WHY I BELIEVE THE RAPTURE SHOULD HAPPEN IN 2016.
1 Corinthians 15:51 (KJV)
Behold I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, 52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 (KJV)
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Titus 2:13 (KJV)
Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;
In the above bible verses, Paul the Apostle, describes an event that must occur sometime in the future; the Apostle calls this event “the blessed hope” in these modern times we call it “The Rapture.” I believe this event is going to happen soon, very soon. In fact, quite possibly this very year, 2016. The following is my attempt at explaining why I believe this.
In the gospel of Matthew chapter 24, the gospel of Luke chapter 21, and the gospel of Mark chapter 13, the Lord Jesus is approached by his disciples and they ask him a question:
Matthew 24:3) And 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?
Jesus’ answer is called the “Olivet Discourse” and it is in these passages that he describes the many events and social behaviors of the world just preceding the end of the Worldly powers. It is here that we hear of “wars and rumors of wars,” “earthquakes in divers places,” a general decline in Social morality and the rise to power of the “Anti-Christ.” For our purposes, we will begin by focusing on a passage near the end of this discourse called ‘the Parable of the Fig Tree.”
Matthew 24:32 (KJV)
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.
Now one might ask, “Fig Tree?” Summer is nigh? Generation? What on earth is he talking about?
It isn’t really that difficult when you consider modern views of generations. I know you have heard of “Baby Boomers” people born in the years just after the end of World War 2. And Generation Xer’s ,of which I and many of you are, and now we have that generation called “Millenials,” people born just prior to or just after the year 2000. A generation is a group of people born in a particular time period.
So the logical idea is that what Jesus is saying is there is a particular Generation of people who will see the fulfillment of all “end times” prophecy.
So, what generation is this? Where does “end times” prophecy begin? You ask?
There are many prophecies in the Old Testament that deal with the restoration of an Independent Jewish state. The book of the prophet Ezekiel has entire chapters devoted to this Prophecy, chapters 36 and 37 quickly come to mind. And the following is but one example verse of this prophecy:
Ezekiel 37:25 (KJV)
And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, Wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince forever.
But didn’t that happen at the end of the Babylonian captivity? You might ask? No it didn’t. The people where restored to the land, yes, but, they were a vassal province under the governance of the Medo-Persian Empire.
The Persian Empire was defeated by the Greeks and they became a vassal province of the Greek Empire, who were in turn defeated by the Romans and they became a vassal province of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire destroyed the province in 70 A.D. and the Jewish people were scattered throughout the known world. For nearly 2000 years there was no Jewish state at all Until…
MAY 14, 1948 A.D.
On this date an independent Jewish state called ISRAEL was declared and the first of all the ‘end times’ prophecies was fulfilled. So now we have a fixed date for our “end times” generation.
Okay, so are you saying the people born in or near 1948 is this generation?
Yes. That is precisely what I am saying “ AND THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS TILL ALL BE FULLFILLED!
1948 was 68 years ago! Just how long is a generation according to the bible?
The answer to this question is found in the book of Psalms.
Psalm 90:10 (KJV)
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
“What does that mean? Threescore, fourscore, these words are strange to me.”
Really? Do you remember learning the Gettysburg Address given by president Abraham Lincoln during the American civil war? “Fourscore and seven years ago our fore fathers brought forth a nation…” A score is twenty years, thus, threescore and ten equals seventy and fourscore equals eighty.
Alright, so, seventy or eighty years from 1948, how do you get 2016?
First of all, remember that this “Generation” must see the fulfillment of all these prophecies; Someone born in ’48 or after, would be discounted and it would have to be people born before 1948.
Lets look at another prophesy that has a fixed date: The restoration of Jerusalem.
In the gospels of Matthew and Luke Jesus makes this lament:
Matthew 23:37 (KJV)
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. 38) Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39) for I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
In order for Jerusalem to say, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The city must be restored to the Jewish state. This has already happened!
In 1967, on June 5th, Israel was attacked by her Middle-East neighbors. This war is called “the six day war” because it ended six days later on June 10th. Israel retook the city of Jerusalem in this war and retains control of the city to this day.
Now I will show you something very interesting. Look at this passage from the book of Numbers.
Numbers 1:1 (KJV)
And the Lord spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai, in the Tabernacle of the Congregation, on the first day of the second month, in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, 2) Take ye the sum of all the Congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; 3) From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies.
Today, in America, when a child turns 18 we consider them an adult. It is at this age we begin to pay taxes and boys must register for the draft. But this is not Gods way, it never was and it never will be. According to God a person is still a child until they are twenty years old.
Look at these verses from the book of Numbers:
Numbers 14:26 (KJV)
And the Lord spake to Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 27) How long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmer against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me. 28) Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: 29) Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, 31) But your little ones, which you said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which ye have despised.
And here in Deuteronomy;
Deuteronomy 1:39 (KJV)
Moreover your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, and your children, which in that day had no knowledge between good and evil, they shall go in thither, and unto them will I give it, and they shall possess it.
So now we see clearly that God does not see a person as an adult until they are at least twenty years old.
Okay, So, What does that have to do with the restoration of Jerusalem in 1967 and the “end times” Generation?
Its really quite simple, if someone was born in 1947 and saw the Restoration of Israel they would be twenty years old in 1967. Remember that Jerusalem was taken in war and not just by anyone but by young Jewish soldiers; twenty year old men who had seen the Restoration of their nation and now had taken part in the Restoration of their Holy City, Jerusalem.
Now, we have two fixed dates; 1948 and 1967; and we have a specific Generation, people who were born before 1948 and were at least twenty years old in 1967. Remember that “this Generation shall not pass till all be fulfilled.” That means that they must see the Rapture, the Tribulation, the Return of the Lord Jesus, and the setting up of the Millennial Kingdom before they are fourscore (80) years old.
How old are they now? You ask?
A person born in 1947 would be 69 years old in 2016. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for our “ end times” Generation. Remember that the Tribulation is seven years long; at the most these people can be 73 years old when the Rapture happens and that’s just four years away, 2020.
“If that’s true then how do you come up with 2016?”
Take a look at these passages from the book of Daniel.
Daniel 9:24 (KJV)
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. 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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 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.
“ Well, what on earth is all that about? “
When he speaks of weeks he is not talking about weeks of days, but weeks of years. This is in fact called “ the vision of the seventy weeks of years.” The weeks of years are divided into three groups: seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and one week. The “One week” is what we call the “Tribulation Week” and it has not yet happened. The other sixty-nine weeks were fulfilled in ancient times starting with the decree of the Persian king Cyrus which allowed the Jews to return to Israel and ended THE VERY DAY before Jesus Christ was crucified! This is seen at the beginning of verse 26.
“But that says threescore and two weeks not threescore and nine!”Correct. One simply has to add the Seven weeks in verse 25 to the sixty-two weeks to get sixty-nine weeks.
“But why is the seven weeks separated from the sixty-two weeks? What’s going on here?
That is a good question. Why is it separated? Exactly how long is seven weeks of years?
Very good. Now lets do something with these seven weeks of years. You see how in verse 25 the prophecy starts with the restoration of Jerusalem to the Jewish people? Lets go back to June 5th-10th 1967 and add these seven weeks to our “end times” Generation. Where do we come to when we add 49 years to 1967?
JUNE 5TH- 10TH 2016!
Exactly. Look at our “end times” Generation; they were born NO later than 1947 so that the first end times prophecy (the restoration of an independent Jewish state) occurred in their lifetime; 1948; they were fighting age adults in 1967, the very year they recaptured Jerusalem; and from the restoration of Jerusalem to 2016 seven weeks of years have passed and they are 69 years old. One more year will be fifty years, which would be one too many years. Remember that we are counting from the restoration of Jerusalem to the Messiah or to the Rapture. Remember, also, that the day after the sixty-two weeks were fulfilled the Messiah was cut off (that is to say Jesus Christ was crucified.) In the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit came down to dwell in the hearts of all believers; He came down on a specific day, Fifty days after Passover, that day is called Pentecost and many believe that that is the day we will be called out of this world! Passover is a Jewish Holyday and since the Jews use a Lunar calendar the exact day is different every year, but it is always in the spring as is Pentecost. This year Pentecost lands on June 12th.
“Whoa! Your date setting! You can’t do that! The Bible says “no man knows the hour or the day!”
Your right. Do you remember the “Parable of the Fig Tree” in the gospel of Matthew? Lets add a couple more verses to it:
Matthew 24:35) KJV
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
I cannot give an absolute day or hour. I can only give you the reasons for why I believe. Look at this:
Matthew 24:42) KJV
Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
I (and you) have been commanded by the Lord to watch for his coming.
Matthew 24:46) KJV
Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
It is my sincere hope that when the Lord returns he finds me (and you) watching for HIM!
Listen to his warning to those who are not watching:
Matthew 24:48 KJV
But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, my Lord delayeth his coming; 50) The Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, 51) And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: ther shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
A disturbing thought to be sure. If you call yourself a Christian you should not overlook this. If you have not clearly asked the Lord to save you, I urge you to do so NOW, it really is very easy:
Romans 10:9) KJV
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Romans 10:13 KJV
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
One last passage, if you don’t mind.
The Song of Solomon 2:10-13
My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up my love, my fair one, and come away. For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
The Lord Jesus Christ said "i will come again." The long awaited return of the Lord may be very near. He will come in the clouds to rapture all believers in a moment in the twinkling of any eye. Here is my explanation of why i believe that the rapture should take plsce in this very year 2016!