When Will Jesus Return?

No Man Knew The Day Or The Hour

The date of the second coming was a hidden mystery, which God had concealed from the knowledge of all men, even the Prophets of God.

"But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only". - Matthew 24:36


An example of this concealing of the date of the second coming is seen in Daniel chapter 12 where Daniel hears references to specific periods of time relating to the second coming, but Daniel himself admits that the significance of the periods of time mentioned are a mystery to him:

"How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end...And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." - Daniel 12:6

It is quite remarkable that an explicit series of periods of time are mentioned regarding the advent of the Day of God, yet even the Prophet Daniel himself admits that he does not understand the significance of these prophecies. Daniel is then told that the meaning of the Words are "closed up and sealed", until "the time of the end". In other words the meaning of the prophecies regarding the dates of the second coming would remain a mystery until the Day of God, when the seals would be broken.

In the eighth chapter of the Book of Daniel, verse thirteen it is said:

"Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?"

That is to say, how long will this misfortune, this ruin, this abasement last? Meaning, when will be the dawn of the Manifestation of God?

Then he answered (verse 14):

"Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed"


Further reinforcing that this is a reference to the date of the Second Coming, right after this prophecy it says:

"at the time of the end shall be the vision". Even in Matthew, chapter 24, verse 3, Christ clearly says that what Daniel meant by this prophecy was the date of the second coming, and this is the verse:

"As He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

One of the explanations Jesus gave them in reply was this:

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place"

Now that it has been clearly established that there are indeed explicit prophecies within the Holy Bible regarding the date of the second coming, in the following sections will be a brief summary of the proof of the year of the First Coming of Jesus Christ (Messiah anticipated by the followers of Judaism), as well as a summary of the proof of the year of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Proof of The Date of The First Coming

In the Book of Daniel, from the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the martyrdom of the promised Messiah, seventy weeks are appointed:

9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."- (King James Bible, Daniel)

As has been quoted, in the Book of Daniel, from the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the martyrdom of Christ, seventy weeks are appointed; for by the martyrdom of Christ the sacrifice is accomplished and the altar destroyed. This is a prophecy of the manifestation of Christ. These seventy weeks begin with the restoration and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, concerning which four edicts were issued by three kings:

  • Cyrus in the year 536 B.C
    The first edict to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was issued by Cyrus in the year 536 B.C.; this is recorded in the first chapter of the Book of Ezra.

  • Darius of Persia in the year 519 B.C
    The second edict, with reference to the rebuilding of Jerusalem, is that of Darius of Persia in the year 519 B.C.; this is recorded in the sixth chapter of Ezra.

  • Artaxerxes in the year 457 B.C
    The third is that of Artaxerxes in the seventh year of his reign -- that is, in 457 B.C.; this is recorded in the seventh chapter of Ezra.

  • Artaxerxes in the year 444 B.C
    The fourth is that of Artaxerxes in the year 444 B.C.; this is recorded in the second chapter of Nehemiah.

But Daniel refers especially to the third edict which was issued in the year 457 B.C. Seventy weeks make four hundred and ninety days. Each day, according to the text of the Holy Book, is a year. For in the Bible it is said: "The day of the Lord is one year." (Num. 14:34.) Therefore, "four hundred and ninety days" are actually referring to "four hundred and ninety years". The third edict of Artaxerxes was issued four hundred and fifty-seven years before the birth of Christ, and Christ when He was martyred and ascended was thirty-three years of age. When you add thirty-three to four hundred and fifty-seven, the result is four hundred and ninety (70 weeks), which is the time announced by Daniel for the manifestation of Christ:

9:24"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity

But in the twenty-fifth verse this is expressed in another manner, as "seven weeks and sixty-two weeks"; and apparently this differs from the first saying. Many have remained perplexed at these differences, trying to reconcile these two statements. How can "seventy weeks" be right in one place, and "seven weeks and sixty-two weeks" (69 weeks) be right in another?

But Daniel mentions two dates. One of these dates begins with the command of Artaxerxes to Ezra to rebuild Jerusalem: this is the "seventy weeks" which came to an end with the ascension of Christ, when by His martyrdom the sacrifice and oblation ceased:

9:24"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity

The second period, which is found in the twenty-sixth verse, means that after the termination of the rebuilding of Jerusalem until the ascension of Christ, there will be "sixty-two weeks". The "seven weeks" (i.e. 49 days) are the duration of the rebuilding of Jerusalem, which took 49 years. When you add these "seven weeks" to the "sixty-two weeks", it makes sixty-nine weeks, and in the last week (69-70) the ascension of Christ took place. These "seventy weeks" are thus completed, and there is no contradiction.

9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."- (King James Bible, Daniel)

The Promise of God was fulfilled, and Jesus Christ the promised Messiah appeared amongst mankind and revealed the Beauty of God, and the redeeming Grace of God to mankind, yet the followers of Judaism denied Him, called Him the false messiah, and considered the many prophecies and signs regarding the Messiah to be unfulfilled:

"And when the days of Moses were ended, and the light of Jesus, shining forth from the dayspring of the Spirit, encompassed the world, all the people of Israel arose in protest against Him. They clamoured that He Whose advent the Bible had foretold must needs promulgate and fulfil the laws of Moses, whereas this youthful Nazarene, who laid claim to the station of the divine Messiah, had annulled the law of divorce and of the sabbath day -- the most weighty of all the laws of Moses. Moreover, what of the signs of the Manifestation yet to come? These people of Israel are even unto the present day still expecting that Manifestation which the Bible hath foretold! How many Manifestations of Holiness, how many Revealers of the light everlasting, have appeared since the time of Moses, and yet Israel, wrapt in the densest veils of satanic fancy and false imaginings, is still expectant that the idol of her own handiwork will appear with such signs as she herself hath conceived! Thus hath God laid hold of them for their sins, hath extinguished in them the spirit of faith, and tormented them with the flames of the nethermost fire. And this for no other reason except that Israel refused to apprehend the meaning of such words as have been revealed in the Bible concerning the signs of the coming Revelation. As she never grasped their true significance, and, to outward seeming, such events never came to pass, she, therefore, remained deprived of recognizing the beauty of Jesus and of beholding the face of God. And they still await His coming! From time immemorial even unto this day, all the kindreds and peoples of the earth have clung to such fanciful and unseemly thoughts, and thus have deprived themselves of the clear waters streaming from the springs of purity and holiness." - Baha'u'llah

Now that the year of the manifestation of Christ has been proved by the prophecies of Daniel, let us prove the year of the Advent of the Day of God and the promised appearance of the Return of Christ - Bahá’u’lláh (the Founder of the Baha'i Faith) and of the The Báb (His Forerunner).

Proof of The Date of The Second Coming


"The Hour which We had concealed from the knowledge of the peoples of the earth and of the favoured angels hath come to pass." - Baha'u'llah

In the eighth chapter of the Book of Daniel, verse thirteen it is said:

"Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?"

That is to say, how long will this misfortune, this ruin, this abasement last? Meaning, when will be the dawn of the Manifestation of God?

Then he answered (verse 14):

"Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed"


In Matthew, chapter 24, verse 3, Christ clearly says that what Daniel meant by this prophecy was the date of the second coming, and this is the verse:

"As He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?"

One of the explanations Jesus gave them in reply was this:

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)"

In this answer He referred them to the eighth chapter of the Book of Daniel, saying that everyone who reads it will understand that it is this time that is spoken of.

In the previous section regarding the date of the "First Coming" we have seen that the prophecies of Daniel referring to the date of the first and second coming refer to years as "days", for in the Bible it is said: "The day of the Lord is one year." (Num. 14:34.), and these years are calculated from the date of the rebuilding of Jerusalem in 456/457 BC.

Briefly, the purport of the "two thousand and three hundred days" prophecy in Daniel referring to the second coming is that he appoints two thousand three hundred years. 2300 years after 456BC is the year 1844. That is to say, the fulfillment of the vision of Daniel took place in the year A.D. 1844, and this is the actual year of the Báb’s manifestation according to the actual text of the Book of Daniel. Consider how clearly he determines the year of manifestation; there could be no clearer prophecy for a manifestation than this.

The Blessed Báb - Herald of the Baha'i Revelation, announcing the dawn of the Day of God appeared 2300 years after the edict to rebuild jerusalem, in 1844, as predicted by Daniel, and re-confirmed in Matthew. Consider how clearly the year of the manifestation of the Báb is spoken of in the Old Testament and in the Gospel.

"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD...” - Malachi 4:5

The Báb, although only 25 years of age, single-handedly and without aid or support, fearlessly rose up to proclaim His Message amongst the Persians who were renowned for their religious fanaticism and hatred - and unceasingly, unflinchingly announced the Dawn of the Promised Day of God, the Day when One far greater than Himself (Baha'u'llah) would soon appear. With His public declaration a great tumult began and the entire Shí'ah Islamic ecclesiastical hierarchy, two sovereigns of the Qajar dynasty and their wicked ministers, and the hostile masses, began a wholesale slaughter of tens of thousands of righteous men and women who were enlisting under the Bab's banner in ever growing numbers.

"Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" - Jude 1:14 KJV


Referring to the influence of the revelation of the Báb, Bahá’u’lláh said:

"How many embodiments of purity, who showed forth naught but true knowledge and stainless deeds, suffered an agonising death! Notwithstanding all this, each of these holy beings, up to his last moment, breathed the name of God and soared in the realm of submission and resignation. Such was the potency and transmuting influence which He exercised over them, that they ceased to cherish any desire but His Will, and wedded their souls to His remembrance.
Reflect: Who in the world is able to manifest such transcendent power, such pervading influence? All these stainless hearts and sanctified souls have, with absolute resignation, responded to the summons of His decree. Instead of making complaint, they rendered thanks unto God, and, amidst the darkness of their anguish, they revealed naught but radiant acquiescence in His Will. It is well known how relentless was the hate, and how bitter the malice and enmity, entertained by all the peoples of the earth towards these Companions...Hath the world, since the days of Adam, witnessed such tumult, such violent commotion?...
Do thou ponder these momentous happenings in thine heart, so that thou mayest apprehend the greatness of this Revelation, and perceive its stupendous glory.”

To conclude, let us now explain the date of the manifestation of Bahá’u’lláh from the Bible. The date of Bahá’u’lláh is calculated according to lunar years from the mission and the Hejira of Muḥammad; for in the religion of Muḥammad the lunar year is in use, as also it is the lunar year which is employed concerning all commands of worship.

In Daniel, chapter 12, verse 6, it is said:

"And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half

Three years and a half make forty-two months, and forty-two months are twelve hundred and sixty days. As we have already explained the signification of one "day", it is not necessary to explain it further; but we will say briefly that each day of the Father counts as a year, and in each year there are twelve months. Thus twelve hundred and sixty days, means twelve hundred and sixty years. The Báb, the precursor of Bahá’u’lláh, as predicted in the above prophecy, did in fact appear in the year 1260 from the Hejira of Muḥammad, by the reckoning of Islám. (the year 1260 AH of the lunar/Islamic calendar is the equivalent of the year 1844 AD in the solar/Christian calendar)

Afterward, in verse 11, it is said:

"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolation be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”

The beginning of this lunar reckoning is from the day of the proclamation of the prophethood of Muḥammad in the country of Ḥijáz; and that was three years after His mission, because in the beginning the prophethood of Muḥammad was kept secret, and no one knew it save Khadíjah and Ibn Nawfal. After three years it was announced. And Bahá’u’lláh, in the year 1290 from the proclamation of the mission of Muḥammad, caused His manifestation to be known, as predicted in the above prophecy.

In another chapter of the Holy Bible, referring to how long the Gentiles (i.e. non-Jews) would control the "holy city", this too predicts "42 months", which is the same as the three and a half years mentioned in Daniel chapter 12.

"For it is given unto the Gentiles; and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months" - Revelation 11:2

This explicitly shows how long the time of the Gentiles is - 42 months is 1260 days – each day for a year - 1260 years. Exactly 1260 years after Islam began,(in 1260 AH) the Bab declared that He was the bearer of a new message from God and that the people of all Faiths, including Islam, should now follow His new teachings.

"Consider how the prophecies correspond to one another. In the Apocalypse the appearance of the Promised One is appointed after forty-two months, and Daniel expresses it as three times and a half, which is also forty-two months...In another passage of John's revelation it is clearly spoken of as twelve hundred and sixty days...Nothing could be more clearer than this agreement of the prophecies with one another..." - Abdu’l-Baha

"Bestir yourselves, O people, in anticipation of the days of Divine justice, for the promised hour is now come. Beware lest ye fail to apprehend its import and be accounted among the erring" - Baha'u'llah

A History of Our Treatment of the Prophets

"Consider the past. How many, both high and low, have, at all times, yearningly awaited the advent of the Manifestations of God in the sanctified persons of His chosen Ones. How often have they expected His coming, how frequently have they prayed that the breeze of divine mercy might blow, and the promised Beauty step forth from behind the veil of concealment, and be made manifest to all the world. And whensoever the portals of grace did open, and the clouds of divine bounty did rain upon mankind, and the light of the Unseen did shine above the horizon of celestial might, they all denied Him, and turned away from His face -- the face of God Himself. Refer ye, to verify this truth, to that which hath been recorded in every sacred Book." - Baha'u'llah

All the Prophets of God, whenever made manifest unto the peoples of the world, have invariably foretold the coming of yet another Prophet after them, and have established such signs as would herald the advent of the future Dispensation. To this the records of all sacred books bear witness. Why then is it that despite the expectation of men, and in spite of the signs recorded in their sacred books regarding the subsequent appearance of Divine Guidance, such acts of violence, of oppression and cruelty, should have been perpetrated in every age and cycle against all the Prophets and chosen Ones of God? Why throughout history has every group considered itself to be faithful to the teachings of its Prophet, yet has vehemently denied the subsequent Prophet of God which they were promised, and were expecting?

Noah

Among the Prophets was Noah. For nine hundred and fifty years He prayerfully exhorted His people and summoned them to the haven of security and peace. None, however, heeded His call. Each day they inflicted on His blessed person such pain and suffering that no one believed He could survive.

And now, consider and reflect a moment upon the waywardness of this people. What could have been the reason for such denial and avoidance on their part? What could have induced them to refuse to put off the garment of denial, and to adorn themselves with the robe of acceptance?

"M editate profoundly, that the secret of things unseen may be revealed unto you, that you may inhale the sweetness of a spiritual and imperishable fragrance, and that you may acknowledge the truth that from time immemorial even unto eternity the Almighty hath tried, and will continue to try, His servants, so that light may be distinguished from darkness, truth from falsehood, right from wrong, guidance from error, happiness from misery, and roses from thorns. Even as He hath revealed: "Do men think when they say 'We believe' they shall be let alone and not be put to proof?" - Baha'u'llah

Abraham

Later, the beauty of the countenance of the Friend of God - Abraham - appeared from behind the veil, and another standard of divine guidance was hoisted. He invited the people of the earth to the light of righteousness. The more passionately He exhorted them, the fiercer waxed the envy and waywardness of the people, except those who wholly detached themselves from all save God, and ascended on the wings of certainty to the station which God hath exalted beyond the comprehension of men. It is well known what a host of enemies besieged Him, until at last the fires of envy and rebellion were kindled against Him. And after the episode of the fire came to pass, He, the lamp of God amongst men, was, as recorded in all books and chronicles, expelled from His city.

Moses

And when His day was ended, there came the turn of Moses. Armed with the rod of celestial dominion, adorned with the white hand of divine knowledge, and proceeding from the Paran of the love of God, and wielding the serpent of power and everlasting majesty, He shone forth from the Sinai of light upon the world. He summoned all the peoples and kindreds of the earth to the kingdom of eternity, and invited them to partake of the fruit of the tree of faithfulness. Surely you are aware of the fierce opposition of Pharaoh and his people, and of the stones of idle fancy which the hands of infidels cast upon that blessed Tree. So much so that Pharaoh and his people finally arose and exerted their utmost endeavor to extinguish with the waters of falsehood and denial the fire of that sacred Tree, oblivious of the truth that no earthly water can quench the flame of divine wisdom, nor mortal blasts extinguish the lamp of everlasting dominion.

Jesus

And when the days of Moses were ended, and the light of Jesus, shining forth from the dayspring of the Spirit, encompassed the world, all the people of Israel arose in protest against Him. They clamoured that He Whose advent the Bible had foretold must needs promulgate and fulfil the laws of Moses, whereas this youthful Nazarene, who laid claim to the station of the divine Messiah, had annulled the law of divorce and of the sabbath day -- the most weighty of all the laws of Moses. Moreover, what of the signs of the Manifestation yet to come? These people of Israel are even unto the present day still expecting that Manifestation which the Bible hath foretold! How many Manifestations of Holiness, how many Revealers of the light everlasting, have appeared since the time of Moses, and yet Israel, wrapt in the densest veils of satanic fancy and false imaginings, is still expectant that the idol of her own handiwork will appear with such signs as she herself hath conceived! Thus hath God laid hold of them for their sins, hath extinguished in them the spirit of faith, and tormented them with the flames of the nethermost fire. And this for no other reason except that Israel refused to apprehend the meaning of such words as have been revealed in the Bible concerning the signs of the coming Revelation. As she never grasped their true significance, and, to outward seeming, such events never came to pass, she, therefore, remained deprived of recognizing the beauty of Jesus and of beholding the face of God. And they still await His coming! From time immemorial even unto this day, all the kindreds and peoples of the earth have clung to such fanciful and unseemly thoughts, and thus have deprived themselves of the clear waters streaming from the springs of purity and holiness.

"Reflect, what could have been the motive for such deeds? What could have prompted such behaviour towards the Revealers of the beauty of the All-Glorious? Whatever in days gone by hath been the cause of the denial and opposition of those people hath now led to the perversity of the people of this age." - Baha'u'llah

To the followers of Christ, God had promised the coming of Elijah, followed by the Return of Christ, and although these two unique Personages have appeared in the world (The Báb, and Bahá’u’lláh), most Christians slept on - for the Day of God, when the Lord of Hosts descended, found them wrapped in the slumber of unknowing. As He saith in the Gospel: My coming is even as when the thief is in the house, and the goodman of the house watcheth not.

"Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping." - Mark 13:35

"If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. - Revelation 3:3

"The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." - 17:20

Baha'u'llah