The generation that saw the reemergence of national Israel on May 14, 1948 definitely knows several prophetically important things because Christ, in the Olivet Discourse, SWORE they were true and were relevant to this generation…and THIS GENERATION ONLY. Therefore, the fig tree parable, at the heart of Jesus’ Olivet Discourse, remains this generation’s touchstone of prophetic understanding. Along with the book of Revelation, it is the interpretive template that gives proper understanding and proper place on a timeline to all Old Testament, end-times prophecy.
[Mat 24:32-42 NASB] 32 "Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; 33 so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, [right] at the door. 34 "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away. 36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37 "For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38 "For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 "Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 "Two women [will be] grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. 42 "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.
Ignore this amazing heads-up from Christ to the peril of the last days’ insight that “alert” (vs 42) fig tree generation believers were meant to possess. We are to know for certain that:
- Christ could not have returned at the rapture before national Israel was reborn. The still unknown (but now speculable to the year and perhaps more) “day and the hour” of His return has always been organically bound to the unknown “day and the hour” (before May 14, 1948) of the reemergence of fig tree national Israel. The rebirth of national Israel and the rapture are generationally inseparable events because without the first, Christ would have no nation (Israel), city (Jerusalem), or people (the Jews, of whom He is still their King) to which He may return.
- Christ will return within seventy-eighty years of national Israel’s rebirth. Only people can be the measure of a “genea”, the Greek word for “generation” and the Bible tells us that peoples’ lifespans have now declined to “seventy-eighty years” (Psalm 90:10).
- The false “no one knows” dogma of many in the Church regarding the generation of the rapture and the immediately-following seven-year Tribulation period, is negated by the context of the verse they are quoting (36). Christ is saying that these willfully know-nothing, non “alert” (verse 42) people are joining the rest of the spiritually dull who have everything in common with Noah’s generation of practiced scoffers. By refusing to connect the meaning of the May 14, 1948 reemergence of national Israel to His being “at the door” of coming for the Church at the rapture (verses 37-41), an event that will initiate the seven-year Tribulation period that will “end the age” (Matthew 24:3), they really are missing everything. They might as well be asleep (Matthew 25:1-13). This attitude dishonors Christ and His prophetic word.
BACK TO THE DANIEL 12 DRAWING BOARD
Again, to understand Jesus’ and the apostles New Testament prophecies, one must be thoroughly familiar with the Old Testament prophecies that they are referencing and clarifying. Jesus went out of His way to single out Daniel for particular attention in the Olivet Discourse:
[Mat 24:14-16 NASB95] 14 "This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come. 15 "Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through DANIEL THE PROPHET, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.
Only those who fully understand the information the prophet Daniel was relating regarding the timing of the Beast’s “abomination of desolation” will know exactly when and where to flee Jerusalem…TO THE DAY. Observe:
[Dan 11:36, 45 NASB] 36 "Then the king will do as he pleases, and he will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will speak monstrous things against the God of gods; and he will prosper until the indignation is finished, for that which is decreed will be done. ... 45 "He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him….[Dan 12:1, 11-13 NASB] 1 "Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands [guard] over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. ... 11 "From (HEBREW “‘ETH” …ALWAYS OTHERWISE TRANSLATED “AT” IN THE OLD TESTAMENT) the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up, [there will be] … (ADDED BY THE TRANSLATORS) …1,290 days. 12 "How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days! 13 "But as for you, go [your way] to the end; then you will enter into rest and rise [again] for your allotted portion at the end of the age."
Daniel 12 is clearly in a mid-Tribulation, immediately post abomination-of-desolation context (Daniel 11:45) as Christ Himself declared. Again, He went out of His way to emphasize that we should take pains to “understand” it that way (Matthew 24:15) as we followed His command to read Daniel 12 for more insight. The Jews of Judea were to know that AT (not “from” as has been mistakenly translated) day 1,290 (“there will be” having wrongly been added by the translators to agree with the mistaken “from”) there would occur said “abomination of desolation”. They could take that to the bank as a warning. If they wanted to live, they needed to beat it for the “mountains” of Jordan (Matthew 24:16). The now-trapped Jews of Jerusalem would not have that opportunity.
Christ gave no gauzy reassurance to the now-doomed Jews who would already have been destroyed by Jerusalem’s surrounding forces of the Antichrist had not “Michael, the great prince” of the angels “arisen”. He gave them hard and fast numbers (yes, Christ is a “date-setter”) by which the distressed Jews of Jerusalem could circle their calendars.
He will reprise Exodus in a pillar of fire and cloud on the temple mount (Isaiah 4) to hold off the Beast’s genocide-bent forces from day 1,290 (the day of the abomination of desolation and the Antichrist’s assassination) until the day of the physical return of Christ, accompanied by the angel-deposited 144,000 global evangelists-now-turned-commandoes, to the Mount of Olives and the temple mount (Zechariah 12-14; Matthew 24:25-31; Revelation 11-14).
BACK TO THE FEASTS
When Christ was talking to the Jews in somewhat cryptic language (as He was in the fig tree parable and other parables) He was challenging them to see that He was fulfilling “all of which the Law and the prophets spoke”. Pointing to Christ is, after all, the purpose of all Scripture, including as it relates to the various Jewish feasts. I therefore believe His fulfillment of specific feasts must certainly have everything to do with the numbers of Daniel 12. These numbers are surely not presented to us in some kind of vacuum. They are certainly meant to relate to at least two prophetic Jewish feasts.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus was pointedly recorded to have participated in only two feasts: Hanukkah and Passover (John 10; 13). There is however, a feast in which Christ participated big time that is attached, almost as an afterthought, to Passover week. It is called the Day of First Fruits (Resurrection Sunday). It was on that day that Christ, along with dead first century believers in Christ were raptured after appearing to many shocked Jerusalem Jews (Matthew 27:50-53). In this way, Christ, and later the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:20-58) makes much of the Feast of First Fruits as likely related to the mysterious rapture event.
Then there is Hanukkah, a supposedly “minor” Jewish feast as well. Jesus pointedly strode the temple mount for that eight-day feast in demonstration of His determination to one day lead those who were truly “My sheep” to victory over a future Antichrist and his local armies (John 10:22-42) just as He lead the Maccabee commandoes. This is certainly the feast, anticipating the violent, mid-Tribulation return of Christ, that Daniel’s “blessed” day 1,335 refers to.
Of course, Bible translators, committed to the “Christ returns only on the last day of the seven-year Tribulation period to Armageddon” cannot and will not see Christ’s abundantly promised, Mount of Olives-splitting, mid-Tribulation return to Jerusalem and so they add and subtract words to fit the “Armageddon-only” interpretive template. However, Christ is clearly portrayed on the Revelation timeline as returning NOT ONCE BUT THREE TIMES:
- At Gog/Magog (the sixth seal), over the Golan Heights (Revelation 6:15-17)
- At His Mount of Olives-splitting physical return to Jerusalem (Revelation 11:15-14:20…the seventh trumpet)
- At the Valley of Armageddon comparative non-event, His robes dripping with the blood of His Valley of Jehoshaphat prolonged military campaign (Revelation 19:11-19)
THE YEARS 2023 AND 2024
Think about it. What are the odds of these two conspicuously-celebrated-by-Christ feasts being EXACTLY 1,335 DAYS APART (3 years, 7 months, 26 days), seventy years after the reemergence of national Israel? What, therefore, are the odds that they would contain no prophetic significance for this generation? There are no other two sets of feasts that I have found that line up that way. Believe me, I have pulled my calculator out many times to try to fault this whole idea.
Yes, the 2019-2022 and 2020-2023 Passover week/Hanukkah cycle fit the 1,335-day template and yes, to the dismay of myself and others, the rapture did not occur Easter 2019 or 2020. And if we had been hopeful for 2021 and 2022, well, Passover/Day of First Fruits 2021 and 2022 do not book-end at 1,335 days with their respective Hanukkahs in 2024/2025. They miss the mark at 1,362 and 1,337 days respectively.
BUT LOOK OUT. This 1,335-day template lines up perfectly, to the day, with the Day of First Fruits/Resurrection Day on April 19, 2023 and April 28, 2024. THOSE ARE THEREFORE, TO MY PROPHECY-STUDYING MIND, AUSPICIOUS DAYS FOR THE RAPTURE.
Am I predicting that the rapture will definitely occur on those days? No, of course not. I am not a prophet proclaiming, “Thus says the Lord” as some have suggested. In fact, I believe the office of prophet passed away after the first century apostolic era. Like everybody else who loves Jesus and His return, I am just a student of prophecy. I am simply a prophecy nut who is not content with essentially rehashing Hal Lindsey’s 1969 book, fifty years later, for fun and profit.
I cannot even conclusively say that the rapture and Daniel’s day 1,335 are associated with the feasts of First Fruits and Hanukkah respectively. As always, I am simply obeying my Lord in being alert, by studying, and “going back and forth” (Daniel 12:4) between Old Testament prophecies and types and Christ and the apostles’ New Testament interpretive templates, seeking to gain the same insight for which Daniel so longed (Daniel 12:7-9).