The Day and the Hour and the Year?
From our studies on Pentecost I am becoming more and more confident that it is the “Day” we are to “high watch” for, although I would never be so brazen as to say a certain day WILL BE “The Day”. [See part 1 of my ongoing study here –Pentecost Part 1 – The Giving of the Law, The Giving of Grace] The “Hour” will vary for each one of us (and the literal day, actually) because of how we calculate time zones.
But what about the year? We know from putting together Psalm 90 with the fig tree parable that the “transitional generation” will be approximately 70-80 years in length. Thus, many of us are anticipating that it will be 73 years at the most (80 – 7 year tribulation) from Israel’s rebirth until we “fly away”. This gives us a possible rapture window of up to 2021, but perhaps sooner. [Again, I’m not saying that the rapture *has to* be by then, but am doing my best to rightly divide the scriptures. This is a theory!]
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Psalm 90:10-13 ESV
The span of all our years is toil and trouble in this fallen age, and following Christ is a life of “tribulation” until we “fly away” (either through death or through the rapture). After we “fly away”, God’s anger and wrath is released. Only those who have great strength will make it to the 80 year mark, having survived the awful tribulation period.
Return, O Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants who are anxiously awaiting Your return!
Does Enoch’s Rapture Give Us a Key?
As I was writing about Enoch’s rapture the other day, it had me thinking. Tradition holds that he was both born and raptured on the day that would become Pentecost. And then it tells us the curious detail that he was 365 years old.
Now, the fact that Genesis gives us his age is not unusual, because the ages of all the patriarchs are listed. This is how we can verify the age of the world and the timelines of history. But why 365? Why not 150? Or 843? That is only about half as long as the other patriarchs lived. And 365… that’s a very significant number to us as it is the number of days in our solar year.
I ran a number of calculations trying to figure out if there is any significance to the time gap between his rapture and the flood, which was 669 years. I haven’t come up with anything concrete. Maybe one of you can? (Dan Matson??)
What I have previously studied was God’s prophetic timeline and the 7000 years He has allotted to humanity. In that study I suggested we might be approximately at year 5993 now on God’s calendar (in 2017). But I believe God is impressing upon my heart a possible correction to that calculation.
First, let me review how I got to the year ~ 5993, taken from this post: God’s Prophetic Timeline – 7000 Years of Humanity:
What Time Is It?
From archaeological evidence, it appears that we have around 6000 years of modern human history. Without getting into a creation debate, here are some articles if you are interested in the numbers:
- How Does the Bible Teach 6000 Years? (Creation Ministries International)
- Biblical Age of the Earth (Institute for Creation Research)
- Ussher and the Date of Creation (Answers in Genesis)
- What is the Age of the Earth? (GotQuestions)
One of the challenges to knowing exactly what year it is, is that the tracking of time has changed throughout human history. A number of calendars have existed, some based on the sun (solar), some on the moon (lunar), and some on a combination of the two (lunisolar).
The Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar, using intercalary months instead of leap years to make up the time difference between the lunar and solar years. It is based on starting year counts at the creation of the world. It also has gone through a few revisions and there is a discrepancy between the Orthodox Rabbinic calendar and the Nazarene calendar. Currently, in 2017, the Orthodox Rabbinic year count is 5777. The Orthodox Rabbinic calendar is based on a book called the “Seder Olam Rabbah”, which was written in 240 CE (AD). There is some indication that there are up to 240 “missing years” in this calendar, which may or may not be deliberate. The Nazarene calendar, on the other hand, uses the accounts in the Old Testament, much as current creation science does. This is where God’s careful recording of genealogies comes into play! All Scripture is there for a purpose, to lay out God’s plans and purposes.
Here is the geneaological counting, which was done in 2007:
Adam to the Flood: 1656 years
Flood to the birth of Abraham 454 years
Abraham to the Exodus 430 years
Exodus to the First Temple 480 years
First Temple to the Exile 393 years
Exile to Second Temple 72 years
Total 3,485 years
Next, to count how many years there were between the building of the Second Temple until the year 2007 (i.e., now), we must switch to the Western (Roman) Gregorian calendar. The reason for this is that Scripture does not record these dates for us.
15 Now the Temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
Secular historians inform us that the sixth year of the reign of Persian King Darius took place in approximately 515 BCE. When we add 515 years to the 2007 years that have elapsed since Yeshua’s birth, we find that the Second Temple was built approximately 2520 years ago:
Second Temple built 515 BCE
Years elapsed since Yeshua’s birth 2007
Total 2520 years
Now, to find the approximate age of the earth today (in the year 2007), we should add the number of years from the Creation to the building of the Second Temple (3,485) to the number of years from the building of the Second Temple until now (2,520). This will give us the approximate age of the earth in the year 2007 CE:
Creation to the Second Temple 3,485 years
Second Temple to 2007 CE 2,520 years
Years since the Creation (approximate) 6,005 years
According to this model, we should now be at around year 6015. This would technically put us into “prophetic overtime”. Or does it?
The Calendar in the Sun, Moon, and Stars
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years (Genesis 1:14 ESV)
God provided the sun, moon, and stars to serve as signs and to mark days and years. The sun, moon, and stars have remained unchanged by humanity. Is there any sign in the heavens that can give us a clue as to what “time” it is?
Interestingly, when prophecy watchers started scanning the thousands of years of human history and future for a specific sign in the sun, moon, and stars described in Revelation 12:1-2, they found only one match.
And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. (Revelation 12:1-2 ESV)
The sign occurred on September 23, 2017 and is detailed HERE.
While the sign in fulfillment of Revelation 12:1-2 only occurs once, watchmen did find three other partial alignments. These partial alignments occurred on September 11, 3 BC (Jesus’ birth?), August 27, 70 AD (destruction of Second Temple), and August 5, 3915 BC.
It is the 3915 BC alignment that is relevant to our current discussion:
There is a near perfect match on this date (though not as precise as the 2017 alignment). In fact it is such a close match that it has been speculated that this could have been the date of the Fall of Mankind when God spoke these eerily relevant words to the devil and to Eve in Genesis 3:15-16:
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
Interestingly, in this dialogue the same three entities mentioned in Revelation 12 are also present: the serpent (Revelation 12:9), the woman, and the male child. The planet Saturn, which some have speculated represents satan, happens to be near the heel of The Lion.
Adam and Eve were created to be eternal beings, and in their perfection were granted to eat freely from the Tree of Life. Thus, it was only when they FELL and became physically mortal that year counts would start to actually matter. It was when they FELL that humanity’s “work week” began:
…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19 ESV)
Mankind was allotted 7000 years before this form of heaven and earth would be complete and we would return to our eternal state (either with God or apart from Him – the choice is up to each one of us).
Let’s examine what time it might be based on the calendar in the sun, moon, and stars:
3915 BC – Fall of Humanity + 2017 (current year) – 1 (no year “0”) = 5932 years
This puts us under 6000 years, right? Or does it?
God’s Prophetic Calendar
The length of a year is currently 365.242190 days. The length of a year is decreasing by approximately 0.000006 every century. (wikipedia) The Bible, however, uses a year length of 360 days in both Genesis and Revelation.
…they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days… (Revelation 11:2-3 ESV)
…and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:6 ESV)
…so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. (Revelation 12:14 ESV)
42 30-day months = 1260 days = “time, and times, and half a time” (“time”= 1 360-day year)
In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. (Genesis 7:11 ESV)
At the end of 150 days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. (Genesis 8:3-4 ESV)
In Genesis chapters 7-8 we are told the Flood covered the land from the 17th day of the 2nd month to the 17th day of the 7th month. This time period totals 150 days. This would only be true if each month had 30 days in it.
I would assume God uses 360 day years for a reason, not just because the numbers round nice. Let’s assume that God created the world with 360-day years, as seen in the Flood account above.
Let’s also say that the global flood was in 1656 AM as calculated through the Torah here (AIG), and in the Nazarene calendar above.
At some point between the Flood and Today, the earth wobbled in its orbital path and gained a few days per year. I would think it is safe to assume that the “fountains of the deep bursting forth” and the “windows of heaven opened” of the Flood had something to do with it. The Bible doesn’t provide a lot of detail on this, but we know the post-Flood world was significantly different and many species died off at that time. Whatever happened (asteroid impacts? massive earthquakes?), we do know that the land was divided (the crust shifted) “in the days of Peleg” and that this occurred a little while after the Flood (Genesis 10:25). The result is that somehow we ended up with approximately 365.25 day-years.
So, What Time is It Really?
In my original calculations, I used the year 1656 AM and guessed that things settled down to balance out to 365.25 days/year quite quickly after the global flood. This means humanity has existed for an extra ~5.25 days per year since the global flood. But if our allotted days are only 6000 360-day-years, what happens if we take into account the “extra” days? Correcting for these extra days and converting them to 360-day-years gave me the year of 5993.3 or 5992.3 as of 2017. I will explain how I got there in a moment.
There are several other considerations though. Was the earth’s orbit affected when the land was divided post-flood in the days of Peleg? What about in the days of Joshua? The book of Joshua records for us a unique occasion where the “sun and moon stood still” to allow the Israelites to defeat their enemies. How was the earth’s orbit affected at this time, or was it?
And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. Joshua 10:13 ESV
Through the work of Daniel Matson at Watchfortheday, it seems that another adjustment to the Earth’s axis may have occurred around 713BC during the days of King Hezekiah – documented in 2 Kings 20:8-11, when the sun’s shadow went backwards 10 steps.
And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day?” And Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?” And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to lengthen ten steps. Rather let the shadow go back ten steps.” And Isaiah the prophet called to the Lord, and he brought the shadow back ten steps, by which it had gone down on the steps of Ahaz. 2 Kings 20:8-11 ESV
Does God really not want us to know the time? He tells us to watch, and read the time! He expected the Pharisees to be aware of the time:
You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Luke 12:56 ESV
It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. Proverbs 25:2 ESV
For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7 ESV
And here is where I believe the Key of Enoch might come in. I am wondering if God raptured Enoch at 365 years old specifically as a clue.
Prior to the Global Flood, the earth had 360-day years. After the Rapture, I believe the earth will once again have 360-day years. The resurrection / rapture event will be so severe as to cause the earth to sway and change its orbital path once again. This is why both Genesis and Revelation use 360-day years in their prophetic time counts.
It is the interim that we are trying to calculate. What if God gives us 365 years exactly (tradition holding to Enoch being both born and raptured on the same day of the year), to have us use that number in our calculation as the exact average correcting for all the wobbling as described above?
Calculating the Year
We will use the Revelation 12:1 sign on August 5, 3915 BC as the “Fall” and 1656 BC as the “Flood” as discussed above.
3915 (Fall) – 1656 (Flood) = 2259 years BC
+ 2017.7 years AD – 1 (no year 0)
= 4275.7 years lived with “extra days”
I used 2017.7 because we are approximately 8 months through 2018 if we use August 5 as a starting point for calculations based on the 3915 start point. I’m not confident we can get that close though.
4275.7 x 365 (Enoch days/year) / 360 (prophetic days/year)
= 4335 360-day-year equivalent years since the Flood
4335 (post flood years) + 1656 (preflood years) = 5991 years
Alternately, some software programs give the year 3914 BC for the sign in question. Using this date:
4334 (post flood years) + 1656 (preflood years) = 5990 years
From these calculations, I would suggest we are currently at approximately year 5991. This consistently fits in with the “Fig Tree Generation” timeline. It’s possible we have 2 (maybe 3) years left (said while ducking – please don’t stone me!). But I hope it’s sooner 😉
I would suggest that waiting until the last possible moment within the window would fit with 2 Peter 3:8-9:
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (ESV)
The Virgin Mary Had a Baby Boy
How far away from the Revelation 12:1-2 sign on September 23, 2017 can we get before it is no longer reliably considered a sign? This is a valid question and one that I have pondered as well.
For the answer to this I would ask you to consider the Star of Bethlehem that announced Jesus’ birth. We know that it took up to 2-3 years for the wise men to locate Jesus after they saw and interpreted the Star Sign.
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Matthew 12:16 ESV
Any time up to 3 years would seem to be reasonable to still consider the Revelation 12 sign applicable as a Great Sign.
If you are interested in the Star Sign announcing Jesus’ first coming, I would recommend Rick Larson’s 2007 Documentary entitled The Star of Bethlehem.
Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt? Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape? If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.
Year 6000 – This Wikipedia page discusses the Jewish expectation of the Messianic Age to begin at year 6000 at the latest. Their calendar is off (see the discussion on the missing years, and the 360-day calendar conversion above), but this shows the Jewish belief of the 7000 years destined for humanity.
The Bible is infallible. I am not. I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture. I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details. I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!