The Rapture -- How Close Are We?
By: Bob

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.

Daniel 12:9-10... 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:

  1. The Last Generation
  2. The Jewish Feasts
  3. The Jewish Calendar
  4. The Tribulation Period (7 yrs)
  5. 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:

Matthew 24:32-34... 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:

Psalm 90:10... 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:

  1. The Feast of Passover
  2. The Feast of Unleavened Bread
  3. The Feast of First Fruits
  4. The Feast of Pentecost
  5. The Feast of Trumpets
  6. The Day of Atonement
  7. The Feast of Tabernacles

The first 4 have already been fulfilled by an event in history as follows:

  1. Feast of Passover - fulfilled by Jesus with His death and the shedding of His blood on the cross.
  2. Feast of Unleavened Bread - fulfilled with the laying of Jesus in the tomb.
  3. Feast of First Fruits - fulfilled by Jesus' resurection on the 3rd day.
  4. 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:

Leviticus 23:15-16... 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' resurection.

Acts 2:1-4... 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.

  1. 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 error.
  2. A copyist error in the Septua-gint text of the genealogies of Genesis 5 appears to have introduced another 73 years.
These errors would imply a total discrepancy of 239 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 -

Time-line Calculations
The Current Jewish Year:
Calculation Errors:
Equals The Year:
Minus years Prior To Being Banished From Garden Of Eden:
Equals Years of Man's Reign On Earth:
5768
  +239
6007
       -7
6000




 (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.

Daniel 9:27... 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.

Revelation 11:3... 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.

Daniel 12:11... 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:

  1. 2008-2015
  2. 2011-2018

The following chart demonstrates the 7 year cycles for the recent past and the near future.

Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah 2004
2004-2005
13 moons
2005-2006
12 moons
2006-2007
12 moons
2007-2008
13 moons
2008-2009
12 moons
2009-1010
12 moons
2010-2011
13 moons
87 moons
(Fails to qualify
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah
2005
2005-2006
12 moons
2006-2007
12 moons
2007-2008
13 moons
2008-2009
12 moons
2009-2010
12 moons
2010-1011
13 moons
2011-2012
12 moons
86 moons
(Qualifies
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah
2006
2006-2007
12 moons
2007-2008
13 moons
2008-2009
12 moons
2009-2010
12 moons
2010-2011
13 moons
2011-1012
12 moons
2012-2013
12 moons
86 moons
(Qualifies
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah 2007
2007-2008
13 moons
2008-2009
12 moons
2009-2010
12 moons
2010-2011
13 moons
2011-1012
12 moons
2012-2013
12 moons
2013-2014
13 moons
87 moons
(Fails to qualify
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah
2008
2008-2009
12 moons
2009-2010
12 moons
2010-2011
13 moons
2011-1012
12 moons
2012-2013
12 moons
2013-2014
13 moons
2014-2015
12 moons
86 moons
(Qualifies
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah
2009
2009-2010
12 moons
2010-2011
13 moons
2011-1012
12 moons
2012-2013
12 moons
2013-2014
13 moons
2014-2015
12 moons
2015-2016
13 moons
87 moons
(Fails to qualify
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah
2010
2010-2011
13 moons
2011-1012
12 moons
2012-2013
12 moons
2013-2014
13 moons
2014-2015
12 moons
2015-2016
13 moons
2016-2017
12 moons
87 moons
(Fails to qualify
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah
2011
2011-1012
12 moons
2012-2013
12 moons
2013-2014
13 moons
2014-2015
12 moons
2015-2016
13 moons
2016-2017
12 moons
2017-2018
12 moons
86 moons
(Qualifies
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah
2012
2012-2013
12 moons
2013-2014
13 moons
2014-2015
12 moons
2015-2016
13 moons
2016-2017
12 moons
2017-2018
12 moons
2018-1019
13 moons
87 moons
(Fails to qualify
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah
2013
2013-2014
13 moons
2014-2015
12 moons
2015-2016
13 moons
2016-2017
12 moons
2017-2018
12 moons
2018-1019
13 moons
2019-2020
12 moons
87 moons
(Fails to qualify
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah
2014
2014-2015
12 moons
2015-2016
13 moons
2016-2017
12 moons
2017-2018
12 moons
2018-1019
13 moons
2019-2020
12 moons
2020-2021
12 moons
86 moons
(Qualifies
for 70th week)
Number of moons in
7 Years beginning on
Rosh Hoshanah
2015
2015-2016
13 moons
2016-2017
12 moons
2017-2018
12 moons
2018-1019
13 moons
2019-2020
12 moons
2020-2021
12 moons
2021-1022
13 moons
87 moons
(Fails to qualify
for 70th week)

Simply put, this method is quite sound and shows at least 2 things. First, it is entirely possible, if not probable, that the rapture will take place in the fall (Sept-Oct) of a coming year. Secondly, with the current conditions in the world and (especially) keeping the 70 year generation in mind; it is entirely possible that the rapture could occur in the fall of 2008 or 2011. Notice I did not say probable. Again, this is because there are (what I call) built in variables which (I know) are intentional. This way we cannot know the exact timing (day or hour) of the rapture.

Before we go on, I would like to add some observations of my own here. Daniel 12:12 mentions a time span of 1335 days. This is 45 days longer than the 1290 days of Daniel 12:11. The 1290 days is marked by the Day of Atonement. If you count 45 days from that date (on the Jewish calendar), you come up with (exactly) the first day of Hanukkah. Hanukkah is a celebration of the rededication of the Temple 3 years after Antiochus IV ("Epiphanes") desecrated the temple in 167 B.C.

All this would seem to point to a rededication of the temple after the "Abomination that maketh Desolate" by the antichrist, and on the first day of Hanukkah during the start of Jesus' millennial reign.

One more interesting observation is the chapter and verse numbers. They are both the number 12. The number 12 is the number that represents completion. Since there are two twelves here - could it represent the completion of the fulfillment of the prophecies and secondly, the completion and rededication of the final Temple? Only time will tell.

Solar Cycles:

This item doesn't require as lengthy an explanation.

The simple facts are as follows:

  1. Solar activity (solar flares on the sun) have been found to follow 7 year cycles; reaching their peak of activity at the mid-way point (31/2 years).
  2. Scientists have also found that solar activity has a direct effect on earthquake activity here on earth. This is because each soloar flare causes the release of a storm of geo-magnetic particles. Many of these are aimed at and bombard the earth. Since magnetic fields and currents have a direct effect on the occurence of earthquakes, then the more the earth is bombarded with geo-magnetic particles the more frequent and stronger the earthquakes are that occur around the world.

The next solar cycle begins 2008 and will peak by 2012. I find the timing here very interesting. Does anyone besides me see a pattern here?

Summary

Now let's try to pull all of this together. In the process I will also show the variables.

We have established that we are the last generation. Everything coming to an end by 2018. However Psalm 90:10 also says that if by reason of of good health (strength) a generation can be 80 years, placing the end as late as 2028 - thus the variable.

The next item is the Jewish Feasts. As I discussed, the next 2 feasts are associated with the rapture and day of judgement. These are both observed in the fall (Sept-Oct) of each year. This would indicate that the rapture will occur in the fall of a coming year. Even knowing this, we cannot know the "day or hour" just as scripture tells us. The reason being that the Jewish calendar is based on the moon, the counting of moons (etc.). Since the date on which a given moon (ie...full moon) occurs each month/year varies, the start of the Jewish new year also varies. There are also other occasions in which the Jews will vary or change the dates on their calendar. This just means that we (again) can't know in advance exactly when the first day of the Feast of Trumpets will be.

As for the Jewish Calendar, we have the variables in the paragraph above and one more variable in computing the 6000 year timing. That variable being the amount of time that Adam and Eve were in the Garden. Since our only verification of that time period is non-scriptural, we cannot be sure of its accuracy. Result: we cannot positively verify the exact Jewish year.

Now for the Tribulation - I feel like this topic gives us the best indicators of all. It gives exact numbers of days and years, it tells us what will mark the beginning of each and it gives us the total so that we can know how and when it will end. But, again, without being able to verify the accuracy of the Jewish calendar or knowing exactly when this generation will end, we cannot know for sure when the rapture will take place.

In closing I must say that everything we have, points to the end coming in our very immediate future and not some distant year or generation. I could not possibly fit all that I have on this subject in one article so I will give you just one more bit of information. A seven year peace agreement has already been signed by Israel and 25 other nations. It was supposed to begin in 2007. Could this be the covenant that the antichrist is to confirm? Only time will tell. This peace agreement was also set up to be re-evaluated at the midway (3 1/2 yrs) point. Note: The same timing as the time when the antichrist will break his covenant with Israel (mid-way or 3 1/2 yrs). Hmmmm!

I hope that you find this writing as informative and interesting as I did in researching it. I hope that this also helps everyone to realize that no study of end times prophecy can be complete without including a study of Jewish history.

If there is one thing that I hope all who read this will see, realize and understand; it would be this:

What I or anyone else has to say is of no real consequence. What does matter is the fact that all these different ways of calculating where we stand in the 6000 year timeline are converging on the years directly in front of us. They all point directly to the end of days being now. Never before in man's history have all the time references and events, given to us in the Bible, pointed so directly to a specific time in history.

I believe it's time for all of us (very much including myself) to get out of our Christian rocking chairs (comfort zones) and get busy working the harvest fields of our Lord. It is time to watch and pray that we will be "counted worthy to escape all these things" that will soon come to pass.


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