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years (2Pe 3:8); and in six days created things were completed; it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousandth year.”
18.104.22.168. The epistle of Barnabas (75 AD; The epistle of Barnabas was considered so important to early Christianity that it was included as an addendum in the back of early bibles until the 4th century – e.g. Codex Sinaiticus [Sinai Bible])
“Give heed, children, what this means; ‘He ended in six days’ (Gen 1:2): He means this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end; for the day with Him signifies a thousand years; and this He himself bears me witness, saying; “Behold, the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years” (2Pe 3:8). Therefore, children, in six days, that is in six thousand years, everything shall come to an end.”
22.214.171.124. The writings of Hippolytus (Early Church Father, 170-235 AD)
“And 6,000 years must needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day on which God rested from all His works. For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future kingdom of the saints, when they shall reign with Christ, when He comes from heaven, for ‘a day with the Lord is as a thousand years’ (2Pe 3:8). Since, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled.”
- Adding up the biblical record puts the current age of the world at around 5976.
2.1. 5782 is the current date of the Hebrew/Jewish Calendar (Seder Olam Rabbah) (3760 yrs from creation to Christ plus the current year of 2022).
2.2. Adjustments for discrepancies/errors in the H/JC: 1) add 165 yrs (conventional/scholarly date for the destruction of the first Temple = 586 BC versus incorrect date of 421 BC), 2) add 29 yrs (430 yrs captivity clock starting when Abe is 99 yrs old [Exo 12:40-41; Gal 3:16-17] versus 400 yrs captivity clock starting when Abe is 100 yrs old/birth of Isaac [Gen 15:13]) = 5976.
- The Bible confirms the 7th day of earthly rest (the Sabbath) to be symbolic of the eternal rest in the new world at the end of human history.
(Heb 4:4-11) = The Sabbath rest the author calls us to strive to enter is the eternal rest of the new world to come.
THE POINT NOT TO MISS: the Bible confirms all seven days related to Creation to be symbolic and important indicators of when this world will end and the new world will begin.
- Jesus predicted He would return before the date predicted by the Jews.
(Mat 24:43-51) = Jesus’ primary/first audience are the Jews (v34 -“this generation”). Jesus’ warning is therefore first to the Jew, “The Son of Man is coming in an hour when you do not expect.” What the Jews currently expect: Messiah is not coming from another 218 yrs. They believe it is 5782, when in reality it is 5976. They believe there is more time than there really is (“My master is delayed”) which means when Jesus comes, He will surprise them like a “thief” in the night.
- The church is beset with apostasy and the world filled with false prophets preaching an antinomian gospel that produces a disloyal faith just as Jesus predicted would be true when the end is near.
(Mat 24:1-8) = These are NOT the things we are to consider when determining the end of the world; (9-14) = These are the things truly indicating the end of the world.
- Additional considerations/ or possible evidence?
6.1. (Ecc 1:9) = Based on the pattern of redemptive history recorded in the Bible, we serve a God whose future plans always have precedent in the past (e.g. Isa 7:14 w/Mat 1:23; Num 14:34; Mat 12:40). Why would it be any different with one of history’s most important events? Believing the end of the world to be arbitrary – or without a basis in something similar that God has already done (i.e. the days of Creation and the day of Rest), is to believe in a different god.
6.2. (Joh 18:37-38) = Christians are to be people of truth (those always in agreement w/reality versus fantasy) (Joh 18:37-38). To be people of truth now requires that we address as reality what at one time was considered fantasy/science fiction: the existence of UFOs (i.e. US Dept of Defense, Navy and Pentagon have all released statements [and some video footage from the cockpits of Navy fighter pilots] confirming 144 sightings since 2004; “Every day for at least a couple of years” – Navy fighter pilot, Ryan Graves; Navy ships have been swarmed by UFOs off the Pacific coast and caught on radar ). Biblical analysis (Rev 20:1-9) = UFOs may be a sign that Satan and his armies are coming out of the Abyss, an even that must take place before our King’s return. How this event possibly relates to UFOs: the demons have created bio-suits technology/vessels allowing them to escape the 4th dimension. They will soon permanently invade our space – the 3rd dimension. Hence the reason for the increase in frequency of sightings and number of vessels encountered. Opinion: Satan will reveal himself and his demons as mankind’s original freedom fighters and unite the world (“deceive the nations that are on the four corners of the earth” = The entire world) against our King and what little remains of His church on earth (“surround the camp of the saints” = God’s people wb small in number). It will be the “tower of Babel” PART 2 (“Gog and Magog” = Babylon = Babel; Eze 38-39; Gen 11).
OUR EXPECTED RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE EVIDENCE
1) Stand Firm: Don’t be shaken from your position when the people, events, and beliefs of this world become even more crazy, polarized, and opposed to God/God’s Word/God’s people (Joh 15:18-16:4).
2) Stay Focused: See the next 25 years as the time to complete your given mission from Mat 25:14-30. What will you accomplish in each year for our King?
3) Sound Forth: Our witness to others should start w/what we believe about the imminent return of the King (e.g. “We believe our King/King Jesus is returning within the next 25 years to destroy His enemies and this world. In His mercy, He has sent His messengers to proclaim peace to those who will swear allegiance to Him and His church now.”). BTW: last days are the theme common to all past revivals/church growth movements (e.g. Dispensationalism’s Left Behind movement; the Big Tent Revivals/meetings). Why? b/c people are curious about the end. Hence the reason the book of Revelation remains the number one most popular book in the Bible. (Curiosity is the first/greatest key of all persuasion; convincing/building confidence thru information-sharing/education is the next).
 Early Church Fathers Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) and Origen (184-253 AD) attributed the epistle of Barnabas to the apostle and traveling companion of Paul mentioned in the book of Acts (Act 14:14).
 The 586 BC date is corroborated by several ancient documents from Babylon, Egypt, Persia, and Greece. Early Jewish historian Josephus likewise confirms this date.
 See “For some Navy pilots, UFO sightings were an ordinary event: ‘Every day for at least a couple years’” (washingtonpost.com); “UFOs, the Channel Islands and the Navy’s ‘drone swarm’ mystery” (thehill.com)
 From a military perspective, these could be viewed as test flights and the sign of coming invasion (e.g. troop/tank buildup on the border of Ukraine in November of 2021 before the invasion in March of 2022).