"None of the wicked will understand, but those who are
wise will understand" (Daniel 12:10, NIV)
Christ's Soon Return: The Overwhelming Evidence The Importance
of the End of this Millennium
Jim Bramlett (USAF ret.) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The year A.D. 2000 is almost here. It is not just the end of a decade. Not
just the end of a century. But we are one of the very few generations to
ever see the end (and beginning) of a millennium. What an incredible and
historic time to be alive! But could A.D. 2000 be much more significant
than most of us can even imagine? Biblical prophecy fulfillment is rushing
to a climax. Throughout history, according to researchers, both Christian
and Jewish writers looked to this very time -- not to the year A.D. 1000,
or A.D. 3000, or A.D. 4000 or any other time -- but surprisingly to the
end of this present millennium, approaching A.D. 2000, as the most eventful
time in all history. If they were alive today, they would undoubtedly be
ecstatic with anticipation. Should we? Did they know something we have overlooked,
or dismissed too lightly? Does the end of this millennium signal the Second
Coming of Jesus Christ? Adding to the mystery is the fact that our civil
calendar may be erroneous and not the same as God's calendar. The end of
the current biblical millennium, with its implications, may actually occur
1-5 years earlier than what the world expects.
Consider the following evidence, far from exhaustive and only a sample:
Early Christians Looked to this Decade! Early Christian writers held that
at the end of 6,000 years of history, Christ would return and reign for
1,000 years (referred to as the Millennium). These included Barnabas (c.
A.D. 100), Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (c. A.D. 150), Lactantius (c. A.D.
325), and Methodius, Bishop of Tyre (c. A.D. 300). For example, Barnabas
wrote: "As there had been 2,000 years from Adam to Abraham, and 2,000
from Abraham to Christ; so there will be 2,000 years for the Christian era
and then would come the Millennium." Church father Irenaeus wrote concerning
a belief of the early church: "For the day of the Lord is as a thousand
years; and in six days created things were completed; it is evident, therefore,
that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand years."
Lactantius, tutor of the son of the Roman Emperor Constantine, categorically
stated in his Book of Divine Institutes, Chapter 14: "let the philosophers
know that the six thousandth year is not yet completed; and when this number
is completed, the consummation must take place." Later, in A.D. 1552,
Bishop Latimer wrote: "The world was ordained to endure, as all learned
men affirm, 6,000 years. Now of that number, there be passed 5,552 years
(as of A.D. 1552), so that there is no more left but 448 years (ending in
A.D. 2000)." In the 17th century, Archbishop Ussher had access to many
ancient church manuscripts that were lost in the burning of early Irish
churches during the Irish wars. In A.D. 1650, in Latin, he wrote The Chronology
on the Old and New Testament in which he calculated that the Millennium
would begin in A.D. 1997. His chronology was based on Christ being born
in 4 B.C. Modern scholarship places Christ's birth between 6 B.C. and 1
B.C. which, according to Ussher, the Millennium would begin 1995-2000. The
writings of other church fathers such as Victorinus, Bishop of Petau and
Hippotylus support the argument that the apostles and the early church believed
and taught that the Millennium would commence at the end of 6,000 years.
So Did Early Jewish Writers
Even the writings of the early Jews expressed the view that the Messiah
would come at the end of our present century. After the Bible, the Talmud
is the most authoritative source of Judaism. The view frequently expressed
in the Talmud, according to researchers, is that the world as we know it
would last only 6,000 years. For example, the Tanna debe Eliyyahu teaches:
"The world is to exist 6,000 years. In the first 2,000, there was desolation
(no Torah, from Adam to Abraham . . .), 2,000 years the Torah flourished,
and the next 2,000 years is the Messianic era (He should have come within
that period . . . He should have come at the beginning of the last 2,000
years; the delay is due to our sins)" (emphasis added; ironically,
Messiah did come the first time at the beginning of the last 2,000 years
because of our sins).
Rabbi Ketina said in Gemara, a commentary on the Talmud, "The world
endures six thousand years and one thousand it shall be laid waste (that
is, the enemies of God shall be destroyed), whereof it is said, 'The Lord
alone shall be exalted in that day.' As out of seven years every seventh
(is a) year of remission, so out of the seven thousand years of the world,
the seventh millennium shall be the millennial years of remission, that
God alone may be exalted in that day."
The Reason: Biblical History and the Sabbath Principle
The above beliefs of the early Christian and Jewish writers were based on
biblical history. While scholars may debate and try to explain or deny it,
it is a fact that biblical chronology describes about 6,000 years from Adam
and Eve to the year A.D. 2000. Because of God's own emphasis on the sabbath,
both literally and spiritually, and since a thousand years to the Lord is
as a day (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8), ancient and modern scholars see the
coming seventh millennium as the Sabbath Millennium, with many prophetic
implications; namely, the return of the Lord and His 1,000-year reign on
the earth. God's labor of creation took six days, followed by a day of rest.
His sabbath commandment to Israel was "to keep it holy." Will
His creative work with humanity, and humanity's labor, likewise take six
(thousand-year) days, with the seventh being one of divinely provided rest
and holiness, with God present and exalted on the earth? This is certainly
not conclusive, but it is intriguing, especially taken with all the other
Evidence from Israel: a Key Event in this Century
We now know a fact experientially that those early thinkers and writers
only knew by faith. And if, like us, they could experience it, they would
probably be doubly ecstatic. That fact is this: After almost 2,000 years
of dispersion and according to many prophecies, the nation of Israel has
been reestablished only in this present century. Never in history has a
nation been destroyed and the survivors scattered around the world, then
have their nation later restored, especially after nearly 2,000 years. In
itself, the nation of Israel is a modern-day miracle. And the Bible seems
clear--at Christ's return, Israel will be intact as a nation, something
impossible until the last half of this century! (Opinion: as Satan used
Herod to kill all the Jewish babies to try to thwart Christ's first mission,
Satan used Hitler to try to kill all the Jews to prevent Israel's rebirth,
a prerequisite to Christ's return.)
Israel is "God's time clock." Jesus Himself expressed such a view.
He spoke prophetically of Israel and the future, saying that Jerusalem would
be destroyed and the Jews scattered, which actually happened 40 years later
in A.D. 70. He said Jerusalem would be trampled down by Gentiles "until
the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). He also told
a parable of the "fig tree," thought to represent the nation of
Israel. He said when it begins to sprout, "you know that the kingdom
of God is near" (Luke 21:29-31), and that "this generation (the
one that sees the signs) will certainly not pass away until all these things
have happened" (v. 32).
The fig tree, whether just Israel or all the signs together, began to sprout
in the last half of this century. Israel was reestablished in 1948. And
in the miraculous 1967 Six-Day War, Israel recaptured Jerusalem from "the
Gentiles," fulfilling Jesus' prophecy about "the times of the
Gentiles" now being complete. (While world data are not available,
it is a known fact that in the number one Gentile nation, America, there
has been in a precipitous cultural and spiritual decline precisely since--yes,
the 1960s. For example, a Heritage Foundation study of 19 leading cultural
indicators concluded that, "Over the past three decades we have experienced
substantial social regression.")
Evidence from the Prophet Daniel
Daniel, chapters 9-12, hold keys to the timing of the Lord's return. In
about 550 B.C., Daniel prophesied the time of both Christ's first and second
coming, and it can be demonstrated how the prophecy was accurately fulfilled
at His first coming. It seems obvious that the passage also would contain
the key to the timing of His Second Coming. However, the angel Gabriel,
who gave Daniel this information, said that the understanding of the timing
of the second coming was "sealed" until the "time of the
end"; in other words, it could not be understood until this special
period of history. In addition to other clues, Gabriel gave two key conditions
that would prevail at that time: "travel and education (knowledge)
shall be vastly increased" (chapter 12, verse 5, Living Bible).
Travel: World travel, and even interstate travel, was minimal until this
century. And it was not until the middle of this century that travel literally
exploded. The main factor was the advent of the jet aircraft engine -- which
was first used on a commercial airliner in the 1950s! Almost everyone, at
least in advanced societies it seems, is now traveling. Without a doubt,
travel has "vastly increased" since the 1950s.
Education: Education and knowledge also exploded in this century. >From
the time of Christ until 1900, it is estimated that man's knowledge doubled.
In just the next 50 years, from 1900 to 1950, it doubled again. Then it
began an extremely rapid doubling; first every seven years, then every two
years in the 1960's. It appears that the 1950's marked the time in history
when knowledge and education "vastly increased" and literally
This means that according to Daniel, sometime about 1948 when Israel was
reborn, or at least soon thereafter in the 1950s, God unsealed, or is now
unsealing, the vision of Daniel to give us understanding of the time of
Christ's soon return.
Evidence from Divine Time Cycles
Nothing God says or does is without meaning. In the Bible, He makes a fascinating
use of numbers, some of which are repeated intervals, such as 3, 7, 40 and
70. Such improbable patterns are God's authentication that He alone is in
control of history, and not random, chance forces.
The Third-day Restoration. There are several instances of God's restoration
occurring on the third day, including Jonah's deliverance from the great
fish and, most notably, the Lord's resurrection from the tomb. Could a third-day
prophecy by Hosea about the nation of Israel speak of A.D. 2000? "After
two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we
may live in his presence" (Hosea 6:2). As Jesus prophesied, Israel
was destroyed and the Jews scattered in A.D. 70. Now after two "days"
(thousand-year periods), Israel has been "revived" in this century
(in the Old Testament, a partial day was considered a day). If this was
a fulfillment of Hosea's prophecy, then we can expect Israel's full "restoration"
and life in the presence of their Messiah in the "third day" or
on or about A.D. 2000.
The Five-year Cycle. God told the ancient Hebrews not to harvest from fruit
trees until the fifth year after planting (Leviticus 19:23). If this is
a prophetic symbolism, God "planted" Israel (the fig tree) with
Abraham about 2000 B.C. The fifth year, or fifth thousand-year period, would
begin on or about A.D. 2000. Is this when the fruit of God's planting and
cultivating from "Abraham's seed" will come to harvest, in the
The Seven-year Cycle. Under Hebrew law a servant was to serve six years
and then be set free in the seventh year without paying anything (Exodus
21:2). Is this a shadow of creation itself being set free from its bondage
of decay after the sixth millennium, with debts (sin) canceled for those
who have placed their faith in the Messiah? Other examples exist of God
dealing with His people redemptively where the number seven is significant.
The 70th "Year of Jubilee." Upon entering the Promised Land 3,500
years ago, God told the Israelites to observe a "Year of Jubilee"
every 50 years. On or near the year A.D. 2000 will mark the exact 70th Year
of Jubilee in history, plus it will mark 40 Jubilees from the one in which
Jesus began His ministry, which itself was the 30th Year of Jubilee since
its inception--in the same year when Jesus was believed to have been age
30. The Year of Jubilee was the year of restoration, proclamation of liberty
and release from bondage as commanded by God in Leviticus 25: "Count
seven Sabbaths of years--seven times seven years--so that the seven Sabbaths
of years amount to a period of 49 years . . ." as the passage begins.
Will the 70th Jubilee bring a full restoration and, at last, the release
and liberty of God's people from this present bondage and suffering and
entry into the Promised Land of the Millennial Kingdom?
Daniel's 70 Weeks of Years. God gave the prophet Daniel a vision of 70 weeks
of years (7+62+1 X 7 = 490 years) into the future (Daniel 9:24-26), including
the timing of Christ's coming. Many scholars believe that 69 of those weeks
(483 years) have been fulfilled, or will be fulfilled in 1996 or 1997 (1947/48+49=1996/97),
and that the 70th "week" remains to be fulfilled: a seven-year
period to come in conjunction with Christ's return. Will Daniel's 70th week
finally come with the 70th Year of Jubilee and the seventh millennium? A
fitting culmination of prophecy!
There are many other biblical signs that we are in the "last days"
before the soon return of the Lord. Billy Graham has said that while some
signs have appeared in the past, "this is the first time in human history
that all the signs are converging."
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, Paul describes the increased degeneracy of humanity
in the "last days," something we are experiencing today. (See
reference to the recent Heritage Foundation study above.) As just one example,
in the past 30 years violent crime in the U.S. has shown an increase of
an astonishing 500 percent! Asked what he foresaw as the terminus of civilization,
T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) envisioned people shooting each other at random,
only a recent, now widespread phenomenon.
There is an explosion of cults and the occult, as well as false Christs
(1 Timothy 4:1; Matthew 24:24). And Jesus said that at His return it would
be "as in the days of Noah" (Matthew 24:37), when the earth was
corrupt and filled with violence (Genesis 6:11). He warned of increased
famines and ethnic wars, like birth pangs, with increasing intensity. Today,
one of six people on earth suffer from hunger, and a study of wars since
500 B.C. shows a recent, dramatic increase. Of 82 world conflicts between
1990 and 1995, all but three have been civil or ethnic.
Also like increasing birth pangs, Jesus also said there would be earthquakes
in various places. From official records, scholars have researched the frequency
of earthquakes and report an astonishing increase since -- yes, just the
middle of this century, when Israel was reborn and all the other signs began.
There averaged only 2.3 per decade above Richter 6.0 before the 1950s; in
the 1950s, there were 9; the 1960s, 13; the 1970s, 51; the 1980s, 86! And
already in the 1990s there have been more than 100, with tens of thousands
dead in various parts of the world, including Iran, Indonesia, Japan, India
The increased centralization of world financial and political power into
a "New World Order" is a prelude to the soon-coming anti-Christ,
who will deceive most of the world (Daniel 7-12; Matthew 24:15; Revelation
Paul also says that in the last days there will be those with "a form
of godliness, but denying its power" (2 Timothy 3:5), a condition even
in many Christian churches today where the power of the Holy Spirit is not
only denied, even His mention is rare and often discouraged, while anti-
Christian practices are encouraged, all in the name of "religion."
The Good News. God also says that in the last days, "I will
pour out my Spirit on all flesh" (Joel 2:28). People are coming to
faith in Jesus Christ all over the world in record numbers. Some individual
evangelical organizations are seeing millions of conversions. There is a
great outpouring in the former Soviet Union, in China and elsewhere. Joel's
prophecy began to be fulfilled at Pentecost, nearly 2,000 years ago, but
it will greatly intensify just before the return of the Lord. We are already
The Great Commission Fulfilled. Jesus tells us: "This gospel
shall be preached throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations,
and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14). We are near that time.
Hundreds of missions organizations are rapidly closing on that goal by the
year 2000. Just one of them, Campus Crusade for Christ, working with thousands
of churches and other groups plans to help fulfill the Great Commission
by December 31, 2000. They already have well over 100,000 staff and volunteers
in 165 countries in areas covering 98 percent of the world's population,
plus they are working with literally hundreds of other organizations.
Angel Visits and Announcements. Confirming Scripture, there are verified
angel visitations saying that Jesus is coming "very, very soon."
(For free report, see end of article.)
Internal Witness of the Spirit. God promised that His Spirit would
indwell His people and would "guide you into all truth....and declare
to you the things that are to come" (John 16:13). Millions of people
worldwide who profess receiving Christ and the infilling of His Spirit report
an inner witness and expectancy of the Lord's soon return. Of course, this
factor must always be carefully weighed against Scripture -- but as we see,
this is a test it seems to pass.
Can We Know When?
Can we know when the Lord Jesus Christ will return? Are we supposed to know?
Out of curiosity, I frequently ask people, "When do you think Christ
will return?" The typical response is, "Soon maybe, but we are
not supposed to know when, or even to speculate. He will come 'as a thief
in the night.'" For several reasons, based on Scripture, I am surprised
at this response by many otherwise knowledgeable Christians.
First, Jesus did clearly say that no one will know the "day or the
hour" of His return. However, a day is a pretty small slice of time
-- only 24 hours. That restriction is understandable because there are 24
time zones on the earth and, because of the International Dateline, at any
one time the people on the earth are in two different days!
Second, the "thief in the night" passage refers to unbelievers
(1 Thessalonians 5:4). But in the very same passage Paul tells believers,
"You are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like
a thief" (emphasis supplied). In other words, if we are trusting in
Christ and looking for His coming, even the very day does not have to surprise
Third, a large percentage of the Bible is predictive prophecy about the
Second Coming. God went to a lot of trouble to document all this information
on our behalf. Was all that to keep it a big secret from us? Or did he give
it that His people, especially seekers, might understand? The latter seems
more reasonable. Fourth, at the time of Jesus' first coming certain ones
knew the prophecies and understood the times. And Jesus rebuked those who
did not understand the signs of the times in His day (Matthew 16:3). "O
ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky, but can ye not discern
the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:3).
Fifth, it is true that when His disciples asked Him about the kingdom being
restored, Jesus did tell them, "It is not for you to know the times
or the seasons" (Acts 1:7). However, he was speaking specifically to
His disciples who were living almost 2,000 years ago and who would not be
alive when Daniel's vision would be "unsealed," as we have apparently
seen in our generation (see above).
It seems clear that God actually does want us to seek and know at least
the general period when Christ will return, except for a specific 24-hour
period, and even then we may know so accurately that even the day will "not
surprise" us, as Paul said.
Based on all the above, it can be concluded that sometime near the end of
this millennium will probably see the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
His return may actually be in the year A.D. 2000. On the other hand, due
to calendar and dating errors, it could be later. But -- it could also be
Readers are permitted and encouraged to copy and freely share this article
with others. For a free copy of an article documenting recent angel visits,
send self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope to
Jim Bramlett (USAF ret.) (email@example.com)
10637 Crystal Springs Ct.
Orlando, FL 32825.
Specify "Angel report." God bless you.
Editorial comments from Lambert Dolphin:
Christians should be extremely careful of falling into any "date-setting"
traps, since the Bible is clear that the coming of
Jesus for His Bride the Church will be sudden and unannounced, (Acts 1:6,
7, Matthew 24:36). Several unfortunate, harmful, but best-selling books have
appeared in Christian bookstores in recent years setting a time for Christ's
return---all of which failed to come to pass.
At the same time, Jesus indicated that informed believers should always
be able to see the "signs of the times" around them and be in
anticipation of God's current (or next actions) in history which will catch
non-believers unawares. Jesus scolded the crowds during his first advent
for being unprepared and unresponsive to his presence with them,
He also said to the multitudes, "When you see a cloud rising
in the west, you say at once, `A shower is coming'; and so it happens.
And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching
heat'; and it happens. 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?
Generations of Christians since the First Century have considered the possibility
of the imminent return of Jesus in their lifetimes to be their great hope. The "Blessed
Hope" of the church (Titus 2:11-14) has been the eager expectation of the true church in every generation that Jesus would come in their time. Even the First Century Apostles expected the soon-return of their Lord.