Summary: Setting dates for Christ’s return.
Why Date Setting Is Wrong
1. Many have been wrong.
a. William Miller on October 22, 1844 waited with hundreds in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
b. Jehovah Witness predicted Christ returned in 1874, and was crowned as King in 1914.
c. Edgar C. Whisenant wrote 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Occur in 1988 (during the feast of Rosh Hashanah during the first week of September that year).
As we approach the year 2,000 A.D., many will set dates for Christ’s return. This message should give you answers for the growing "claims" when Christ will return. Watch for September 2,000. Many will claim Christ will come in this month. Why?
2. Sabbath theory. Just as there were six days of creation (work) and God rested on the seventh, so God will work (minister) in the world for six thousand years then rest in the seventh 1,000 years, which is the millennium "Sabbath." "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day" (II Pet. 3:8). "They" claim the world was created 4,004 B.C. (Usher’s date is un-scientific). According to the chronology below, Jesus will come in or near the year 2,000 A.D.
4004 O. T. years (Usher’s Date)
2000 N. T. years
(Jesus comes before the millennium)
1000 Millennium or Sabbath rest
a. Christian tradition. Usher’s date is wrong because he mis-understood and mis-interpreted O.T. genealogies. Bishop Usher traced the genealogies of Bible back to Adam and estimated 20 years for each generation. He estimated Creation occurred in 4004 B.C.
b. Jewish tradition. The Jewish rabbi’s got together and concluded the earth was created in 3760 B.C. That means if the Jewish rabbi’s are correct, we are in the year 5757 according to the Jewish calendar. Then the year 2,000 won’t come for another 242 years (source, editorial Baptist Bible Tribune, Dr. J. Combs).
3. The Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah). They teach the cycle of past and future history is tied to the seven feasts of Israel’s year. The four Spring feasts, Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Pentecost, reflect Christ’s first coming. The three Fall feasts represent Christ’s second coming, i.e. Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles.
a. Christ Comes on Rosh Hashanah. Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets, relates to the rapture, i.e. the rapture is introduced by a trumpet. "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed" (I Cor. 15:52). "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (I Thess. 4:16).
b. Rapture in September. Rosh Hashanah is celebrated in our September, i.e. the Jewish month of Tishi. "Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation" (Lev. 23:24).
3. Thesis. If they can establish the year (2000 A.D. Sabbath Theory) then we can establish the date, the first of Tishri, i.e. early September of 2000 A.D.
B. DATE SETTING IS PROHIBITED
1. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt. 24:36).
2. "Watch, therefore; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Matt. 24:42).
3. "Therefore be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 24:44).
4. "Watch, therefore; for ye know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of man cometh" (Matt. 25:13).
5. "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1:7).
6. "But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night" (I Thess. 5:1-2).
7. Application of these verses.
a. The human impossibility of knowing the date.
b. Date setting is prohibited.
c. Only God knows the time of Christ’s coming and He has chosen not the reveal it.
d. In His humanity, Christ did not know the date.
e. Our knowing the exact date is not necessary to our walk with Christ. "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law" (Deut. 29:29).
C. A FEW CLAIM THEY KNOW
1. Some add that "they" can know because now we are living in the last days, i.e. the early church couldn’t know because Christ couldn’t come in their time.