“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, emphasis added).
This phenomenon took place while Jesus and his disciples were on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem.
Since Messiah Jesus ascended to heaven 40 days after his earth-shaking, penalty (of sin) taking, salvation making, precedent breaking (Elijah needed a chariot), hope waking resurrection, those who have believed and received him as their personal Savior have staked their eternal destiny on this powerful promise of his return.
If he does not leave heaven again, neither of the following events will happen.
(1) The Rapture: Catching up of believers from the earth to heaven in which the dead in Christ will be raised to life. They along with living believers will be transformed into immortal bodies like that of our Lord Jesus. However, Christ does not touch down on earth when this occurs; rather, believers will meet him in the air. See I Thessalonians 4 & I Corinthians 15 for the dazzling details.
(2) The Kingdom of God on Earth: Which requires the reappearance (Second Coming) of Messiah Jesus in the same manner and place as when he left this planet nearly 2,000 years ago. Hundreds of years before Jesus came to earth the first time, Zechariah prophesied this spectacular event which will take place near the end of the Great Tribulation. The perfect timing and powerful purpose of Christ’s physical return is to rescue Israel from annihilation at the hands of Antichrist and his ten-nation coalition. Also, to complete the wrath of God at Armageddon preceded by the seven bowl judgments on an unrepentant and irreversibly wicked world.
“Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west…” (Zechariah 14:3-4).
Christ will bring an end to this seven-year period of global travail and tribulation greater than … well let’s read what Jesus’s said:
Messiah’s reappearance is often referred to as, The Imminent Return of Christ.
Webster’s Dictionary defines imminent: “ready to take place … hanging threateningly over one’s head.”
The intrinsic idea is something that will take place, at any time. And, without warning.
Invariably, there are two types of reactions to something spectacular that occurs suddenly (without immediate warning) even if the impending event has been common knowledge for a long time. One response is surprise … in a delightful sense.
The other (opposite) is shock. Which is what those left behind (unbelievers) at the Rapture will experience. Which is why the Imminent Return of Messiah Jesus has been and will continue to be something that hangs threateningly over their heads.
That is why the Apostle Peter wrote passionately about the last days of the end times.
His words would be an encouragement to believers (mixed with a little admonishment … to live godly lives); and a warning to unbelievers … be (get) ready. The getting ready is through repentance—changing one’s mind/heart by accepting Christ as Savior. Which, in turn, would change their adversarial attitude toward Christians in general and Messiah’s promised return in particular.
“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.’
“They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
“But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord (Rapture phase) will come as unexpectedly as a thief… and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment” (II Peter 3:3-10, parenthesis mine).
Just How Imminent is the Imminent Return of Messiah?
That is the title of an Eye of Prophecy article posted over three years ago (11-18-17).
In the 20th & 21st centuries, there have been and still are an abundance of flashpoint signs to signal that the return of Messiah Jesus is more imminent than ever. There are also patterns, parallels, and principles plus correlations (including certain numbers) in Scripture that strongly suggest that we are in the last days of the end times.
We just read about one of these parallel principles and comparable use of numbers. A day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day. Which was originally penned by Moses.
Concerning the amazing prophecies in Scripture that often involve extraordinary episodes and numbers (years, days) to or during their fulfillment, there is often a literal application that is more than just an analogy … metaphoric. Or they are both symbolic and actual—in terms of a dedicated time-lapse fulfillment. Please refer to Eye of Prophecy article, The Phenomenal Thousand Years / One Day Parallel (Posted 4-4-18). Also, Extraordinary Biblical Prophecies w/Predicted Times of Fulfillment, Part I & II (March 2019).
As applied to the 1st century resurrection of Jesus Christ—which was also his return to earth on the 3rd day—and the Second Coming of Messiah, the correlation could conceivably be that of Jesus in the grave for a full two days (only part of the 3rd day) as a pattern parallel to two thousand years between his First and Second Advents.
Christ arose (returned to the earth) on the third day. Accordingly, there is every reason to make the compelling connection that he will return soon to establish the third thousand-year era since he changed time itself (B.C. to A.D.) … The Millennial Reign of Messiah on earth!
However, because it has been nearly 2,000 years (close to 1,988 years) since Jesus ascended to heaven, we need to reexamine the question posed earlier that Peter said would be in the form of mockery from unbelievers in the last days (and it certainly is): “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again?”
In other words, repeating: Just How Imminent is the Imminent Return of Christ?
Or in stronger terms: Is his return imminent at all? Could it be hundreds of years from now? Might it not even be in this Third A.D. Millennium?
It’s not just the skepticism, sarcasm, and scorn coming from many unbelievers. That’s to be expected; in fact, the Apostle Peter prophesied of such. Unfortunately, in the last few years some disillusionment has developed concerning the Second Coming of Jesus Christ even among believers. There is a growing concern that the imminent return of Christ is anything but that.
Instead, the Second Coming appears more indefinite than ever.
I believe there are two reasons (sources) for this concern that is causing varying degrees of complacency and/or pessimism in the hearts and lives of some Christians.
(1) From Without: This is particularly true of American Christians in the context of the current state of our Union. Or should I say: the (deplorable) state of our disunion within these (dis)United States of America. Not since the Civil War (blue vs. gray) have we been so divided (blue vs. red). Violent radicals on both sides (liberals and conservatives) have crossed the lines of democratic decency, of moral accountability, of law and order which is (should be) the heart of a republic. Some say that we have irretrievably breached the middle ground of cooperation in this country and are holding tight to ground on opposite sides of an unbridgeable gulf between left and right, democrat and republican.
However, there’s another source of this spreading consternation among believers (even the evangelicals) pertaining to Bible end-time prophecies and unfolding events. To the extent that some of even the most ardent believers are showing signs of declining interest in and/or indifference to Biblical prophecy.
(2) From Within: Not disbelief in the sure Biblical prophecy (fact) of the literal return of Messiah Jesus to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, preceded by the Rapture some seven years earlier. Rather, perhaps a growing weariness with Bible teachers (like me) periodically or even constantly reminding them of the imminent return of Christ; to sometimes include the approximate timeframe (within years) of his Second Coming!
I’m certainly not referring to precise calendar days, as some misguided and misinformed prophecy seers (most are Christian in name only) have erroneously calculated, to their embarrassment. Considering that Jesus himself said three times that no one could/would know the day or hour of the Rapture—the first phase of his return (Matthew 24 & 25).
After 323 articles posted in Eye of Prophecy website (ministry) with 52 of those in the category of The Rapture, it occurs to me that I may be facing a choice when it comes to appraisal of the approximate period when the Day of the Lord will begin.
I can stop writing about this specific aspect of Biblical prophecy with the thought that there should be absolutely no speculation at all. Even though Christ said it was important to wait and watch for the signs of the last days, then presented many of those markers himself.
This could conceivably involve deletion of two or three Eye of Prophecy posts from the archive of articles. Such as, The Omega Generation (posted 2-15-14). And the post identified earlier … Just How Imminent is Messiah’s Imminent Return?
Conversely, to leave those articles intact and even revisit them (which is what this week’s article is doing)!
With, however, a minimum of speculation and a maximum of Biblical evidence and concise commentary to provide further clarification and correlation that the approximate time table of his return can be assessed. And with a robust reliance on Jesus’s clear message that the primary measuring criteria (benchmark or milestone) is that of a generation.
“I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen…” (Matthew 24:34-36a).
My Decision: To Double Down but with More Clarification!
The Certainty of The Second Coming of Messiah Jesus
Just as Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all the prophecies concerning the Messiah’s (first) arrival on earth in dramatic detail, so will he fulfill the two primary panoramic prophecies of the last days: (A) His return to earth, preceded by the Rapture and Tribulation. (B) His final restoration of God’s Promised Land Israel and the final rescue and redemption of God’s chosen people, the Jews.
In fact, hundreds of other Biblical prophecies have also been fulfilled throughout history, many of them through God’s majestic miracles. Not the least of which was the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
*Note: A brief pause here to boldly and bluntly state, but with compassion and humility, that any unbeliever reading this article should heed the overwhelming Biblical and historical evidence regarding God’s (only) plan of salvation available (only) through His Son, Messiah Jesus. To distort, disregard, or deny the resurrection of Jesus Christ from his substitutionary death on the cross for their (our sins) is to do so at their own peril.
“Said John the Baptist about Jesus as found in the Apostle John’s Gospel:
“He has come from above and is greater than anyone else. We are of the earth, and we speak of earthly things, but he has come from heaven and is greater than anyone else. He testifies about what he has seen and heard, but how few believe what he tells them! Anyone who accepts his testimony can affirm that God is true. For he is sent by God. He speaks God’s words, for God gives him the Spirit without limit. The Father loves his Son and has put everything into his hands. And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment” (John 3:31-36).
Among many other points of truth about God and about himself, Jesus emphatically and exclusively said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Returning to the sure scenario that Jesus will assuredly return, let’s revisit the passage cited earlier. Beginning with that same chapter, we read:
“This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago, and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles. Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come…” (II Peter 3:1-3a).
The Holy Prophets
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us…” (Isaiah 9:6a). Jesus is the Son of God, the Son of David, and (as he often referred to himself) the Son of Man. He was the (universal) child born for and son given to redeem mankind … all who would personally believe and receive him as Savior.
That child became a man, like no other who has ever walked this earth. Listen as God speaks of his Messiah through the prophet Isaiah:
“My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief…. But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all” (Isaiah 53:2-6).
In his First Advent, Jesus was, “…led like a lamb to the slaughter…” (Isaiah 53:7). John the Baptist acknowledged and addressed Jesus as, “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29).
Upon Messiah’s glorious return, “…The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” (Isaiah 9:6b-7).
From the suffering Savior of Isaiah 53, Christ will return as the King of all kings. Listen again as God speaks about his Messiah:
(Yeshua Ha Mashiach is Hebrew for Jesus the Messiah … Verses 7 & 8 go on to say: “The Lord, the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel, says to the one who is despised and rejected by the nations, to the one who is the servant of rulers: ‘Kings will stand at attention when you pass by. Princes will also bow low because of the Lord, the faithful one, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you… Through you I will reestablish the land of Israel and assign it to its own people again’”)
Through the Apostles
The Apostle John—A Direct Command & Second Coming Promise From Jesus:
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:1-3).
The Apostle Paul—Through His Letter to Titus:
“For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds” (Titus 2:11-14).
Although Not an Apostle, James—The (Half) Brother of Jesus:
“Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near (at any time)” (James 5:7-8, parenthesis mine).
Perhaps this patience could even be extended to Bible prophecy teachers who keep reminding us of these passages and others like them! To be sure, it is vital that we thoroughly examine what is presented; to determine the accuracy of it and whether there may be too much speculation with too little Biblical and historical documentation. Particularly true when the subject is when (approximate timeframe) the Day of the Lord might begin.
*Note: I would encourage you to read Eye of Prophecy article (a short one) entitled Value of Prophecy (posted 8-29-13).
The Apostle Peter—Returning to II Peter Chapter 3:
“But the Day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire…. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness” (II Peter 3:10-13, emphasis added).
“And remember, our Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him—speaking of these things in all of his letters….” (Verse 15).
How and when will the Day of the Lord begin?
Answer: With the Rapture.
What we cannot know: The day/hour of the Rapture.
What we can know: The general (generational) timeframe … a window of time.
Listen again to the definitive words of Jesus himself: “I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place.”
What things? Everything he described during his Mount Olivet discourse to his disciples, PLUS (of course) all the other last days prophecies found in Scripture, many of which have come to pass or are still unfolding in the 20th & 21st centuries … the birth pains.
All in a generation’s time. Moreover, I am still convinced that we are living in and are part of that very generation … The Final Generation.
A Revisit of the Omega Generation
Before we reexamine Eye of Prophecy article, The Omega Generation (posted 2-15-14), here is an excerpt from article, Look Up, Redemption is Near Part II (July 2015) including the summary list of twelve (flashpoint) events discussed in Part I & Part II:
I’m going to conclude by saying something a bit unexpected, something that at face value may seem contradictory to the flash point theme of this article.
All these twelve indicators, including the restoration of Israel as a nation, could have developed and taken place in the first century or any century thereafter. For example, the transportation and communication advances have been relative to each generation … progressively expanding in quantity and quality. The reason that all these things could have been in place is that Christ could have returned at any time in history, what we call the imminent return of Messiah.
What is different now from then is that all twelve have synchronized with a frequency and magnitude never seen before. With intensity that really can’t get much more extreme or enhanced than it already is. Together they have formed a combustible concoction ready to spontaneously ignite. The accumulative impact of these flash point prophecies fits precisely with the Lord’s comparison to childbirth, all in a generation’s time.
Here is the list of the twelve in a handy concise format. Check each one to see if they either have been fulfilled or if they have reached or nearly reached their optimum and maximum flash point.
- Rebirth of Israel as a Sovereign Nation, 1948
- Recapture of Jerusalem in the June, 1967 Six-Day War
- Jerusalem, a Heavy Burden to the Nations
- The 3rd Rebuilt Temple
- Israel’s Phenomenal Agricultural Accomplishments
- Modern-Day Alignment of Gog/Magog Nations against Israel
- National and Ethnic Wars in the 20th & 21st Centuries
- Amazing Increase of Natural Disasters
- Moral & Spiritual Decline & Intense Persecution of Christians
- False Messiahs & Prophets
- Unequaled Increase in Quantity and Speed of Transportation and Information
- Unprecedented Spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the World
Next is an excerpt from The Omega Generation article (also in italics):
When Jesus says, “this generation” he is not referring to some vague, unspecified, undefined, ambiguous period of time. Rather, he is identifying the precise generation that will be alive and witness the amazing end time’s events described in Matthew and Luke. In other words, this is a literal, identifiable generation. Scripture gives us two primary designations or parameters of a generation, both of which are measured in real time.
1. 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 lifetime. They have children and grandchildren who are the progeny of the next generation. King David, himself, died at exactly 70 years of age.
Application of Biblical Generations to the Last Generation
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!
…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. In fact, we’ve already touched on these dates in the previous three articles.
…Some Christians are confused about or don’t entirely understand the role of the Church and Israel during the last days beginning with the Rapture.
Please fathom one critical premise/truth: Although the Mount of Olives discourse indirectly applies to the Church … the whole purpose of Christ’s majestic return is to set up the Kingdom of Heaven (Kingdom of God) on the earth IN the Holy Land and THROUGH / FOR his chosen people, the Jews. And what triggers the need for Christ to return to Israel is none other than the ultimate and final rescue of the Jews (Israel) from conquest and destruction at the hands of Antichrist.
Concerning the Church, the sole purpose of the Rapture is to snatch away believers from the earth so that we do not have to experience the final wrath of God poured out on an ungodly generation of unbelievers. Otherwise, ALL the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Last Days or End Times focus on Israel, not the Church; in fact, the Church (consisted of all Jews/Gentiles who place their trust in Christ’s sacrificial death) doesn’t even come into existence for over 400 years after the last book of the Old Testament was written….
So, let’s look again at the three monumentally crucial events of the last 100 years, relating to the return of the Jews to Israel.
A. Balfour Declaration of November 1917: England extended official support that Palestine could be a home for the Jews. This was the beginning of Jewish autonomy in Israel, although the land was still called Palestine at that time.
Recognizing this especially important event/date, we can then apply the Biblical generational measurement of 100 years. Once again, however, we need to convert Roman calendar years to Jewish years. Doing the math, we come up with 101.4 Jewish years which translates to 101 years and 5 months. From November 1917, this would take us to March or April 2019.
B. United Nations Resolution of November 1947: UN voted to grant statehood rights to the Jews; the nation would be called Israel. (May 14, 1948, David Ben Gurion proclaimed the reborn existence of the State of Israel!).
…Without the UN resolution of November 1947, there would have been no recognized Israeli State in May 1948. Yet, there is only a period of 6 months separating these two events; thus, selection of either one would be a legitimate application to the 70-year generational measurement of time.
Again, doing the conversion math, we arrive at a total of 70.97 or (rounding it off) 71 Jewish years. Adding 71 years to November 1947, we arrive at November 2018. If we utilize May 1948 as the benchmark date, the 71 years would take us to May 2019.
*Note: For more detail on the Balfour Declaration, please see Eye of Prophecy articles, The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation Part I & Part II (May 2017).
Time/space in today’s article does not permit elaboration on the third milestone, which is the Six-Day War of 1967 in which the Israelis reclaimed all of Israel. After some more facts and figures, that article concluded with the following summary:
… First, none of these three possibilities give us an exact day/hour of Christ’s return that begins with the first phase which is the Rapture and ends with his physical return at the end of the Tribulation. And that’s good. Why? Because Jesus, himself, said that no one can possibly know the day or hour of his return…. Therefore, I wouldn’t even pretend to know the exact date of Christ’ return, nor would I ever venture a guess. Forget it!
On the contrary, Jesus did advise us to recognize the seasons, the times, the signs, and the symptoms if you will, of his glorious return. If he didn’t want us to put 2 and 2 together, then why did Jesus provide so many clues and signals? ….Why would he have selected a time-measured or time-dedicated point of reference (generation), if he didn’t want us to identify the noteworthy benchmark events of the final days, aligned alongside the pre-Rapture birth pains and post-Rapture (Tribulation) incidents that he describes.
With these questions in mind, what other specific events have occurred relating to Israel during the 20th or 21st century that would surpass or supplant the 1917, 1947 (48), and 1967 highlights….? I’ll give you a hint: There are NO other events that even come close to these historical mileposts….
Here’s what we find when we combine all three projected dates of generational or Jubilee time-lapse… meaning 100 years, 70 years, and 50 years (Roman calendar….
It’s conceivable that we will hear the blast of the last Rapture trumpet: BETWEEN FEBRUARY 2018 and MAY 2019!!
Of course, Christ may Rapture the Church any day between now and the above listed dates, or after those dates…. Concerning a generation (whether 70 or 100 years): unless the prophecy specifies actual periods of time such as found in Daniel 9, there is normally some flexibility built-in to God’s use of numbers in Scripture. For example, there are, relatively speaking, a handful of people on the earth who live to be 105 or 110, or whatever. Also, the average life expectancy in many developed countries is in the vicinity of 76, 77, or 78 years.
But, if the Lord decides to combine all three timeframes, then I would be very surprised if we Christians are still on this earth after the year 2020 …. based on some solid evidence from Scripture, particularly the passages quoted in this article and prior articles.
(End of excerpt from The Omega Generation)
Please consider reading (for the first time or again) Eye of Prophecy article, Just How Imminent is Messiah’s Imminent Return? (posted 11-18-17) which contains even more facts and figures. Which also includes Ezekiel’s Dry Bones prophecy that fits perfectly with our Omega Generation. Here is an excerpt from that article:
“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).
…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.
Things to Ponder
Again, listen to the prophetic words of Messiah Jesus concerning the last days of the end times just a few verses before his “this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” statement.
“Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near” (Matthew 24:28, emphasis added).
As indicated, I’m even more convinced that the most accurate Scriptural criteria (benchmark) to use in identifying the approximate period for commencement of the Day of the Lord (Rapture), is that of our Lord’s reference to a (the final) generation.
Am I surprised that the Rapture has not happened yet (2020 has come and gone!), as stated some seven years ago in The Omega Generation article?
Yes, but not as much as otherwise would/could be. For two reasons:
(1) With regard to the first definition (parameter) of a generation, to have given more weight to the San Remo Conference of 1920 which affirmed the Balfour Declaration of 1917. Then, perhaps, even more consideration to the 1922 League of Nations ratification (on a more global scale) of the San Remo Conference decisions and declarations. Therefore, the milepost beginning of the final generation would be revised to 1922 instead of 1917.
Which takes us to the year 2022 (100-year generation).
*Please see Eye of Prophecy article, Israel’s Annexation of Occupied Territory? We Must Define The Terms (6-27-20), for a more detailed account of the San Remo Conference.
(2) In hindsight I would have placed even more emphasis on the built-in flexibility of God’s timetable with more highlighting in a few prior articles on our passage of II Peter 3 … the Lord’s patience in extending the prophetic clock so that more people would be saved.
Thus, we could stretch the 100-year generation to the maximum life expectancy of say the oldest person in the world at any given year, conceivably from 110 to 115 years old. Which, using the age of 110 years, would take us to the year 2032. Same thing with the 70-year generational span to accommodate the increased longevity of people in several nations.
For example: The oldest (highest average) life expectancy on Planet Earth is found in Hong Kong; women at 87.8 years and men at 82 years, with their combined average at 85 years (rounded off). Second highest—combining both men and women—is in Japan … 84 years. With the beginning point of Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948, we could then add some 14 years (to the generational age/figure of 70 years) which takes us to the same year 2032.
Accordingly, I’ll revise my surprise year to 2032. If I live that long, I will definitely be surprised that the Rapture has not yet occurred, fully understanding that no one knows the day of the Rapture! Nevertheless, the signs of the times (there are so many that some are calling them the “times of the signs”) strongly suggest that believers will meet the Lord in the air even sooner.
“He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon! (at any moment). Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people” (Revelation 22:20-21, parenthesis mine).