And He told this parable: “A man had a fig tree that was planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. He told the vineyard worker, ‘Listen, for three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it even waste the soil?’
“But he replied to him, ‘Sir, leave it this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. Perhaps it will bear fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down.’” (Luke 13:6-9)
The Jewish people are unmistakably pictured in the barren fig tree. In the parable, every effort was made to cultivate some fruit, but it was to no avail. In fact, the Jewish people turned their backs on God Himself when they rejected Jesus as their Messiah. As John 1:11 says, “He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him.“
Three years earlier, John the Baptist had said, “Even now the ax is ready to strike the root of the trees! Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:10). John’s statement was not only true of the condition and fate of individuals; it was characteristic of the Jewish nation as a whole. At this critical point in its history, the nation of Israel was like a fruitless tree, so it was to be cut down and removed. Then, it happened. In 70 AD the Roman army conquered the rebellious Jews and put an end to the nation of Israel of that day.
In the book of Matthew, we see Jesus teaching the Apostles that the Tribulation, and his Rapture of the bride will be linked to a certain generation:
Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. (Matthew 24:32-34).
We believe that this generation started when Israel (Biblically symbolized as a fig tree) was reestablished as a nation in 1948 after 1,900 years of dispersion, persecution and oppression. The reason we think this is the last generation is that the Rapture, Tribulation and Second Coming require the existence of the nation of Israel.
A Biblical generation is defined as 70 years in Psalm 90:10: The days of our lives are seventy years.
Now, applying simple addition, we can add 70 years to 1948 and arrive at 2018. If the Lord delays His judgement for one year (Perhaps it will bear fruit next year, but if not, you can cut it down) then we should anticipate an imminent Rapture.
First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires, saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4)
For the majority of the world population, the concept of the Rapture and the End Times is more fantasy than reality. Although the subject of countless Apocalyptic movies and books, most people don’t believe that world events will reach a final climax in their own time.
The books and movies hyped up the promise of a Hollywood-style end of days drama, but reality did not match their expectations.
Where is the promise of His coming?
Of course, the date-setters did not help the situation…
All these dates came and went, and so many others, and “…all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.”
So, what does the Bible say about the timing of the Rapture and End Times?
What are some other signs?
Four other timelines point to an imminent Rapture:
These timelines include:
1. Biblical chronology: The creation of Adam around 3,983 BC. plus 6,000 years = 2018
2. Ben Samuel’s prophecy: 2018 is the year of Messiah.
3. The Prophecy in the Psalms: Psalm 118 = 2018. Psalm 118 is placed in between the shortest and the longest Psalm, making it stand out from all others.
4. The Hallel prophetic countdown: (Psalms 113 – 118) showing the Rapture and 7 year Tribulation beginning shortly.
1. Biblical chronology
The Old Testament, New Testament, and early writings confirm that the church taught that there will be a thousand year millennial reign of Christ with His people on the earth.
The Spirit of the Lord God is on Me,
because the Lord has anointed Me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives
and freedom to the prisoners;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of our God’s vengeance.
The common belief and teaching was that a millennial reign would come after a literal six thousand year reign of Man.
The scripture in Revelation is clear on the thousand years:
And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4-6)
So, the natural question is, when do the six-thousand years of Man’s self-rule end? Here is the relevant biblical genealogy, formulated and published by the brilliant Biblical scholar Dionysius Petavius in 1627:
Here is the relevant biblical genealogy for the first portion from Genesis 5 (last verse from Genesis 7):
3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.
6 Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh.
9 Enosh lived ninety years, and begot Cainan.
12 Cainan lived seventy years, and begot Mahalalel.
15 Mahalalel lived sixty-five years, and begot Jared.
18 Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch.
21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah.
25 Methuselah lived one hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech. 26
28 Lamech lived one hundred and eighty-two years, and had a son. 29 And he called his name Noah…
7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Added up, this equals 1,656 years. Now here is the next portion from Genesis 11:
10 This is the genealogy of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old, and begot Arphaxad two years after the flood.
12 Arphaxad lived thirty-five years, and begot Salah.
14 Salah lived thirty years, and begot Eber.
16 Eber lived thirty-four years, and begot Peleg.
18 Peleg lived thirty years, and begot Reu.
20 Reu lived thirty-two years, and begot Serug.
22 Serug lived thirty years, and begot Nahor.
24 Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and begot Terah.
26 Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.
Added up, this equals 427 years (2+35+30+34+30+32+30+29+205=427).
Abram as 75 years old when Terah died and God told him to leave Haran (Genesis 17:1). Abram was 99 when God made the Covenant:
75 to 99 = 24 years
Galatians 3:17 shows 430 years from the time of the Covenant to the year of the Exodus; while 1 Kings 6:1 shows 480 years from the exodus from Egypt to the fourth year of Solomon’s reign (966 B.C.).
Therefore, if we add up 1,656 + 427 + 24 + 430 + 480 + 966, this suggests the creation of Adam was around 3,983 BC.
Subtraction shows that 6,000 years – 3,983 = 2018 (there is no “year zero” from B.C. to A.D.)
Note: There are inevitable rounding errors due to the 6,000 years of time being calculated, but this date is fairly accurate.
2. Ben Samuel’s prophecy
Below is an article that appeared in Israel Today in March of 2008 that supports a 2018 Rapture:
Some 800 years ago in Germany, Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel was a top Talmudic scholar with an inclination for the mystical. Before he died in the year 1217, he prophesied that the Ottoman Turks would conquer Jerusalem and rule the Holy City for “eight jubilee years.” A biblical jubilee year consists of 50 years. Fifty multiplied by eight equals 400 years. Afterwards, according to Ben Samuel, the Ottomans would be driven out of Jerusalem, which would remain no-man’s land for one jubilee year. In the tenth jubilee year, Jerusalem would return to the Jewish people and then the Messianic end times would begin. This came to pass 300 years after Ben Samuel’s death. He could not have based this prophecy on events that could be foreseen, but only on the results of his study of the Bible. According to Leviticus 25, the nation is reunited with its land in the year of Jubilee. Therefore, the Jubilee year plays an important role in Israel’s history. In this case, the Jubilee began with the defeat and conquest of the Mamluks in Jerusalem by the Ottoman Kingdom in 1517. The Turks reigned over Jerusalem until the British General Edmund Allenby defeated them exactly eight Jubilee years later, in 1917.
Ben Samuel’s prophecy was fulfilled precisely because 1517 to 1917 is exactly 400 years. Afterward, Jerusalem was no-man’s land for 50 years during the time of the British Mandate (1917-1947) and the time of Jordanian rule (1947-1967), another jubilee year. During the Six Day War in 1967, Israel captured Jerusalem from Jordan and the city returned to the Jewish people after nearly two millennia of exile. After that, the countdown for the Messianic age began.
It wasn’t only mystics who predicted these events, but also secular Jews like the journalist and visionary of the Jewish state Theodor Herzl. He predicted at the First Zionist Congress in Switzerland in 1897 that within 50 years the Jewish state would exist. This came to pass: 50 years after Herzl’s prediction, the jubilee year of the British Mandate was over and in 1947 the United Nations voted for the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel.
According to this timeline, it is possible that 2017 or 2018 will be a decisive year for Israel because it will be 70 years after 1947, the UN decision for the establishment of Israel, and 50 years after the unification of Jerusalem. All three of these numbers have Biblical significance: 50 is the number of unification (for example between Passover and Pentecost) and 70, according to Daniel 9, is the number of fulfillment. So 50 and 70 represent the beginning and the end.
3. The Prophecy in the Psalms
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.
The Psalms, which are in the 19th book of the Bible, have a prophetic significance dealing with Israel for each year in the 1900s, carrying over into the 2000s. For example, Psalm 17 points to 1917, Psalm 67 points to 1967, and so on.
Biblical scholars like J.R. Church have found that many of the key events for the Jewish people and for Israel are accurately reflected by the corresponding chapter (year) in the Psalms. As you study the Psalms, please keep in mind that the Jewish years starts somewhere in our month of either March or April, so there is an overlap. This is why a few of the Psalms may seem to reference events form the previous year, of the Gregorian calendar.
Psalm 118 is a beautiful Psalm of praise and this Psalm would correlate to 2018, seventy years after Israel’s rebirth and a harbinger of the last 7 years.
There are 1189 books in the Bible, 594 chapters before Psalm 118:8 and 594 after. If you add 594+594 you get 1188, the chapter and verse of the middle verse in the Bible: “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.“
Psalm 118 is in the center of the Bible, and reflects the center of Jewish and Christian life. It would be an incredible coincidence if the Lord did not orchestrate the placement of this Psalm. The Lord wants us to trust in His provision for the Body of Christ: the Rapture.
4. The Hallel prophetic countdown
Hallel (Hebrew: הלל, “Praise”) is a Jewish prayer, a verbatim recitation from Psalms 113-118, which is used for praise and thanksgiving that is recited by observant Jews on Jewish holidays. It is called “The Egyptian Hallel,” because it was chanted in the temple while the Passover lambs were being slain. It was chanted also on other festival occasions, as at Pentecost, and the feast of Tabernacles. These are the three most important feasts in the Jewish faith.
During the Jewish Passover meal of the first century, Psalms 113-114 were sung before the final meal blessing and Psalms 115-118 were sung after the final blessing. These were most probably the hymns that Jesus and his disciples sang in the context of their Passover (cf. Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26). The theology of these songs is directly related to the theology of both the Passover and the Lord’s Supper.
These chapters are expressions of joy and faith in God, and of gratitude for salvation from their enemies. They were incorporated into the Book of Psalms by King David, and they were singled out for inclusion in Hallel because they contain the following fundamental themes of the faith of Judaism:
- the Exodus
- the Giving of the Law by God at Sinai
- the future Resurrection of the Dead
- the Coming of the Messiah
Psalm 118 is placed in between the shortest and the longest Psalm, making it stand out from all others. It is a picture of Christ as the beginning and the end. It is the last Hallel Psalm, and also contains the middle verse of the Bible: verse 8.
It looks a lot like the Hallel is a prophetic countdown, and the Rapture and 7 year Tribulation begins soon.
Peter goes on to rebuke the scoffers:
The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.
But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God. The heavens will be on fire and be dissolved because of it, and the elements will melt with the heat. But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell. (2 Peter 3:9-13)
Our departure and the End Times are coming – and now is the time to be ready!
If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”