DATING THE FALL OF MAN (Updated late summer of 2007)
Dating the Fall of Adam and Eve is rather tricky and it should be stated up front that the exact date cannot be accurately determined. However, if one is permitted to make some reasonable assumptions or premises, it is possible to eliminate unreasonable dates, and thus provide some evidence for the date of the Fall.
I have looked at the structure of timing in the Bible, and by placing a rough estimate of the Fall around 4,000 B.C., I have formed several opinions and premises. These are actually fairly commonly held and the 6,000 years mentioned shortly was taught by some Jewish rabbis over 2,000 years ago.
That God will permit 6,000 years of sin on the earth prior to Jesus Christ's second coming. Sin existed in heaven prior to Satan's ejection from there (see Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14), but this is not included in the 6,000 years given for sinful mankind.
That the millennium will be the 7th 1,000 years. This will be a 1,000 years of Sabbath rests during which the land will lie desolate (see Isaiah 24 and Rev. 20). The righteous who have been resurrected will be taken to heaven at Christ's second coming (see 1 Thess. 4:16, 17, Rev. 20:4-6).
That at the end or near the end of the millennium, God will resurrect all the wicked to see the reward that they missed, and to give them an opportunity to acknowledge God as righteous and just. At that time, Satan will deceive the nations once more and together, Satan and the wicked will be forever destroyed. (see Rom. 14:11, Phil. 2:9-11, Rev. 20:7-10) This will end the 7,000 years of sin on this earth, and the earth and the heavens (sky/atmosphere) will be recreated. (see Rev. 21, 22, Isa. 65, 66).
Given the above premises and recognizing that Jesus has not returned yet, leads me to believe that the Fall occurred less than 6,000 years ago.
Furthermore, from my analysis of Revelation, there appears to be a literal three and a half year period of tribulation, a time of trouble, for God's people and the world prior to Jesus' second coming (see Rev. 11:1-13). Just as the number seven implies completeness and perfection, so variants of the number three and a half indicate a time of tribulation for God's people. (See Dan. 7:25; 9:27; 12:7-12; Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:6, 14-17) This three and a half times can be used to indicate a time of 3 ˝ symbolic years (i.e. interpreted as 1,260 years) or 3 ˝ literal years.
I do not believe that we have yet entered this 3 ˝ year period. Since I believe that at the end of this period, Christ will return to claim those who overcome Satan, and his representatives, the Fall would have been less than:
6,000 - 3.5 = 5,996.5 years ago.
There is some evidence (primarily related to visions given to some contemporary individuals) that suggest that some of the events foretold in Revelation are going to begin "soon", and in one case, indications are that these will begin prior to the end of President George W. Bush's term in office (end of 2008). Given that some of his responses to the crises may take some time to gather political momentum, summer or fall of 2008 are potential times for these events to begin. Whether or not these happen, time will tell. Knowing dates and times is not an article or condition of faith.
That would place a possible date for the Adam's transgression around
|Next Fall's date (Fall of '08)|
|years in between|
|year for 0th year crossover|
As an interesting coincidence, adding 3.5 years of tribulation to 2008.75 puts us at 2012, the end of the Mayan Calendar. According to Wikipedia, it’s not that the Mayan calendar ends on December 12, 2012, but that the current cycle ends, and the calendar starts anew (for the fifth time). The ending is very significant but does not necessarily mean the end of the world, although apparently it does entail a “time of rebirth”.
As an important note, one contemporary vision indicates that God is not bound by this "2012" date, nor are we to focus on this date or event. The indications are that the Mayan Calendar is a distraction from the close of probation or opportunity for salvation as the 2012 date occurs after the events of the end have begun.
Whether I am correct or incorrect regarding the Fall of Adam or the approximate time of Christ's second return however, is immaterial to one's personal salvation. The timings and events suggested, rather than creating a fanatical excitement, should draw one into a deeper commitment to study God's Word and His character to truly know Him.
One's probation, or opportunity to be saved does not extend up to Jesus Christ's second coming. Probation for all humanity closes prior to the plagues being poured out and our individual probation may close at any time due to one's death. Therefore, we must be ready to meet our Maker and Judge at any moment, and not wait for a more opportune time.
Time is short. The final events will be rapid ones. Are you worshipping the Creator God?
Rev. 14:6,7 Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth --to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water."
God, our Creator and Redeemer, calls each one of us to a saving transforming relationship with Him. Let us each respond to the call!
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