I would like to begin this article by saying that I am in no way intending to set a date or a time limit on our
Lord's return! I will simply present the information that I have found in my studies and allow each individual to draw their own conclusions.
While it may appear to be setting a date or time in the following items; there are variables in each. I will explain the variables
in my summary at the end of this writing.
The timing of the end and the rapture have been predicted (and missed) many times.
We shouldn't hold it against those who have made the predictions; but rather pray for them. It's more a case of - the closer we get to the
end, the more different signs and clues that come to light. It has taken me over a year to put together the information you will read here. Some items coming to my attention as
recently as the past 2 months. It's as the Lord told Daniel (Daniel 12:9-10, below), in the time of the end "the wise will understand". It's
like putting together a puzzle. We must study and search to put it together one piece at a time. We must also remember that the final
pieces will be put in place by the Lord Himself, in His time not ours.
9. And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
Allow me to say here that I don't consider myself to be a wise person (in the conventional sense). I also don't think that, in the verse above, it means what we would
call conventional wisdom. To me it is a form of wisdom all its own; which is spiritual rather than earthly. It stems, not from greater intellect, but from a true desire to study these
things (prophecies), not allowing others' opinions and interpretations to influence ours (no preconceived ideas), taking a literal
approach to understanding the Bible, and committing to thoroughly researching each aspect and to make full use of the extensive resources that are
available to us (Bibles, books, commentaries, internet etc.). I think the hardest of these is to free ourselves of all the old teachings and interpretations that we have heard or been
taught. It doesn't mean that any of them are wrong. It simply means we need to begin with a clean slate (mentally). Our study then, will either
confirm or disprove our old ways of thinking. In either case we will have increased our knowledge on the subject and made progress.
I don't know if this will help anyone; but the following is what works for me: When I get ready to study a new topic, I try to gather the materials and information (related Bible verses, commentaries,
articles etc.); but I don't begin my actual study until the next morning. This way I start with my mind clear and fresh; it's not all cluttered up
with thoughts about the subject and/or other things. As the name of this site implies,
I am just a layman. No specialized religious education or high level public education. I'm just an average individual trying to do my part.
When it comes to the timing of the rapture, I believe that several items have a role to play and should be studied together. They are:
- The Last Generation
- The Jewish Feasts
- The Jewish Calendar
- The Tribulation Period (7 yrs)
- Solar Cycles (also 7 yrs)
You may well read the above list and be thinking what do some of these things have to do with the rapture. I will try to show you
how they play a role in understanding how close we are. I say again, I'm not trying to set a date! Please read on with an open mind and at
the end I will point out the variables.
The Last Generation:
Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh:
33. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors.
34. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
As this verse states, the generation that sees the rebirth of Israel (parable of a fig tree) shall not pass away until all these things have been fulfilled.
The next question is: How long is a generation? As one man said: "The best way to interpret the Bible is to let the Bible interpret itself."
That in mind, I offer the following:
The days of our years [are] threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength [they be] fourscore years, yet [is] their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
As you can see we are told quite plainly that a normal generation is 70 years.
Now let's begin assembling some facts. The rebirth of Israel occured in May of 1948. It we add the length of a generation to that
(70 yrs), we come up with the year 2018. However, the prophecies about the tribulation period must be fulfilled also. So we need to
subtract that period (7 yrs) from 2018. That leaves us with the year 2011. In other words, it would appear that there is a strong possibility
that the rapture could take place by 2011.
The Jewish Feasts: (Leviticus 23:1-44)
There are seven Jewish Feasts that God gave Moses for His people to always observe. They are:
- The Feast of Passover
- The Feast of Unleavened Bread
- The Feast of First Fruits
- The Feast of Pentecost
- The Feast of Trumpets
- The Day of Atonement
- The Feast of Tabernacles
The first 4 have already been fulfilled by an event in history as follows:
- Feast of Passover - fulfilled by Jesus with His death and the shedding of His blood on the cross.
- Feast of Unleavened Bread - fulfilled with the laying of Jesus in the tomb.
- Feast of First Fruits - fulfilled by Jesus' resurection on the 3rd day.
- Feast of Pentecost - was fulfilled on the day of pentecost.
Each of these was fulfilled on the exact day that the Jews were instructed
to observe them. As proof of this I offer the following example:
15. 'And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed. 16. Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer a new grain offering to the Lord.
(The bringing of the sheaf of the wave offering is the Feast of First Fruits, the second sheaf offering is the Feast of Pentecost)
As you can see, the Jews were told to abserve this feast exactly 50 days
after the Feast of First Fruits. The day of Pentecost occured exactly 50 days after Jesus'
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Keeping that in mind, let's continue. The next 2 feasts to be fulfilled are Fall
Feasts: The Feast of Trumpets and The Day of Atonement.
According to most Christian scholars, The Feast of Trumpets is associated with the rapture,
the Day of Atonement is associated with the day of judgement, and The Feast of
Tabernacles is associated with the beginning of the 1000 year (millennial) reign of Jesus.
Now that we know the relationship of the feasts to prophecy we can continue on to
a discussion of the Jewish calendar.
Note: You will see how these final feasts fit into the overall timing of the rapture further
down (when we discuss the tribulation period).
The Jewish Calendar:
It is commonly agreed, by Christians and Jews, that man's reign on the earth
will be for 6,000 years. According to the Jewish calendar, the current year is 5768.
This would indicate that there is still 232 years left of man's reign. I have recently found a site
posted by Jewish scholars who say they have found errors in the calculation of the Jewish year.
They say that there is only (approx.) 60-80 years left of man's 6000 year self-rule. As you will see below; it appears
that these 2 Jewish men have found the first error in the calculation of the Jewish year.
Now (from the Christian view) allow me to offer this:
Some scholars have suggested that two principle errors appear to have occured from the
Hebrew sages of the past.
These errors would imply a total discrepancy of 239 years.
- From a misunderstanding of Daniel 9, their erroneous assumption that there were 490
years between the destruction of the First and Second Temples, rather than 656, introduced a 166 year
- A copyist error in the Septua-gint text of the genealogies of Genesis 5 appears to have
introduced another 73 years.
Another mistake is that people calculate the 6000 years from the creation of Adam. The 6,000 years
however is years of man's self-rule. That self-rule did not begin though until Adam and Eve
were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.
Unfortunately the Bible doesn't tell us how long Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden. The Book
of Jubilees in fact pegs it at seven years. However, that book is not considered scripture and may not be reliable.
Let's calculate it anyway, based on what we have -
The Current Jewish Year:|
Equals The Year:
Minus years Prior To Being Banished From Garden Of Eden:
Equals Years of Man's Reign On Earth:
(Est. By Theologians and Historians)
(In other words: The current year on
the 6000 year timeline)
As you can see, it appears that we could be in the last year of man's reign. It's certainly
something to think about; and it just keeps getting better ----
The Tribulation Period:
The reason for looking at this time period is that we are given a number of clues that
can help us to at least estimate the arrival of the tribulation period. Therefore, enabling us
to do the same for the rapture (since it will preceed the start of the Tribulation).
There are a number of time references relating to the tribulation. Some of those are:
1260 days, 1290 days, 42 months, 7 years, and 3 1/2 years.
For purposes of this discussion I will use the 7 years, 1260 days and the 1290 days. I only use
these three to make it easier to explain and to understand. It took me some time to put
all the pieces together for this one myself. The rest of the time references above all fit with these perfectly.
I say that so that anyone who reads this will know that (unlike some) I do not pick and choose
just what will fit my view of things. For me they all must fit or my view is wrong and must be
re-evaluated. I encourage everyone to never take mine or anyone else's opinion and accept it
as being the truth. Always study it for yourself. If it cannot be proven by God's word then
it is wrong!
We know that the antichrist will be in control for 7 years.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
We also know that the two witnesses will be on the job for the first half of the tribulation which will be 1260 days.
And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
From the time of the Abomination that makes Desolate" until the end will be 1290 days.
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.
If we add these two together (1260 days + 1290 days) we have a total of 2550 days.
Now we must refer back to the Jewish feasts. Again, the next 2 to be fulfilled are the Feast of Trumpets (rapture)
and the Day of Atonement (Day of Judgement). Using the numbers above, in order for these feasts to be fulfilled on the
assigned (by God) times then from the first day of the Feast of Trumpets to the Day of Atonement 7 years later would
have to be an interval of exactly 2550 days.
Believe it or not this does actually occur! However, the 7 year cycles containing exactly 2550 days does not occur/begin
every year. This (cycle) only starts/occurs about every 3 years. The years in between have one more moon
thereby having a different number of days in the 7 year cycle. The next 2 cycles that have exactly 2550 days in them start as follows:
The following chart demonstrates the 7 year cycles for the recent past and the near future.