After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of King Herod, wise men from the east arrived unexpectedly in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1-2
Everyone knows this story. Very few ask the question: why were these wise men expecting the Messiah at this time? What lead them to be seeking a sign at that moment?
These men read the Scriptures, and knew them very well. We know that, because of what happens next:
When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. So he assembled all the chief priests and scribes of the people and asked them where the Messiah would be born.
“In Bethlehem of Judea,” they told him, “because this is what was written by the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the leaders of Judah:
because out of you will come a leader
who will shepherd My people Israel.”
The chief priests and scribes quoted Micah 5:2. They were not pagan astrologers. They were wise in knowing their Scripture. They most likely also knew the Book of Daniel. They were probably basing their timing of the Messiah on these revelations that the angel Gabriel gave to Daniel:
He gave me this explanation: “Daniel, I’ve come now to give you understanding. At the beginning of your petitions an answer went out, and I have come to give it, for you are treasured by God. So consider the message and understand the vision:
Seventy weeks are decreed
about your people and your holy city—
to bring the rebellion to an end,
to put a stop to sin,
to wipe away iniquity,
to bring in everlasting righteousness,
to seal up vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the most holy place.
Know and understand this:
From the issuing of the decree
to restore and rebuild Jerusalem
until Messiah the Prince
will be seven weeks and 62 weeks.
It will be rebuilt with a plaza and a moat,
but in difficult times.
After those 62 weeks
the Messiah will be cut off
and will have nothing…”
The wise men knew the Word of God. The prophecy stated that 69 weeks of years (173,880 days using the 360 day prophetic year) after the command went forth to restore and rebuild the city of Jerusalem the Messiah would come. They counted forward 173,880 days from the decree of Artaxerxes in 445 B.C. and determined the Messiah would “cut off (killed) around 32 A.D.
They would have also known from the Hebrew Scriptures that service as a priest started at the age of 30 (Numbers 4:43). Therefore, the Messiah would have been more than 30 years old and the Wise Men could have counted backward from the date of the Messiah’s death and determined an approximate time of His birth. Knowing the approximate time of the Messiah’s birth the Wise Men would have known to be watching for a sign..
Now, look at the rest of the Daniel 9 revelation:
“…The people of the coming prince
will destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end will come with a flood,
and until the end there will be war;
desolations are decreed.
He will make a firm covenant
with many for one week,
but in the middle of the week
he will put a stop to sacrifice and offering.
And the abomination of desolation
will be on a wing of the temple
until the decreed destruction
is poured out on the desolator.”
The scope of these revelations that the angel Gabriel gave to Daniel span from the decree to restore Jerusalem all the way to the very end of the Tribulation. The Lord had shown Daniel the entire history of the Church Age and the 7 year peace agreement (a firm covenant) that the Beast will make.
The wise men knew their Scripture, and they knew how to count. They had faith in the Lord. Note that they “arrived unexpectedly in Jerusalem” Matthew 2:1. No one else was expecting the Messiah at that time.
A plain reading of the Holy Bible, along with some simple math, clearly shows that the time of the Rapture is rapidly approaching. We have multiple “signs in the times” that point to imminent End Times.
6,000 Years from Adam to the Day of the Lord – 3983 B.C. to 2018
The Old Testament, New Testament, and early writings confirm that the church taught that there will be a thousand year millennial reign of Christ (the Day of the Lord) with His people on the earth, after a literal six thousand year reign of Man.
So, the natural question is, when do the six-thousand years end? Here is the relevant biblical genealogy, formulated and published by the brilliant Biblical scholar Dionysius Petavius in 1627:
Adam to Seth
Seth to Enosh
Enosh to Kenan
Kenan to Mahalalel
Mahalalel to Jared
Jared to Enoch
Enoch to Mathuselah
Mathuselah to Lemech
Lemech to Noah
Noah at the time of the flood
600 years GENESIS 7:11
total: 1656 years
2 years after the flood Shem had Arphaxed
Arphaxed to Shelah
Shelah to Eber
Eber to Peleg
Peleg to Reu
Reu to Serug
Serug to Nahor
Nahor to Terah
Terah to Abram(Abraham)70 years
135 years later Terah died
total: 427 years
Abram as 75 years old when Terah died and God told him to leave Haran. Genesis 17:1 Abram was 99 when God made the Covenant 75 to 99 = 24 years
From the time of the Covenant to the year of the Exodus was
I KINGS 6:1
From the Exodus to the fourth year of King Solomon was
The fourth year of King Solomon when he began the building of the temple
Therefore, if we add up 1,656 + 427 + 24 + 430 + 480 + 966, this suggests the creation of Adam was around 3,983 BC.
Subtraction shows that 6,000 years – 3,983 = 2018 (there is no “year zero” from B.C. to A.D.)
Note: There are inevitable rounding errors due to the 6,000 years of time being calculated, but this date is fairly accurate.
The Last Generation – 1947 to 2017
In the book of Matthew, we see Jesus teaching the Apostles that the Rapture, the Day of the Lord, and the Tribulation will be linked to a certain generation:
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Matthew 24:32-34
We believe that this generation started when Israel (often Biblically symbolized as a fig tree) was reestablished by the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine in 1947, after 1,900 years of dispersion, persecution and oppression. The reason we think this is the last generation is that the Rapture, Tribulation and Day of the Lord require the existence of the nation of Israel.
A Biblical generation is defined as 70 years in Psalm 90:10: The days of our lives are seventy years.
Now, applying simple addition, we can add 70 years to 1947 and arrive at 2017 as the possible time of the Day of the Lord.
The Prophecies in the Psalms – Psalms 117 = 2017
The Psalms, which are in the 19th book of the Bible, have a prophetic significance dealing with Israel for each year in the 1900s, carrying over into the 2000s. For example, Psalm 17 points to 1917, Psalm 67 points to 1967, and so on.
Biblical scholars like J.R. Church have found that many of the key events for the Jewish people and for Israel are accurately reflected by the corresponding chapter (year) in the Psalms. As you study the Psalms, please keep in mind that the Jewish years starts somewhere in our month of either March or April, so there is an overlap. This is why a few of the Psalms may seem to reference events form the previous year, of the Gregorian calendar.
Psalms 117 is specifically to a universal call to praise, and points to the building of the third Temple. It corresponds to the year 2017.
Praise the Lord, all nations!
Glorify Him, all peoples!
For His faithful love to us is great;
the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever.
Psalm 117 is also the shortest chapter in the Bible, and is exactly in the center of your Bible.
The 3 Super-Signs – 1917 to 2017
Finally, in our last message, we showed that the the 100 year timeline leading up to 2017 includes:
1917 – A National Home for the Jewish People / Jerusalem freed from the Ottoman Empire
1967 – The Jews return to Jerusalem
2017 – The rebuilding of a Third Temple begins
Can these dates be coincidence? We are clearly being shown to pay attention to this year. Where are the wise men (and women) of today? Who is waiting expectantly for the Rapture, and the Day of the Lord?
Dear friends, this is now the second letter I have written to you; in both letters, I want to develop a genuine understanding with a reminder, so that you can remember the words previously spoken by the holy prophets and the command of our Lord and Savior given through your apostles. First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.” They willfully ignore this: Long ago the heavens and the earth were brought about from water and through water by the word of God. Through these waters the world of that time perished when it was flooded. But by the same word, the present heavens and earth are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God. The heavens will be on fire and be dissolved because of it, and the elements will melt with the heat. But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell.
2 Peter 3:1-13