PROPHESY AGAINST THE NATIONS
Chapter 7: Countdown to Christ’s Coming – Part 1
From the prophets of old and throughout the New Testament, there have been prophecies given concerning Christ’s first and second coming and the timing regarding the countdown for each.
Through the prophet Daniel, God foretold the exact timing when the Messiah would first come to fulfill a work on earth. These scriptures also foretold when he would die. As with most prophecy, it was not written to be readily known or understood.
God also recorded another prophecy which speaks of a specific event that would reveal the beginning of a countdown to Christ’s second coming. That countdown will be covered in this final chapter. Some who do not like math or calculating dates may not like or understand some sections of this, but you can gain a profitable overview just the same. Also, the meticulous process and precision that God has revealed through this timing should prove very meaningful and hopefully stir certain awe as well. This is all quite profound and great proof of Christ’s coming.
The fact that the Messiah had a specific work to do on earth in a first coming, and the fact that he would die before establishing God’s Kingdom, was never understood by prophets or religious leaders all the way to the time of Christ’s resurrection. Even the disciples to whom Jesus Christ foretold about his own death did not understand what he was telling them, nor did they understand his work that he was fulfilling as the Messiah until after he had already died and been resurrected.
70 Weeks Prophecy
This prophecy in Daniel, often referred to as the “70 Weeks Prophecy”, gives information on the countdown of Christ’s first coming. For this specific prophecy, God reveals that each “prophetic day” in this specific prophecy is equal to a literal year.
The prophecy first begins with a specific segment of time: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until the Messiah the Prince [when he would begin his work, his ministry], there shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troubled times” (Daniel 9:25).
The first period mentioned is “seven weeks,” which is 49 days. Those prophetic 49 days are equal to 49 literal years. In 457 B.C., Artaxerxes issued the decree for the rebuilding of Jerusalem that took place through the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. It took 49 years to reconstruct the streets and walls, which fulfilled this first seven weeks prophecy (49 years) that concluded in 408 B.C.
The next period mentioned was “sixty-two weeks.” Multiplying this number by seven days in a week is equal to an additional 434 prophetic days or 434 literal years. Adding 434 years, beginning from 408 B.C., brings us to 27 A.D. (adding a 1 since there is no year 0). Jesus Christ began his ministry in 27 A.D. and was killed 3 ½ years later on Passover 31 A.D.
That 3 ½ years is what the next verse in Daniel is about: “And after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off [killed], but not for himself [he was going to die for all mankind as their Passover]” (Dan. 9:26). The following verse adds even more: “And Then he [Messiah] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week [3 ½ days] shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…” (Dan. 9:27).
The prophets of old, religious leaders, and the disciples themselves did not know that the Messiah would first come to die as the world’s Passover nor could they grasp that by doing so he would cause the physical “sacrifice and the oblation to cease,” meaning his death would fulfill and do away with the laws pertaining to the sacrificial system. When scriptures speak of laws being done away with, especially in Hebrews, this is not about the 10 Commandments, but it is about the law of sacrifices, the sacrificial system and laws pertaining to it, which symbolized that which was to come.
This prophecy concerning Christ’s first coming in which he would fulfill a ministry lasting for 3 ½ years, after which he would be “cut-off” (put to death), is easily understood; however, this prophecy also contains meaning concerning the events at the end-time as well, although not all of it has been completely revealed. That which is known will be covered later.
Final Countdown Begins
Some history that will be covered in this chapter concerning a specific countdown to Christ’s second coming has already been mentioned, but it is important to receive all that has been given in a complete picture to see how all the periods of time fit together precisely so.
Even after the Church began on Pentecost in 31 A.D., they still did not know that Christ would not return in their lifetime. For generation after generation within the Church, for nearly 1,900 years, the Church waited. It wasn’t until God raised-up Herbert W. Armstrong to be His apostle that He began to reveal to the Church that they were living in the end of the age of mankind—in the end-time.
God revealed to Mr. Armstrong that there were seven specific eras for God’s Church as recorded at the beginning of the Book of Revelation. The first era during the time of the original apostles was known as the Ephesian Era. Mr. Armstrong was raised up to lead in the sixth period known as Philadelphia (Rev. 3). When he died in 1986, that era came to an end and the seventh and last era began—Laodicea.
It was about half-way into the era of Laodicea (9 years) when a prophecy that God had given Paul to write became fulfilled. This prophecy was the sign to God’s Church that Christ was now coming. This was covered in Chapter 5 concerning what was written in 2 Thessalonians 2 about an Apostasy that had to occur in the Church of God before Christ would begin his return. Because of those verses, the Church had known for decades that an Apostasy would occur in the end-time, but it had no comprehension of its magnitude or destructive power.
To understand the countdown that began at the time of the Apostasy, it is necessary to become somewhat familiar with certain prophetic periods of time that are associated with the end-time.
1260 Days in Prophecy
The Church has long understood that there are specific periods of timing associated with Christ’s coming that involve 1,260 days. In prophecy, there is a description of 42 months which is about a specific period in a countdown to Christ’s coming. That period is 1,260 days in length. In other words, 42 months is an equivalent prophetic period of 1,260 days.
Other places in scripture refer to a time, times, and half-a-time that is also equivalent to exactly 1,260 days, where a “time” is defined as 360 days, “times” is 720 days, and “half-a-time” is 180 days, which when added together is 1,260 days. These are all prophetic periods of time and have been understood by the last two eras of God’s Church to be periods of specific time that would be fulfilled at the end-time before the coming of Christ. It is just that the Church has not known how all these fit together.
Before proceeding, it also needs to be mentioned that there is additional prophetic meaning contained within these periods of 1,260 days. This period is subdivided into another count, where 280 days reveal God’s direct judgment in a matter.
This one period of 280 days stands alone as a period of judgment from God. The remaining time of 960 days (1,260 – 280) reveals more about why a judgment has been made. That remaining period of 960 days can also be referred to as “time, times, and half-a-time” when pertaining to judgment. In the case of judgment, 280 days is a “time,” 560 days is “times,” and 140 days is “half-a-time.” All these periods have significance, but God has not yet revealed all of this to His Church. Nevertheless, the complete sum is still 1,260 days (280 + 960).
In this example, 280 days is for judgment, and the period of “time, times, and half-a-time” is the remaining 980 days (280 + 560 + 140 = 980). This 980 days plus the 280 days of specific judgment is equal to 1,260 days. It is not necessary to fully understand matters about this period of “judgment” contained within the prophetic end-time number of 1,260 days, but it does help to reveal that God is very exact and methodical in all that He does. The fulfillment of prophecy is not a matter of random chance, but of order, organization, planning, design, and that which is constant.
Back to the Countdown
After the Apostasy occurred on the 17th of December in 1994, the Church learned that a countdown had begun to Christ’s return. Yet in the midst of all this we did not yet know when that would be or how all these prophetic periods of time fit into that countdown.
The first thing God revealed to His Church was a matter of judgment and the importance of a period of 280 days that revealed God’s judgment. When Joseph Tkach, Sr. gave his sermon that polluted God’s temple, the Church of God, the prophesied Abomination of Desolation of the spiritual temple of God became fulfilled. This prophecy of Paul concerning the Apostasy had begun. God revealed a powerful judgment that He personally executed upon the man of sin, this son of perdition. Exactly 280 days later, to the hour, from when Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. gave that sermon, God took his life.
Once the remnant Church became aware of the significance of this judgment upon this prophetic man of sin, the son of perdition, more understanding began to be given concerning important periods of time that fit into what the Church was experiencing.
God eventually revealed to the Church that it had experienced a specific prophetic end-time period of 1,260 days after that Apostasy. It was the first of several such periods that God would reveal. It proved to be more than a coincidence that from the day of the Apostasy on the 17th of December 1994, to Pentecost of 1998, 1,260 days had been fulfilled. God later revealed that this Pentecost of 1998 was the day that the remnant Church had been reestablished as the one true Church that God would work through until Christ returned. Although it was revealed at a much later time to the Church, it was also on this Pentecost of 1998 that God made me an apostle to His Church—the last apostle for this end-time.
This first period was also revealed to be the one spoken of in Revelation 12:14. This scripture speaks of the Church that remained after the Apostasy that was spiritually nourished and protected from Satan during a time, times, and half-a-time (1,260 days). This period of protection following the Apostasy was needful for God’s Church in order to rebuild, strengthen, and prepare it for a work that would follow.
2012—First Date for Christ’s Coming
Over the years that followed the reestablishment of the Church on Pentecost of 1998, God worked to mold, fashion, and prepare the Church for greater things it was to accomplish through this countdown. Jesus Christ inspired the Church to produce two booklets that focused on crying out to those who had become scattered from the Apostasy. The first was entitled, Time Is Running Out. It revealed to the scattered groups what had happened to them, as they had no answers. They could not even see that there had been an Apostasy, although two-thirds of the Church no longer existed, and what remained had been scattered and split into over 600 different groups.
These scattered groups did not recognize that Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. was the prophesied man of sin in 2 Thessalonians 2. It did not see that all the Church had been spewed out of God’s mouth as prophesied for the Laodicean Era of the Church.
The second booklet, Time Has Run Out, was a much stronger message toward those scattered groups and served as warning for them to address the truth of what had happened to them. This was also a strong message against all in the ministry who failed to acknowledge what God had revealed, and by doing so, they had failed to truly serve and warn God’s people.
Then the book, The Prophesied End-Time, was written and sent out to the world in several languages. It was advertised in several nations and was free of charge to any who requested it and it could also be downloaded for free.
Then God began to reveal that 2008 was the pivotal year in the countdown to Christ’s coming, and the book, 2008—God’s Final Witness, was written. It too was sent out in several languages and was offered free on the Internet or in paperback. The Church paid all cost of publication and postage. It tried to make it as easy as possible for any who were interested in knowing about the catastrophic events of the end-time to be able to receive it.
In the previous chapter, it was covered how the Church came to believe Christ’s coming would be on Pentecost of 2012. In this period from the Apostasy to this date of Pentecost in 2012, God began to reveal prophetic periods of great significance. Again, all these different counts and the dates on which they occurred became a matter of awe, as these began to reveal patterns and order that could not be by chance, but only of design. The mathematical probabilities for so many prophetic periods of fulfillment, along with the meaning associated with the dates many of these occurred, was simply dumbfounding and deeply inspiring.
As a quick review, it was previously stated that 2008 was the pivotal year that determined whether the date of Christ’s coming would remain the same and be in 2012 or whether it would be moved forward by seven more years to 2019. However, the Church did not realize just how pivotal 2008 really was.
It had been revealed that the three prophesied periods of time mentioned in Daniel 12 (1,335, 1,290, & 1,260 days) were to begin within the year 2008. The first period of 1,335 days would lead up to the specific Holy Day that God had revealed Christ would return, Pentecost 2012. When counting backward from Pentecost of 2012 by 1,335 days, the count came to September 19, 2008. This was the day for the annual observance of the Feast of Trumpets in 2008—a startling revelation. In addition, the meaning of Trumpets had great relevance here because that day’s meaning concerns the announcing (trumpeting) of the coming of the Messiah.
God then revealed that the final seal of Revelation, the Seventh Seal, would open on the 14th of November 2008 (1,290 days before Pentecost 2012). Then, on the 14th of December 2008 (1,260 days), the Seven Trumpets of Revelation were blown, and the physical tribulation they announced would occur when it was God’s time that they each should begin doing so.
The time between when the Apostasy occurred up to Pentecost on the 27th of May 2012 became another astonishing revelation of time. Although God later revealed that He had changed the time of Christ’s coming in 2012 to that of Pentecost in 2019, He still clearly revealed the purpose of this first date and its great significance. This period of time contained a total of 6,370 days.
When counting up to Pentecost of 2012, the 27th is not included in the count, as Christ’s coming would have been at the very end of the 26th, just when the day of Pentecost would begin on the 27th.
This number of 6,370 is a specific multiple of three numbers that have highly significant prophetic meaning. God revealed those numbers as 7, 70, and 13. When these numbers are multiplied together they equal 6,370 days.
Earlier, God’s judgment upon the man of sin was shown by revealing he died 280 days after the Apostasy. This number is the multiple of the 7-day week times 40, where 40 is a number used prophetically that indicates judgment. The man of sin sought to change God’s Sabbath of the 7th day of the week, and God executed His judgment against him for doing so by ending his life exactly 7 x 40 days later (280 days), to the hour, from when he declared that it was no longer required to observe the Sabbath. The number 7 that was used here is the number that contains the prophetic meaning of being complete—completeness.
When used prophetically, the number 70 is one that has always been known to contain the meaning of Christ’s coming. This comes from that well-known prophecy of Daniel that is widely understood as the 70 Weeks Prophecy. For this count following the Apostasy, it was not a matter of years, but of days. With seven days in a week, times 70, which is the number for Christ’s coming, there are 490 days.
Then there is one more multiple in this sum of 6,370 days and that is the number 13. This number has great significance and has the meaning of apostasy and rebellion. This is recognized in various reference books. Beyond this, it is also a number that is prophetically attached to Satan, who is the ultimate epitome of rebellion and apostasy.
All these dates and numbers carried great meaning for God’s Church because the Church understood that Satan would be bound by Christ for over a thousand years at his coming. Satan and the demonic world will not be allowed to be in the presence of mankind during the Millennium or during the final hundred years when all “the rest” of mankind are resurrected to a second physical life.
So not only did this overall number (6,370) have great meaning concerning Christ’s coming (70), but it also reflected the meaning of Satan’s rule (13) coming to an end over this earth and Christ being established to rule instead, which completes (7) God’s plan for the establishment of His Kingdom to rule on earth (7 x 70 x 13 = 6,370).
Then, in addition to that, what had happened in the Church through a prophesied rebellion of the man of sin, the son of perdition, in an Apostasy had incredible meaning in the use of the number 13. Indeed, the great meaning for this entire period of time from the Apostasy to the first date of Christ’s coming proved incredibly inspiring to God’s Church.
These numbers continue to become more astounding and revealing the further we go into them. These are so very far beyond any possibility of coincidence or chance that it defies the imagination. The mathematical probability of these numbers occurring and with the dates associated with them continues to increase exponentially the more that is added. The numbers that have been used, which give such resulting totals is in itself astounding, but the fact that “exact meaning” is also contained in all of them carries this into a realm of incredible improbability and is a powerful witness as to who is the designer of it all.