Messiah’s Final Days on Earth During His First Advent
Do you know how long Jesus remained on earth between his resurrection and his ascension back to heaven?
“To these (Jesus’s apostles) He also presented Himself alive after his suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3, NASB, parenthesis mine).
Then we read: “So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, ‘Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?’” (Acts 1:6, italics for emphasis).
During these wonderful forty days, Jesus proved to his disciples and to hundreds of others that he had, indeed, risen from the dead. He also instructed them about the coming Kingdom of God on earth. In fact, it was the subject uppermost on the apostles’ minds and hearts, as clearly indicated by their repeated question cited in the above verse.
This opening scene in the book of Acts was Jesus’s last day on earth; however, the apostles didn’t know that. It’s evident (has the time come) that they assumed Jesus would begin doing whatever would be done to establish his glorious kingdom while he was still with them. They ardently wanted to know when this restoration would begin.
Some who know the Scriptures—at least the New Testament—will recall Jesus’ answer.
“He replied, ‘The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth’” (Acts 1:7-8). Those were Messiah’s final words before he departed to heaven.
Many Christians, even astute Bible scholars, have misunderstood the Lord’s reply to mean that we can’t know the seasons or times of his return. However, Jesus was referring specifically to the disciples’ inquiry as to when he would liberate the Jews from Roman oppression and reestablish Israel as a sovereign kingdom. In fact, the Lord did answer another separate and distinct question from the disciples concerning his return, as found in Matthew Chapters 24-25. See Eye of Prophecy article, Messiah’s Return & The Rapture (Same or Separate Events?) Posted 12-3-16.
The last thing the disciples were told as Jesus ascended to heaven concerned his return.
“After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him. As they strained to see him rising into heaven, two white-robed men suddenly stood among them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why are you standing here staring into heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!’” (Acts 1:9-11).
The New Covenant Rejected
Why was it not yet time for them to know when the Kingdom of God through and in Israel would be established on the earth, as the Old Testaments prophets had written about frequently?
For two main reasons. (1) The Gospel of Jesus Christ must first be spread over the entire earth. With a qualifying observation that it very well could have been done (and was done in most of the then known world) in the 1st century lifetime of some of the disciples, or anytime thereafter. “…The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed as God’s servant to proclaim it” (Colossians 1:23).
(2) By the time the Apostle Paul penned those words, his ministry had been switched from proclaiming the Gospel to the Jews first (as he stated in Romans 1:16) to the Gentiles. Why? Although thousands of Jews had accepted Jesus as the Messiah and their personal Savior, Israel as a nation (particularly the religious leaders) had rejected God’s salvation through grace by faith alone in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus—even after Jesus arose from the dead! They had refused the clear evidence that the New Covenant, announced by Jeremiah, had arrived; implemented by God to supersede the repeated animal sacrifices for sin mandated by the Mosaic Covenant. Those sacrifices were but shadow types of the once-for-all substitutionary sacrifice of God’s Son.
Consequently, Israel would continue under God’s “seven times over” punishment as prophetically detailed in Leviticus Chapter 26. (See Eye of Prophecy articles, Seven Times Seven, to the 4th power, I, II, III; posted 1-25, 2-1, & 2-8-14). The fourth phase of that discipline was the worst of all—conquest by and exile to foreign nations, as so dreadfully experienced during the Babylonian Captivity. But it didn’t end there. Jesus knew what the awful results would be when (not if, as it was a foregone conclusion) his own people would reject him … their very Messiah. His disciples even heard what Jesus said would happen when he with great compassion and sorrow for his own people spoke these poignant words:
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’” (Matthew 23:37-39, NASB).
Soon afterwards, Jesus is even more explicit on what will happen to Jerusalem and the Temple.
It would be less than forty years when Jesus’s prophecy came to pass; but it was not even for the disciples to know when or for how long the house of Israel would be demolished and desolate.
The nation of Israel as a whole had forfeited their prophetic privilege of discerning when Israel would once again return to the glory days of King David and King Solomon. For they had already denied the only one who could restore Israel’s glory … their very Messiah. Although this would be temporary, it was not for Israel (including the disciples and other believers) to know just how long it would be. In the interim, God’s majestic plan of salvation would be extended to the Gentiles.
“Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it” (Romans 11:11-12).
Although the apostles and many Christians knew something terrible would befall Jerusalem and the Temple, it was not for them to know when it would happen or when Israel would be restored as a sovereign nation. Paul didn’t even know that. Both he and Peter were murdered by Nero before the Roman General Titus and his legions destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and brutally began the massive Diaspora exile of the Jews to the four corners of the earth in 70 AD.
At the time most Jews and Christians (including Messianic Jews) didn’t fully realize that the ingathering return of Jews to Israel spoken of many times by the prophets would apply to yet another (one more) exile … this one far more extensive than the first exile (Assyria and then Babylon). What they didn’t know is that the period of the Gentiles (continuing Gentile domination of Israel but also Gentiles coming to faith in Christ) would last so long … another 2,000 years. That was entirely part of God’s prerogative, plan, and providence.
Please understand: Although the Lord has supernaturally and sovereignly secured the return of his people to Israel in our generation, he could have done this in any previous generation in a relatively short period of time. In fact, just three years after World War II and the horrible Holocaust, Israel was reborn as a Sovereign State, which, as we will see, makes our generation the final one. That’s why the disciples and all believers at that time didn’t need to know when this would happen. The Lord wanted believers to concentrate on preaching the Gospel to the Jews, then to the Gentiles. So that both (but especially the Jews when it came to restoration of Israel) would realize that unless they got their priorities straight, and (first and foremost) placed their trust for redemption in Israel’s Messiah, they would not be part of the glorious Kingdom of God on earth headquartered in Jerusalem.
Once they understood that the second coming of Messiah Jesus was for the greater purpose of rescuing and restoring Israel (with the Rapture designed only to remove believers from the earth to spare them from the Great Tribulation), then they would realize that the return of Jews from exile to Israel would be one of the most important signs of Jesus’s imminent return. Then they would better grasp the following prophecy about Israel’s restoration as a nation through which the Kingdom of God would be established.
“Before the birth pains even begin (analogous in time, form, and substance to the birth pains mentioned by Jesus in Matthew 24 and others in Scripture), Jerusalem gives birth to a son. Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? By the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin, her children will be born” (Isaiah 66:7-8, prophesied some 2,700 years before Israel’s rebirth, parenthesis mine).
The Valley of Dry Bones
Have you heard of or actually read the renowned Dry Bones prophecy found in Ezekiel Chapter 37? Although it is only one of hundreds of Old Testament passages concerning the final return of Jews to Israel (from their 2nd great exile), it is probably the most well-known.
Except for the following verse in the photographic depiction of the Dry Bones prophecy, time/space doesn’t permit full quotation of the scattered bones to living people. We’ll pick it up later in the chapter when the Lord plainly explains to Ezekiel the meaning of this marvelous metaphor.
“Then he said to me, ‘Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel’ … This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel’” (Ezekiel 37:11-12).
In verses 15 through 20, Ezekiel is told that Israel (ten northern tribes) and Judah (two southern tribes) would both be returned to the Promised Land.
“…I will gather the people of Israel from among the nations. I will bring them home to their own land from the places where they have been scattered. I will unify them into one nation on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule them all; no longer will they be divided into two nations or into two kingdoms” (Verses 21-22).
There is no doubt, whatsoever, that Jews from all twelve tribes are among the 6.5 million Jews currently living in Israel. There’s no way that only the southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin are represented by so many Israelis. Only a handful know their tribal ancestry, but God knows from which tribe every single one of them has descended, including the approximately 8 million Jews still living in foreign lands.
Several times this passage in Ezekiel refers to “they” and “them.” With the unmistakable meaning and application that they are the very ones brought “home to their own land,” some of whom will be alive when “one king (Messiah Jesus) will rule them all.”
We need to fully understand: The unfolding of Ezekiel’s Dry Bones prophecy has taken place ONLY in our generation, with the time-lapse definition of generation to be explained in a moment.
Let’s read on:
“They will live in the land I gave my servant Jacob, the land where their ancestors lived. They and their children and their grandchildren after them will live there forever, generation after generation … I will give them their land and increase their numbers…” (Ezekiel 37:25-26).
Do you see semantically what’s going on here?
Who are “they?” Answer: The remnant of Jews who will be returned to the land of Israel. And Israel wouldn’t be Israel until she once again became a Sovereign Nation (1948); the reality of which began with and was prepared by the Balfour Declaration of 1917—declaring the Jewish right of return to Israel. The Lord makes this even clearer by then referring to their (they or them of the passage) children and grandchildren. Then even more so by saying this would continue from generation to generation.
From which generation does this perpetual generational cycle begin? Answer: From the generation that returns to the Promised Land in which Israel is “born in a single day (Isaiah 66:8).
Ezekiel’s prophecy is time-dedicated and generational-specific to those Jews who return to and are born-in Israel in the last days (same) generation referred to by Jesus … the one which will see his return. Right now as you are reading this article, most Jews in Israel (and the world over) are first, second, and third generations since Israel was reborn in 1948. Those are the, “they,” the “children,” and the “grandchildren” distinctively identified in this passage.
In fact, this 2nd exodus of Jews to the Promised Land (in our generation) has been greater even than the original Exodus—in terms of the number of Jews and the number of countries from which they have returned to Israel. Just as the Lord said it would, as follows:
“In that day, says the Lord, when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’ Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’ Then they will live in their own land” (Jeremiah 23:7-8).
Generation Length of Time in Scripture
Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, The Omega Generation (posted 2-15-14) beginning with the two time-parameters of a generation found in Scripture. In italics:
One Hundred Years: “Then the Lord said to Abram, ‘You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years … After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction’” (Genesis 15: 13-15).
This is a phenomenal prophecy given to Abraham even before Isaac was born, in which God not only talks about the (many) descendants of Abraham; but hundreds of years before the fact announces that they (the Israelites) would be slaves in a foreign land (Egypt), only to return to the Promised Land of Israel. Moreover, God equates a generation to 100 years … 400 hundred years equals four generations. Think about it for a moment. Although unusual (perhaps even rare), there are people the world over who live to be one hundred … some even a few years more. Yet, 100 years of age is pretty much the maximum scope of any given lifetime or generation.
Seventy Years: “Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty” (Psalms 90:10).
This insight as to the customary lifespan of a human being was given to Moses, who is the author of Psalms 90, the only Psalm credited to Moses. Again, think about it. By and large, the normal or average lifespan of most people the world over is between 70 and 80 years of age. By seventy, virtually no more children are conceived and birthed by a woman. For all practical purposes, a person who reaches 70 years of age (perhaps a few more years) has lived a generational life-time. They have children and grandchildren who are the progeny of the next generation. King David, himself, died at exactly 70 years of age.
If Jesus is referring specifically to the last generation, and I believe the text/context is crystal clear that he is; then this generation must have a designated start-up date or dates. Without an actual event (which can be identified by a specific calendar year) to begin the generation, the 70-year or 100-year generational time frame is much too vague … meaning there’s too much overlap or ambiguity as to the actual decades involved. If you were explaining your generation to someone, what would be your reference point? How would you describe it? Wouldn’t you say, “In my generation….” Essentially, then, your reference or starting point is the date of your birth!
Using our first example of four generations of Israel’s enslavement in Egypt, God gave Abraham the point-in-time commencement of this 400 hundred years (four generations) captivity, i.e. from the time that the Jews no longer enjoyed freedom in Egypt, which was not too long after Joseph died. Another example is the 70-year Babylonian captivity, which just happened to be the exact length of the 2nd measurement of time for a generation … 70 years. Historically, we know the beginning (586 BC) and end date (516 BC) of this time-designated punishment of Israel.
Is it, then, possible to select or identify events/dates in Israel’s contemporary history that correspond to the Biblical definition of a generation … that is one hundred years and/or seventy years? The answer is a resounding, YES.
Now, we’ll take another look at those events.
Three Monumental Milestones That Mark the Final Generation
(1)Balfour Declaration of 1917
The more I study and write about this pioneering event in modern Jewish history, the more convinced I am of its stunning significance and relevance to the beginning of the final (100-year) generation identified by Messiah Jesus. Ours is the generation of which Jesus told his disciples in the first century and for centuries thereafter that it was not for them to know the “dates and times” (Acts 1:7) … meaning the beginning of Israel’s final restoration. But Jesus did answer their question on the Mount of Olives: “What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?” (Matthew 24:3). He gave them many signs, as did the prophets of the Old Testament and (to a lesser extent) the writers of the New Testament.
See Eye of Prophecy articles, The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation, Part I & II. Published 5-13-17 and 5-20-17.
Thus, the sequential connection is as follows: Once Israel’s restoration begins to take place, then we should also see other signs that the imminent return of Christ is as imminent as it ever will be or could be. That is exactly what has taken place throughout the last one hundred years or so, especially in the past seventy years.
Also refer to articles: Look Up, Redemption is Near, I & II. Posted 7-11 & 7-18-15. Which detail twelve flashpoint events in the 20th & 21st centuries, six applying to Israel (including those in this week’s article) and six to the rest of the world.
The Balfour Declaration of 100 hundred years ago bears an amazing correlation with and resemblance to the 100-year time-span of a generation as given by God to Abraham. Not long after the end of the fourth (of a total of four) generation of captivity in Egypt, the Israelites were birthed as a nation—beginning when the Law of Moses was given and the twelve tribes were integrated under God himself; finally unified nationally when they entered Canaan (the Promised Land that would become Israel) under Joshua. Same thing happened and in the approximate time-frame between the Balfour Declaration and the rebirth of Israel as a sovereign nation.
This past November 2nd, Israel’s Knesset—as did officials in Great Britain—celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. The featured speaker was Lord Nathanial Jacob Rothschild, who is the 4th Baron Rothschild. It was the 2nd Baron, Walter Rothschild, to whom Lord Balfour’s declaration was specifically addressed in 1917.
Said, Nathanial Jacob Rothschild: “A decade after the Declaration, Lord Balfour himself said it was important not only for the Jewish people, but also for the history of the entire world. This is not merely a historic document, but a vision of a society that will be governed by Jewish values and will care for non-Jewish populations as well.”
Here is an excerpt from the online United with Israel news source, published 11-9-17:
“British Ambassador to Israel David Quarrey read aloud a message on behalf of British Prime Minister Theresa May… Lord Balfour, the message said, had a vision of returning the persecuted Jewish nation to a safe haven. Britain … is proud of its part in the pioneering work for the establishment of the State of Israel. Britain is proud of the State of Israel, for what it stands for as an open and democratic country in the Middle East, said the message from May.”
Said Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with, however, a sober reminder of what didn’t happen soon enough after the Balfour Declaration: “…the Balfour Declaration laid the international foundation and the support for Zionism in Europe and America and in other parts of the world, and by doing so it contributed greatly to the resurrection enterprise of our people. To our regret, a short while later Britain withdrew from what was promised in the Balfour Declaration, and this was a major tragedy. The fact that we were not sovereign until 1948 prevented the rescue of millions of Jews, who were annihilated in the Holocaust. The tragedy of the Balfour Declaration is that it took 30 years to implement it.”
Benjamin concluded by saying: “When I saw the Palestinian leadership refer to the Balfour Declaration as a crime and call on the British Government to apologize for it—they are not moving forward, they are going 100 years backwards. This is the root of the conflict, the 100-year old refusal to recognize Zionism and the State of Israel within any borders.”
I’d like to add and embrace as my own the vital vision of the prophet Isaiah. His passionate words are in the unmistakable context (like many other prophetic passages) that Israel’s restoration goes hand in hand with their (our) Jewish Messiah; who came first as Redeemer (Lamb of God), and who will return as King of all kings (Lion of Judah) at the end of the generation, when all these things will take place.
“Because I love Zion, I will not keep still. Because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch. The nations will see your righteousness. World leaders will be blinded by your glory…” (Isaiah 62:1-2, italics for emphasis).
Who or what is Israel’s righteousness and salvation? The prophet Jeremiah answers that question.
“For the time is coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: ‘The Lord is our Righteousness.’ In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
For you see, none of us—neither Jew nor Gentile—has any innate righteousness of our own. Nor can we work or give enough to acquire it. It is the Lord himself who is our righteousness and who imputes right-standing with God to and in us.
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty of our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right (righteousness) with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood….” (Romans 3:23-25, parenthesis mine).
(2) UN Resolution (1947) That Led to the Rebirth of Israel (1948)
Soon, on the 29th of November, Israel will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Resolution that paved the way for Israel to become a sovereign state. Less than six months later that is exactly what happened with the miraculous rebirth of Israel on May 14, 1948.
That was the beginning of the 70-year generation (a generation within the 100-year generation) that I’m equally convinced is this same final generation, and will in all likelihood culminate in the Day of the Lord—beginning with the Rapture. Actually, using the Jewish calendar of 30 days, both generational time frames extend through May, 2019. Am I saying the Rapture will absolutely take place by then? No, I’m not saying that. However, if not, I’m confident it won’t be long afterward.
Jesus said that no one knows the “day or hour” of the Rapture—the first phase of his glorious return. But we can and should recognize the signs of the end-times … which take place (are taking place) within the Omega generation.
As we read earlier in the astonishing passage of Isaiah Chapter 66, Israel’s actual birth pains began AFTER she was reborn. Through four major wars and countless terrorist’s attacks and seemingly never-ending threats against her very survival, modern-day Israel is going through the same kind of existential struggle experienced before, during, and after her 70-year Babylonian Captivity. The Babylonian exile was a smaller, but still terrible, parallel prototype of the Holocaust horror that led directly to the State of Israel and the miraculous mass return of the Jews to Israel. With one huge difference (the reason for which is that Israel is now back to stay forever): after 1948, Israel was able to defend herself because God is with her, not against her.
(Helicopters, Fighter Jets, Tanks, State of the Art Weaponry, and Superbly Trained & Skilled Soldiers … Israel is Ranked 6th in the World’s Military Powers, Behind the United States, Russia, China, France, and United Kingdom)
Still, the return of Jews from Babylon to Israel is akin to what has transpired since Israel’s statehood of 1948. It wasn’t until then that large numbers of Jews began to return to their ancient homeland and many more born in Israel thereafter. In fact, the population of the Jews in Israel has increased tenfold in the last 70 years.
(3) The Amazing Liberation & Reunification of Jerusalem (Six-Day War of 1967)
We must include the all-important Jubilee period of 50 years duration. (See Eye of Prophecy article, Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! Posted 1-23-16).
I am fully persuaded that Israel’s Jubilee was reinstated unilaterally by the Lord himself in 1967—Israel’s stupendous victory in which the Golan Heights, the Sinai Peninsula, Judea Samaria, the Gaza Strip, and especially Jerusalem and Temple Mount were all returned to Jewish sovereignty. The whole idea and purpose of a Jubilee year was for many to freely (freedom) return to their dispossessed land, which they originally owned and occupied. That is exactly what happened on a historical scale in the Six-Day War, especially the reunion of Jerusalem with the rest of Israel. Unfortunately, the Gaza, the Sinai, large parts of Judea/Samaria (called by some, the West Bank) and Temple Mount were subsequently relinquished back to Arab control. But all that will change one day soon.
This past summer, Israel celebrated the 50th anniversary of Jerusalem’s liberation. Do you see how precisely that tracks with the 100-year and 70-year generation of the 20th and 21st centuries? In fact, a case could be made that the Balfour Declaration was actually when the Lord revived the Jubilee, as that took place 50 years before the Six Day War.
Another incredible phenomenon begin to take place in 1967. A few, then many Messianic ministries sprang up in America but also the world over. Many thousands of Jews have accepted Jesus as their Messiah and Savior as a result … a Jubilee-like redemption for all their sins and freedom from the penalty thereof.
What better connection or more logical deduction could we make than the next Jubilee will see the magnificent inception of the Day of the Lord, which commences with the Rapture!
Things to Ponder
Let’s take a thumbnail look at Israel’s 2017 population, placed in the context of the 100-year generation that began in 1917 (Balfour Declaration); the 70-year generation that commenced in 1947 (UN Resolution or Israeli Statehood in 1948—either one will work); and the 50-year Jubilee of the Six-Day War of 1967.
Of the almost 6.5 million Jews in Israel, 10.3% are 65 and older, which would be approximately 669,500 Jews in Israel over 65. It’s likely these figures are similar with Jews all over the world, not living in Israel. However, life expectancy in Israel has increased ten years since 1970, to the average of 81.2 years for Israeli men and 84.5 years for Israeli woman.
(You may want to click onto the following link for more of Israel’s population details, however the following statistics will suffice for purpose of this article. The 8.3 million in population shown on the chart includes about 1.8 million Israeli Arabs).
If you click to the above link, and hover over the individual bars online you’ll find that there are 622 men and 895 women in Israel who are still alive at the age of 100 or more. For age bracket 95-99, there are 3,622 men and 5,963 women. For age group 70-74: 106,374 men and 122,671 women. For ages 50-54: 194,684 men and 202,742 woman.
Now let’s see the remarkable relevance of these statistics to the remnant of Israel (“they” and “their children and grandchildren” of the Ezekiel prophecy detailed earlier in today’s article).
Using a nuclear fusion term, the “critical mass” of the Jewish remnant ingathering back to Israel was certainly the fusion point of Israel’s national rebirth in 1947-48. The combined number of Jewish men and woman currently living in Israel beginning with the age group of 70-74 (approximately 229,000) would be “they” of the Ezekiel prophecy.
“Their children” (Ezekiel 37:25) would be those in the age bracket of 50-55 (or thereabouts) which total another 397,000 or so. And “their grandchildren” (also verse 25) would be hundreds of thousands more. These age groups represent and are part of the 70-year component of the last (what I’ve termed the Omega) generation spoken of by Jesus.
But it also goes back to the preparatory phase of the return of the Jews to Israel that started very slowly, but surely, in 1917. I’m convinced that a few of these Jews will also be alive to witness the Rapture—whether taken as and with other believers in Messiah, or left behind to experience the terrible Tribulation, but hopefully to choose Messiah at that time. Currently there are about 1,500 Jews who are 100+ years old in Israel. They, too, could be considered first generation of returning Jews in 1917; with their children those in the 70-year generation and their grandchildren those in the Jubilee time-frame. With all three groups part of the 100-year final generation (countdown).
These three pivotal epic events in Israel’s modern-day history are legitimate benchmarks with which to identify the last generation that will witness the Day of the Lord. Both the generation cited by Jesus and the generations identified by Ezekiel (and other prophets) are one and the same literal generational age-groups in the last days.
Here’s what the Lord said shortly after Ezekiel identifies they and them, and their children and grandchildren:
“I will make my home among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Ezekiel 37:27).
That is a time-capsule prophecy dedicated and applied to the last generation (100-year, 70-year, and 50-year Jubilee).
We are that generation!
“Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it? Asks the Lord. No! I would never keep this nation from being born, says your God” (Isaiah 66:9).
“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree (which represents Israel). When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:32-34, parenthesis mine).
The productive life span of many fig trees is 50 to 100 years! Except the Sycamore Fig which can live to be 1,000 years. But that’s a whole different analogy—to the Millennium!