Dear Wake Up Family,
I began an article about dates of interest two months ago with the idea that I could briefly describe how Larry Wilson calculated these dates in one article. Unfortunately, I was not up to the challenge! So, I will complete the presentation this month. Let’s begin by summarizing a few important assumptions.
- This study is about learning more about God’s timing, not setting dates for His return.
- God established weeks of days, years, and millenniums.
- God’s calendar begins with Nisan 1. If the sacrificial calendar begins on Nisan 1, the seventh millennium may also begin on Nisan 1. This would be a new moon on a Monday when earth will be returned to its original owner (Jesus Christ).
- The Great Tribulation will last for 1,335 days. (Daniel 12:12)
- The death decree in Esther’s day, declared for a full moon during the Jewish month of Adar II, may align with the abomination that causes desolation on the 1,290th day of the Great Tribulation (Esther 3:7, 13; Daniel 12:11).
Look at the chart below and link the timepoints as bolded above.
With these thoughts in mind, we need one additional data point to confirm upcoming dates of interest. If one were to ask Christians what they believe is critical about the end time story, many would say the 144,000 and the two witnesses have the most significant responsiblies during the Great Tribulation. The 144,000 begin their work after they are sealed, and the sealing occurs just before the land, sea, and trees are harmed (Revelation 7:3). Revelation 8:5–13 describes the order of events after the censer is cast down; rumblings, thunder, lightning, and a great earthquake, and then the trumpets begin. The 144,000 are mentioned just four times in the book of Revelation before the tribulation begins, and then John describes them as standing on Mount Zion singing a new song (Revelation 14:1, 3). After the 144,000 complete their work on earth, Jesus must call them up to join Him, a specific time between the time they are sealed and the time they appear with the Lamb.
We should understand a few facts about the 144,000 and the two witnesses before we consider the timing issues. The 144,000 are literal people and the number is literal. God calls them my servants, the prophets. God will pour out His Spirit on them in the last days. They come from every nation and will present the gospel God has given them simultaneously with great authority. They have not appeared yet. They will suffer rejection, torture, and death for their loyalty to God. They will ascend to heaven before Jesus returns at the second coming. See the link at wake-up.org/introduction-to-bible-prophecy/the-144000-2.html for further explanation and Bible references about the 144,000.
The two witnesses will prophesy for 42 months. They are two olive trees and lampstands. They stand before the Lord. They destroy their enemies with fire. The beast from the abyss kills them. They lie dead in the street for 3½ days. God resurrects them, and they terrify those who see them. God calls them up to heaven. See wake-up.org/two-witnesses/two-witnesses.html for additional information and Bible references about the two witnesses.
Last month I received a call for jury duty in my local county. When I was seated in the courtroom, the judge explained to potential jury members that our responsibility in determining guilt or innocence was to evaluate the credibility of the witnesses who were testifying for and against the defendant. We needed to recognize that a witness on the stand may be trying to mislead us regarding guilt. The two witnesses in Revelation are also testifying about an individual’s guilt or innocence. Unlike earthly witnesses, God’s two witnesses testify incontrovertible truth as Jesus is determining guilt or innocence. The only entities that can perfectly communicate truth during the Great Tribulation are God’s law and the Holy Spirit. Interestingly, these two witnesses provide testimony during a specific time of judgment. The two witnesses will prophesy for 1,260 days (Revelation 11:3). The 144,000 prophets, whom Jesus sealed at the beginning of the Great Tribulation, are God’s servants with Holy Spirit power who deliver the message of the two witnesses. When the two witnesses have completed their mission, the 144,000 will no longer have a message to deliver.
When the two witnesses complete their mission 1,260 days after the censer is cast down, the Bible says the beast from the abyss will attack them (Revelation 11:7) and end their mission on earth. Every person on earth will have made their decision to accept or reject the 144,000’s message. The two witnesses lie dead in the street for 3½ days, Day 1=Day 1,261, Day 2=Day 1,262, Day 3=1,263. Remember, each day, according to God’s calendar, is an evening and a morning. So, the half-day of the 3 ½ days, Day 1,264, ends at sunrise on the 1,264th day.
The 144,000 are Jesus’ first fruits of His harvest of His chosen people (Mark 4:29; Revelation 14:4). The “firstfruits” term refers to the Old Testament Festival of Weeks, which was the second feast celebrated during the ceremonial year. The first feast of the year was Passover, beginning on the fourteenth day of the first month (Leviticus 23:5). The next feast was the Festival of Weeks, which was celebrated on the fiftieth day after seven full weeks (Sundays through Sabbaths) from the Passover had passed. On the fiftieth day, a Sunday, the Israelites were to present a new grain offering to the Lord (Leviticus 23:16), the firstfruits of the new harvest (Numbers 28:26).
The parallel between the firstfruits of the Old Testament Festival of Weeks and the harvest of the 144,000 during the Great Tribulation is remarkable. The priest presented an offering of the firstfruits of that year’s harvest. In like manner, Jesus will call the 144,000 as the first fruits of his harvest of the redeemed on earth to join Him in heaven. “Then they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies looked on.” (Revelation 11:12, insertion mine) So, we have a final assumption to calculate an important date of interest. The 144,000 firstfruits ascend to heaven at sunrise on Sunday, Day 1,264 of the Great Tribulation.
We now have the information necessary to begin evaluating dates of interest. Here are the steps to identify them.
- Find the date of the spring equinox in Jerusalem
- Identify the date of the first new moon in Jerusalem after the spring equinox that occurs on a Monday.
- Subtract 1,334 days from the first new moon Monday to find tentative Day 1
- Calculate Day 1,290 and Day 1,264
- Verify that Day 1,290 is a full moon and Day 1,264 is a Sunday year
I have used this calculation to identify three dates of interest in the next 25 years. Nisan 1, when the new moon appears, after the spring equinox occurs in Jerusalem, March 20, 2034, April 1, 2041, and April 13, 2048. If we subtract 1,334 days from each of these dates, tentatively, the next three times for Day 1 of the Great Tribulation, the sealing of the 144,000, and the global earthquake would be July 25, 2030, August 6, 2037, and August 18, 2044. Remember, these dates are not meant to be predictive, We are using this information to study prophetic time periods that God revealed in the books of Daniel and Revelation.
I have given you a schematic for evaluating prophetic dates. However, Daniel and Revelation also provide other important periods, such as five months, 42 months, and 1,000 years. I would encourage you to continue studying the dates in Bible prophecy. The prophetic time periods are an important component of the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, and God has promised a blessing for those who study. “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (Revelation 1:3) The time is nearer than ever before. “Jesus tells us Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matthew 24:42) “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:44) May we be ever prepared, armed with scripture and the Holy Spirit, to finish the work He has entrusted to us.