Signs and Prophecy: Major
This is a visualization of biblical cross-references put together by Christoph Römhild and Chris Harrison. The bar graph that runs along the bottom represents all of the chapters in the Bible. The length of each bar denotes the number of verses in the chapter. Each of the 63,779 cross references found in the Bible is depicted by a single arc - the color corresponds to the distance between the two chapters, creating a rainbow-like effect.
The Bible was written by about 40 writers over the span of around 2000 years or more, on 3 different continents. The Bible covers a complicated history of many civilizations, over huge spans of time, and yet it has one unified message: God is lovingly redeeming all who believe in the one who has come in his name, not to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them.
Prophecy is a taboo topic for good reason. According to society, if the prophecy does not come true, you are a liar at worst. At best, you were just a little bit off that time, you'll get the next one right...
Biblically, the punishment for false prophecy is far worse. Either way this is not something to be taken lightly. I am certainly not a prophet. However, the words of many of them have been recorded in the Bible, and there is no danger in reading and studying those words of the proven prophets of God. There is a danger with how we handle it. How are our actions going to effect our lives and others around us? It's ok to read the prophecies, study them, analyze them, and even conjecture amongst fellow students. It is not ok to go draining bank accounts, or shouting at people on the street with a mega phone that the world is going to end. We are called to be wise as snakes and harmless as doves, and carry on with our lives as if the Lord could return today.
Mankind is consistent at making miscalculations, so no matter how certain you are of your calculations, you are probably not a prophet so don't speak like one. For example, don't say "This will for sure happen when..." because if your interpretation is wrong, you will cause others to fall away from belief, when what you so confidently affirmed doesn't happen. It's wise not to share with unbelievers when you think unfulfilled prophecy may occur, but rather, share with them the prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled eventually. Then when it happens, they will be amazed.
By all means study and conjecture when some may happen, but only do this amongst believers who know why to be careful with this. Of course be a watchmen, and warn people of the times, but be wise about it, and know that it won't be easy. Be a witness, share the gospel from a place of love and concern, and live a life worthy of respect, reliant on no one, and living off the work of your own hands.
Remember what Jesus tells us to do when these things start happening... Look up, don't get depressed, don't drink your face off, and don't change the way of life we are called to live, so that when it happens you won't get caught unaware of it.
Luke 21: 28 and 34
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near. 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be weighed down with carousing, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
There are said to be over 2,500 prophecies having been made in the Bible.
The following links are fantastic websites that have been put together, with huge amounts of effort researching individual prophecies. The first one lists 351 fulfilled old testament prophecies that were found and verified. That site has many other amazing sections to it that are very worth exploring as well.
Expanded stories of 100 prophecies origin and execution.
This article talks about seven prophecies that must happen before Jesus' final return at the battle of armageddon.
The Key To Understanding The Bible
First and foremost, being peaceful in our manor, and having a loving nature is absolutely an important trait to obtain before knowledge. As God says in I Corinthians 8:1, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” Our character and relationship with Christ, is far more important than just knowledge alone. Even those of us who have the Bible as our straight edge, are all fallible people who make mistakes, and just as the passage continues to say in verse two , “Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know.” Not even the prophets fully understood all of what they prophesied by God as stated in 1 peter 1:10-12. "To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into."
When it comes to studying the word and especially prophecy, it’s best to ensure that the methods being used to interpret the meaning are sound. I spent a good part of my life as a master mechanic, and i have trained and taught enough people to learn that even mechanics, (who don’t get paid unless they fix the car) are vulnerable to locking in a diagnosis before they should. When you do that type of job where you can’t afford to just “poke and hope” (as they say in billiards) hoping a ball happens to go into a pocket. This type of job is one where you aren’t able to wishfully manifest things to fit your desired reality. It trains you to be brutally honest with yourself, so that you will see the problem as it is, and not as you want it to be. This is what trains us not to move forward, before we should. It teaches us how to confirm solid, and useable data, not to mention the imperative need to understand the system in front of you, so that you know what the information is telling you.
After studying something to the extant that we are able to study it with the resources we have, If we can’t actually be dogmatic on a biblical subject, then we shouldn’t be. We can conjecture, discuss, and make reasonable observations, but it’s best we don’t commit to a conclusion, if we don’t actually know for sure. It is foolish to lock in a decision, before all variables are settled and accounted for.
For example, there can be around ten different reasons that could cause an engine to overheat, but before a technician runs through all the reasons that could cause that, they will probably run through about three of them looking for evidence. Let’s say they find an abnormal sensor reading, but instead of confirming the legitimacy of that abnormal reading, they go and sell a new sensor. Although that reading is unusually high, it may be correct, and there are still seven other possibilities they haven’t even checked yet. The sensor goes in, and the car comes back, still overheating. So, being pressed for time, dealing with their untimely problem, they’ll throw the next most likely part in, and guess what, it wasn’t that either. The technician begins to lose hope and blame the car, and because he doesn’t know the system very well either, they begin to imagine all kinds of fantastic possibilities.
The less you know, the more you can imagine,
but that doesn’t mean it’s correct, or even possible. We have a common phrase amongst mechanics, "Close enough only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades." In other words, when you're dealing with precision components, you need to be precise. In the same regard, God is exact. He doesn't sort of get it right, and his prophecies cannot, and should not be force fit. Bible prophecy is no different to solving a problem in a system with many factors. Whenever we run through any given prophecy, as we read it, there will be check points along the way, where we need to be sure of its exact meaning in that context. Just like a diagnostic trouble tree, we must address every single check point thoroughly, and make sure that portion is perfectly clear and settled, by making sure it agrees with all other scripture. Of course, we must also be sure we understand the operating system in front of us fully, before we can continue with our assessment down the trouble tree and arrive at a sound conclusion, if we are able to. Furthermore, these following statements stand true for all of us, every day of our lives.
Just because we have been doing something for a long time, doesn’t necessarily mean that we are doing it correctly, or can’t do it better. In fact, long duration of effort typically breeds complacency, and a lack of pliable attention.
Just because a large group of people are doing it, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re correct.
Just because you’ve studied something, doesn’t mean you’re going to get an A+ on the test.
That is telling you that there is something you’re missing, and you don’t fully understand what is happening. When that happens, it means you're about to learn something you don't know yet. Of course, you will still need to continue and find out why it appears to be a contradiction to you.
Rightly dividing is a massive key that we must apply with this process. Not only is that true for reading scripture, but that is what God wants us to do in every aspect of life. The Bible has verses for people too far to the left, and too far to the right. God guides us with the scriptures to weigh each scenario accordingly, and to maintain an appropriate stance for every unique situation. Rightly dividing causes us to ask ourselves, “Who is speaking?” and “Who are they speaking to?” Does it apply specifically to a certain time period, person, or group only? After we know to ask those relevant questions, then we need to know how to identify types, allegories, metaphors, anthropomorphisms, smilies, or the big word, a hypocatastasis.
Figures of speech
Typology: Events, persons, or statements in the Old Testament are seen as types pre-figuring or superseded by antitypes, events or aspects of Christ or his revelation described in the New Testament.
Allegory: Interprets the biblical narrative as having a second level of reference beyond those persons, things, and events explicitly mentioned in the text.
Metaphor: A word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
Anthropomorphism: The attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities.
Simile: The comparison of one thing with another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more emphatic or vivid.
Hypocatastasis: Declares or implies a resemblance, representation or comparison. It differs from a metaphor, because in a metaphor the two nouns are both named and given; while, in hypocatastasis, only one is named and the other is implied.
Spotting these figures of speech is not a mechanism to be misused as a loop hole to forcefully change something we don't like, by applying a wrong figure of speech, rather than the one that was actually used. We are meant to appropriately apply these techniques correctly when reading. It's a lot like catching a fish, where the fish represents a particular nugget of knowledge for us to obtain. It isn’t only about studying the fish and then it’s yours. You still need to know the methods used on how to catch it. In the same regard, rightly dividing isn’t dealing with a caught fish, it is the key of knowing how to correctly catch the fish in the first place. We only get those fish, if we know all the techniques of how to catch each fish according to its kind.
In other words, you can’t use the same techniques of understanding a metaphor, as you would with a literal meaning. In the same regard, you wouldn’t use a tuna trawler to catch a guppy. Jesus is a man, speaking to men, using the language that he gave us, with all of its nuances. He didn’t want us to actually drink his blood and eat his flesh, back when he said that, but many people left because they took him literally, when it wasn’t actually literal. Another example of this, is how Jesus is compared to the Morning star, and Satan is called "The Son of the Morning", if you are reading the more accurate KJV version. Obviously, neither of them are the very hot planet Venus, Venus isn't technically a star, and they are definitely not the same person either, as made unquestionably clear all throughout the Bible. God has given us our brains, and our environment, and he expects us to develop our understanding so we are prepared to discern all of the variables. We aren’t meant to apply the same rules for everything, and we aren’t meant to say that nothing ever really applies, because there are too many scenarios, and so then the Bible is just a general guide book, to be taken lightly. It definitely isn't. We are meant to be intelligent, reasonable, and able to discern things accurately. We shouldn't be getting so hung up on semantics, that we completely miss the reason it was written.
This life is about bringing glory to God with love as we develop good character. God wants to see how we handle this furnace of affliction. Will we choose him and his discipline to better our relationship with him, fulfilling our intended purpose?, or will we quench the Holy Spirit, and chase our sinful desires instead? If a sinful desire still has a strong hold in your life, then studying prophecy is a great way to help you to conquer it. Learning how amazing Bible prophecy is, has a tendency to build your faith so high that you want to stop sinning. Not to mention the amount of end times prophecy that is being fulfilled right now, is a major indicator that we are about to be looking Jesus in the eyes soon.
Prophecies of The Messiah's Arrival
Below are the amazing prophecies that Jesus fulfilled with his amazing actions long before the prophecies were written. As if one man fulfilling the extreme parameters set by the prophecies wasn't miraculous enough, the mathematical odds of fulfilling them are equally as amazing.
John The Baptist Prepares The Way
(Written ~ 690 B.C.)
Isaiah 40:3 Fulfilled by the life of John the Baptist.
"The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God."
(Written ~ 408 B.C.)
Malachi 3:1 Fulfilled by the life of John the Baptist.
"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts."
Jews Set Free After 70 Years of Captivity and The Rebuilding of The Temple
(Written ~ 690 B.C.)
Isaiah 44-45 Isaiah prophesied, naming Cyrus multiple times that he would be raised up to begin the process to restore Jerusalem, and set the Jews free after 70 years of captivity, more than 100 years before Cyrus was even born, or in power.
(Written ~ 627 - 585)
Jeremiah 25:10,11 The 70 years captivity was prophesied.
"I will banish from them the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, the sound of millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole country will become a desolate wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years."
Jeremiah 29:1 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.
(Written ~ 538 - 520 B.C.)
Ezra 1:2-4 Rebuilding of the temple, 40 years before it was even destroyed.
"This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: “‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. 3 Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. 4 And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’”
Ezra 6:2-5 "A scroll was found in the citadel of Ecbatana in the province of Media, and this was written on it: Memorandum: In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid. It is to be sixty cubits high and sixty cubits wide, with three courses of large stones and one of timbers. The costs are to be paid by the royal treasury. Also, the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, are to be returned to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; they are to be deposited in the house of God.''
The Messiah Comes From The Root of Jesse, King David's Father
(Written ~ 630–540 BC)
2 Samuel 7:12-17 “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. But my mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever. According to all these words and according to all this vision, so Nathan spoke to David."
(Written ~ 690 B.C.)
Isaiah 11:1 Jesus is from Jesse's blood line.
"Then a shoot will spring up from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit."
Born of a Virgin
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Born in Bethlehem
(Written ~ 710 B.C.)
Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to me the one to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.”
The Messiah Will Die For Our Sins
(Written ~ 690 B.C.)
Isaiah 53:12 "Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
They Will Pierce The Hands and Feet of The Messiah and Cast Lots For His Clothing
(Written ~ 587 B.C.)
Psalm 22:16-18 "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture."
The Day Count to The Messiah's Arrival
(Written ~ 540 B.C.)
Daniel 9:25-26 declared when the count would start, leading up to his death. From the decree to rebuild Jerusalem there will be 69 sevens, or 173,880 day (360 day Jewish year). The Messiah will finish transgressions and make an end of sins.
“Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined."
The Start of The Day Count For Daniel's 69 Sevens
(Written ~ 430 B.C.)
Nehemiah 2:1-9 The decree was officially made and started in the 20th year of Artaxerxes on an unnamed day in the month of Nisan in the 445th year B.C., or March/April Gregorian. (See Nehemiah 2:1-9)
He Will Be Betrayed For 30 Pieces of Silver, and a "Potter" Will Be Paid With That Money.
(Written ~ 518 B.C.)
Zechariah 11:12,13 "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord."
The Messiah Will Ride Into Town On a Donkey
(Written ~ 520 - 518 B.C.)
Zechariah 9:9 said exactly how he would come into town, riding in on the colt of a donkey.
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
100 more verses about the arrival of The Messiah
and the fulfillment of them
The Math of Daniel's 69 weeks
As it was just listed above, one of the most amazing prophecies in the entire Bible, is that found in the book of Daniel. It says exactly when the Messiah Jesus would be killed, and not for himself, (but rather for us). Daniel was inspired to write when this would happen by giving us the exact day count, starting from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. That being 173,880 days from the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus given in Nisan 445 (444 astronomical) and ended on the Gregorian(did not exist yet) 6th of April 32 Anno Domini (The Year of The Lord).
Studying this prophecy, and verifying the year of this decree, and the date of the crucifixion, takes some time to buckle down and really examine the parameters, and support behind decrees and events. Many of these dates have been muddled up over time, so we need to make sure we know exactly how to confirm the timing of these events. As is the case for many portions of history before the time of Christ, there are often different arguments going around regarding when certain things happened, when they were written. For example, in Nehemiah 2, the verse states that in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, the decree was made, so then we need to find out what year he took power as king.
One source people will often reference for these dates, is Ptolemy's "Babylonian Canon of Kings." However, there is a large discrepancy between when Ptolemy records the timing of the reign of Artaxerxes, when compared to other records. Ptolemy was clearly wrong about various chronological records, and he was even brought to trial, and prosecuted for numerous inaccuracies. Unfortunately his "Canon of Kings" is still the best thing they had, and what most people still regard as fact, regardless or the several errors. One can easily search for the falsehoods and errors of Ptolemy the astronomer, and read all about that. Here is a link to an article with some references to get you started regarding why people get dates wrong.
Needless to say, right from the start this study appears to be a pretty daunting task, but it can be done if you're willing to sit down and keep asking why, and how do we know that? To begin, the first hurtle that trips a lot of people up, is that there are seemingly four possible Biblical "decrees" to rebuild Jerusalem. However, of the four decrees found, only one of them was a decree regarding Jerusalem, whereas the other three are pertaining to the temple. This has occupied the time of many students of prophecy, but fortunately the answer to this question has been well satisfied.
Fortunately, there is a way to count the days of this prophecy without going through an overwhelming amount of calendar conversions, and calendar gap corrections. There are Gregorian, Julian, Hebrew Religious, and Hebrew Civil Calendars. All of which, have synchronistic accuracy corrections, and just for an added point of frustration, if you're doing astronomical calculations, a year must also be added to the calendar date. In this case, the calendar year for the decree is 445B.C., but astronomically it is called year 444 due to the "Zero year" being counted. In reality, the year zero is actually 1B.C. So, when using any astronomical dates for reference, we mustn't forget to add another year back to it, but only if it's a B.C. date. Once calculations cross that line, the astronomical year and the actual are back in sync.
This also makes using online calculators of no benefit, because we not only need to source astronomy, we also need to move between, Jewish, Julian, and Gregorian calendars. That date we are given in the Bible is in the Hebrew religious calendar month of Nisan, which is from a 360 day year based off of the moon, and not the sun. The months themselves begin at the new moon. Even still, their calendar required "epact," or epagomene adjustments, which means they adjusted the start of the day in order to resynchronize their calendar to the moon.
If you would like to know the day of the week a certain event of the past occurred on, as it compares to today, then you just have to work backwards in time using our current solar calendar year, consisting of 365.25 days, and leap years. It's easiest to just remain in the Gregorian Calendar, because of the added confusion from crossing over what's known as the Julian gap. There is an eleven day long gap of difference between the two calendars. This applies specifically to The United States of America, at the time of the switch, in the year of 1752. When compared to today's date, that gap of time also increases in length, as time goes on. The length of this Julian gap, is also different depending on the country it is being applied to, because they didn't all change their calendars at the same time. This link explains more about that if you're curious as to the when and why.
Even after all of this we need to try and find the most credible sources for the dates. If anyone does that, they will soon find out that many people provide dates, but few actually agree, or can even explain their reasoning behind it. It is almost as if some force is trying to prevent us from being able to calculate the exactness of these prophecies! Fortunately, there was a man by the name of Sir Robert Anderson who worked for Scotland Yard in the 1800's and he printed a book in 1894 titled, "The Coming Prince." This is an absolutely remarkable effort put forth by this very intelligent, skilled, and diligent investigator. He gives his points of reason for every step of the process, and nearly every pastor and teacher of Bible prophecy references this book, so it is definitely worth reading. Sir Robert Anderson uses several different points of reference in order to gain a higher level of accuracy concerning the timing of these events. One of these points of reference that we can use to help us narrow down the timing of the crucifixion, are the passover feasts recorded in the Bible. So, let's jump right into his book starting with chapter 9, "The Paschal Supper."
The Timing of the Passover
"The Paschal Supper"
Excerpts from Chapter 9
"No words can possibly express more clearly this distinction than those afforded by the Pentateuch in the final promulgation of the Law: " In the fourteenth day of the first month is the Passover of the Lord; and in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast." Numbers 28:16, 17. Compare Exodus 12:14-17, and Leviticus 23:5, 6
Opening the thirteenth chapter of St. John in the light of this simple explanation, every difficulty vanishes. The scene is laid at the Paschal Supper, on the eve of the festival, "before the feast of the Passover;" and after the narration or the washing of the disciples' feet, the evangelist goes on to tell of the hurried departure of Judas, explaining that, to some, the Lord's injunction to the traitor was understood to mean, "Buy what we have need of against the feast." (John 13:29) The feast day was a Sabbath, when trading was unlawful, and it would seem that the needed supply for the festival was still procurable far on in the preceding night; for another of the errors with which this controversy abounds is the assumption that the Jewish day was invariably reckoned a nukthameron, beginning in the evening.
Such, for instance, was the day of atonement (Leviticus 23:32) and also the weekly Sabbath. But though the Passover was eaten between six o'clock and midnight, this period was designated in the law, not the beginning of the 15th Nisan, but the evening or night of the 14th (compare Exodus 12:6-8, and Leviticus 23:5). The 15th, or feast day, was reckoned, doubtless, from six o'clock the following morning, for, according to the Mishna (Treatise Berachoth), the day began at six o'clock a. m. These writers would have us believe that the disciples supposed that they were there and then eating the Passover, and yet that they imagined Judas was dispatched to buy what was needed for the Passover!
Such, doubtless, was the common rule, and notably in respect of the law of ceremonial cleansing. This very fact, indeed, enables us without a doubt to conclude that the Passover on account of which the Jews refused to defile themselves by entering the judgment hall, was not the Paschal Supper, for that supper was not eaten till after the hour at which such defilement would have lapsed. In the language of the law, "When the sun is down he shall be clean, and shall afterwards eat of the holy things." (Leviticus 12:7) Not so was it with the holy offerings of the feast day, which they must needs eat before the hour at which their uncleanness would have ceased.  The only question, therefore, is whether partaking of the peace offerings of the festival could properly be designated as "eating the Passover." The law of Moses itself supplies the answer: "Thou shalt sacrifice the Passover unto the Lord thy God of the flock and the herd...seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith." (Deuteronomy 16:2, 3, and compare 2 Chronicles 35:7, 8.)
Because the day ended at six o'clock. Moreover, we know from Jewish writers that these offerings (called in the Talmud the Chagigah) were eaten between three and six o'clock, and ceremonial uncleanness continued until six o'clock."
For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
Nehemiah asks to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
"And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before. Therefore the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart.” So I became dreadfully afraid, and said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire?” Then the king said to me, “What do you request?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” Then the king said to me (the queen also sitting beside him), “How long will your journey be? And when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time. Furthermore I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given to me for the governors of the region beyond the River, that they must permit me to pass through till I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me. Then I went to the governors in the region beyond the River, and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent captains of the army and horsemen with me.
The goal here is to determine the exactness and divine nature of this prophecy regarding the 69 weeks, the 70th week postponed of course for a later date. In order to do this, naturally we will need to be certain on the exact beginning of the decree, and the exact time, when the Messiah is cut off, as stated in Daniel 9:25,26 “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined."
These weeks mentioned are understood as seventy periods of seven, and those sevens are years, not days. These years are also 360 day long, Hebrew lunar years. If you have any doubt to that, all one needs to do is go add up the day counts given to us in Revelation for the two 1260 day halves of the Final week, and when they divide those 2520 days by 7, they will get 360 day years. The Jewish calendar being a 360 day calendar is a well established fact anyway, but it's a fun thing to check and verify biblically. Obviously if the last week of years are 360 day years, so are the first 69 weeks, as we have also established to be true by verifying the accuracy of this prophecy. If you haven't already learned about how we know about we know these weeks are periods years was determined, The Coming Prince explains it most thoroughly, but these two links also give the gist of it.
Continuing on, there are first seven sevens given, and then 62 sevens added to that. The first seven sevens are as it is being built during troubled times, and then they are followed by the remaining 62 weeks of years, making a total of 69 weeks of years, and 1 remaining week saved for a later date, known as the time of Jacob's trouble in Jeremiah 30:7. So, that is 69 times 7 which equals, 483 years. Each year is 360 days days long so we multiply 483 by 360 and that gives us 173,880 days from the decree to restore Jerusalem, to the death of the Messiah. We first looked at the Crucifixion date, and now we go back to the decree and see how the 69 weeks fit between these two dates. Sir Robert Anderson, in The Coming Prince, has well and truly established the grounds on which we can be certain for the exact positions of each occurrence. Chapter 9 goes over the crucifixion date, and now in chapter 10 he will scrutinize the timing of the decree.
The Decree to Restore and Rebuild Jerusalem.
"The Fulfillment of Prophecy"
Excerpts from Chapter 10
"The statement of St. Luke is explicit and unequivocal, that our Lord's public ministry began in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar. It is equally clear that it began shortly before the Passover, The date of it can thus be fixed as between August A.D. 28 and April A.D. 29. The Passover of the crucifixion therefore was in A.D. 32, when Christ was betrayed on the night of the Paschal Supper, and put to death on the day of the Paschal Feast."
As we expect God to be exact, as the divine creator of all things, who is outside of time, perfect in knowledge and wisdom, then we can expect that this prophecy declares that it was indeed given by him, showing its accuracy as we add the days back from this date to arrive at the very decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.
"The Persian edict which restored the autonomy of Judah was issued in the Jewish month of Nisan. It may in fact have been dated the 1st of Nisan, but:no other day being named, the prophetic period must be reckoned according to a practice common with the Jews, from the Jewish New Year's Day. The seventy weeks are therefore to be computed from the first of Nisan B.C. 445."
"On the 1st of Nisan is a new year for the computation of the reign of kings, and for festivals." — Mishna, treatise "Rosh Hash."
"The wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the: month Elul, in fifty and two days" (Nehemiah 6: l5). Now fifty-two days, measured back from the 25th Elul, brings us to the 3rd Ab. Therefore Nehemiah must have arrived not later than 1st Ab, and apparently some days earlier (Nehemiah 2:11). Compare this with Ezra's journey thirteen years before. "For upon the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month (Ab) came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him" (Ezra 7:9). I infer therefore that Nehemiah also set out early in the first month.
The chronological parallelisms between the respective journeys of Ezra and Nehemiah have suggested the ingenious theory that both went up to Jerusalem together, Ezra 7 and Nehemiah 2 relating to the same event. This is based upon the supposition that the regnal years of Artaxerxes, according to Persian computation, were reckoned from his birth, a supposition, however, which is fanciful and arbitrary, though described by its author as "by no means unlikely" (Trans. Soc. Bib. Arch., 2., 110: Rev. D. H. Haigh, 4th Feb., 1873)."
"Now the great characteristic of the Jewish sacred year has remained unchanged ever since the memorable night when the equinoctial moon beamed down upon the huts of Israel in Egypt, bloodstained by the Paschal sacrifice; and there is neither doubt nor difficulty in fixing within narrow limits the Julian date of the 1st of Nisan in any year whatever. In B.C. 445 the new moon by which the Passover was regulated was on the 13th of March at 7h. 9m. A. M. And accordingly the 1st Nisan may be assigned to the 14th March."
At this point in Sir Robert Anderson's book, he mentions how he enlisted the help from another Sir, by the name of Sir George Biddell Airy who worked at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. You may recognize the location, famous for its use in setting Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). It was proposed by the British astronomer George Biddell Airy (1801-1892). The first observations were taken on 4 January 1851. Following an agreement in Washington DC in 1884 to create an international time zone system, it was decided that the location of Airy's transit circle would define the zero degree meridian, the Prime Meridian. The observatory is now a museum, where the instrument is on display in its original location.
Airy's transit circle, Greenwich, 1891
"For this calculation I am indebted to the courtesy of the Astronomer Royal, whose reply to my inquiry on the subject is appended:
"ROYAL OBSERVATORY, GREENWICH."
June 26th, I877.
"SIR, — I have had the moon's place calculated from Largeteau's Tables in Additions to the Connaisance des Tems 1846, by one of my assistants, and have no doubt of its correctness. The place being calculated for — 444, March 12d. 20h., French reckoning, or March 12d. 8h. P. M., it appears that the said time was short of New Moon by about 8h. 47m., and therefore the New Moon occurred at 4h. 47m. A. M., March 13th, Paris time."
I am, etc.,
" (Signed,) G. B. AIRY."
The new moon, therefore, occurred at Jerusalem on the 13th March, B. C. 445 (444 Astronomical) at 7h. 9m. A. M."
(Side note from ithasbeenwritten )
I thought that of all people to ask for help, the fact that he was able to get help from Sir Airy was just awesome. If anyone was qualified to do those calculations, I suppose the developer of the Prime meridian will do... Now a days, anyone who isn't an astronomical genius at math, can just use a program like stellarium to check this for themselves like I have done. The New Moon will naturally be closer to the sun from our perspective, thereby invisible, and unable to reflect light of any phase back to us due to its position. That is what I expected to find, and that is indeed what I found. How these guys get it down to the minute using Largeteau's tables is above and beyond!
"And the date of it can be ascertained. In accordance with the Jewish custom, the Lord went up to Jerusalem upon the 8th Nisan, "six days before the Passover."  But as the 14th, on which the Paschal Supper was eaten, fell that year upon a Thursday, the 8th was the preceding Friday. He must have spent the Sabbath, therefore, at Bethany; and on the evening of the 9th, after the Sabbath had ended, the Supper took place in Martha's house. Upon the following day, the 10th Nisan, He entered Jerusalem as recorded in the Gospels. 
 "When the people were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened bread on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus, ' i. e., Nisan (Josephus, Wars, 6. 5, 3). "And the Jews' Passover was nigh at hand, and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem, before the Passover, to purify themselves...Then Jesus, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany" (John 11:55; 12:1).
 Lewin, Fasti Sacri, p. 230.
The Julian date of that 10th Nisan was Sunday the 6th April, A.D. 32. What then was the length of the period intervening between the issuing of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem and the public advent of "Messiah the Prince," — between the 14th March, B.C. 445, and the 6th April, A.D. 32? THE INTERVAL CONTAINED EXACTLY AND TO THE VERY DAY 173, 880 DAYS, OR SEVEN TIMES SIXTY-NINE PROPHETIC YEARS OF 360 DAYS, the first sixty-nine weeks of Gabriel's prophecy.
The 1st Nisan in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes (the edict to rebuild Jerusalem) was 14th March, B. C. 445. The 10th Nisan in Passion Week (Christ's entry into Jerusalem) was 6th April A.D. 32. The intervening period was 476 years and 24 days (the days being reckoned inclusively, as required by the language of the prophecy, and in accordance with the Jewish practice).
But 476 x 365 = 173,740 days
Add (14 March to 6th of April, both inclusive) 24 days
Add for leap years 116 days
Equals a total of 173,880 days
And 69 weeks of prophetic years of 360 days ( or 69 x 7 x 360) 173,880 days.
It may be well to offer here two explanatory remarks. First; in reckoning years from B.C. to A.D., one year must always be omitted; for it is obvious, ex. gr., that from B.C. 1 to A.D. 1 was not two years, but one year. B.C. 1 ought to be described as B.C. 0, and it is so reckoned by astronomers, who would describe the historical date B.C. 445, as 444. And secondly, the Julian year is 11m. 10 46s., or about the 129th part of a day, longer than 'the mean solar year. The Julian calendar, therefore, contains three leap years too many in four centuries, an error which had amounted to eleven days in A.D. 1752 when our English calendar was corrected by declaring the 3rd September to be the 14th September, and by introducing the Gregorian reform which reckons three secular years out of four as common years; ex. gr., 1700, 1800 and 1900 are common years, and 2000 is a leap year. "Old Christmas day" is still marked in our calendars, and observed in some localities, on the 6th January; and to this day the calendar remains uncorrected in Russia."
This book was tremendously helpful in putting together some of the missing puzzle pieces for one of the most amazing prophecies in the Bible. I highly recommend reading the entire book, The Coming Prince. He gives sound reasoning for his deductions, that can be verified. This of course doesn't stop folks from saying he was wrong, but there is always someone there to say that they're wrong. This is why we need to check things for ourselves, not only verifying, but also sitting down and crunching the numbers. There are a lot of variables, and it is not an easy task, thanks to all of the calendar changes.
It was great to see what Sir Robert Anderson did by calculating it with the Gregorian manually, then removing all the error from the changes, and arriving at the same 173,880 days as well. Not to mention he also had to manually plug in the interval to arrive at the crucifixion date. That was a great way to cross check it. Even still, when using a modern calendar computer, if you plug in the day count of 173,880 from March 13, 445 you land directly on the proposed day of April 3, 32 A.D.
I will never forget the first time I did this on my own, not expecting much, and then when I saw the 173,880 days fit in-between the 2 dates precisely, I sat there amazed by it. Granted there are some small disagreements between these algorithms programmed into these online calculators, such as a day here, or there, or the week day being different by a day.
Even with all these errors in the calendar, the fact that we are down to nitpicking the exact is astounding! Of course, with the book of Daniel, the foretold rising and falling of the kingdoms given to King Nebuchadnezzar by Daniel, and this very exact prophecy of 69 weeks, people deem it to be a fake written many years later during the Maccabean Revolt. Fortunately, we now have enough artifacts found that well, and truly support Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar existed and it was written in the 6th century B.C. The prophecies are real, and God truly is amazing. He has proven in countless ways, that the entire Bible is a unified and unbroken message that only could have been given by God himself. The one and only God of the Hebrew Bible. May he be praised forever.
There are also some more other very interesting accounts that have been recorded about the darkness that occurred that day, according to the Gospels. Earthquakes are a little more difficult to track down the exact timing of, but darkness that occurred from noon and lasted for three hours, was indeed noticed. Some of the early historians did not agree on on a few things, one of which being the crucifixion date. However, as we just saw the prophecy can only fit into one place. Nevertheless, the three hours of darkness that began at noon was documented by several people. One of the most peculiar accounts, is that of Chinese Emperor Guangwu, as seen in the next video.
"Chinese Emperor Guangwu Given Signs of Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection" 12:26
Darkness at Noon
"Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land." Matthew 27:45-46
This is definitely something that would not go unnoticed. There are quite a few different places that record this event, but one in particular that helps us confirm the exact date in question, that being from Phlegon, and it is said to have happen on Passover of 33 A.D. More have been included here for the sake of evidence, although there are more past these, enough have been included for the purpose of verifying the date of the crucifixion.
Roman Historian, Rufinus of Aquileia (344/345–411)
One of the first historians of this period, Rufinus of Aquileia, as a part of the work he completed on Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, contains a section that describes a defense given to Maximus by Lucian of Antioch before his death by martyrdom in 411 A.D. This Roman writer was quite certain that the darkness described by the gospels that is said to have happened at the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth was a part of the historical record of the Roman archives.
“Search your writings and you shall find that in Pilates time, when Christ suffered, the sun was suddenly withdrawn and darkness followed”.
This statement, by a Roman historian, not only confirms the New Testament account that darkness occurred at Jesus’ crucifixion but also serves as proof that documents, other than the Bible, exist in the records of antiquity, which describe the crucifixion of a man called “The Christ.”
Christian Historian Paulus Orosius (375 – 418) Wrote:
“Jesus voluntarily gave himself over to the Passion but through the impiety of the Jews, was apprehended and nailed to the cross, as a very great earthquake took place throughout the world, rocks upon mountains were split, and a great many parts of the largest cities fell by this extraordinary violence. On the same day also, at the sixth hour of the day, the Sun was entirely obscured and a loathsome night suddenly overshadowed the land, as it was said, ‘an impious age feared eternal night.’ Moreover, it was quite clear that neither the Moon nor the clouds stood in the way of the light of the Sun, so that it is reported that on that day the Moon, being fourteen days old, with the entire region of the heavens thrown in between, was farthest from the sight of the Sun, and the stars throughout the entire sky shone, then in the hours of the day or rather in that terrible night. To this, not only the authority of the Holy Gospels attest, but even some books of the Greeks.”
Greek Historian, Phlegon of Tralles (80 ~100s)
A substantial record from the Greek historian, Phlegon, who described the three hours of darkness over Jerusalem during the time of Tiberius Caesar, when Jesus was crucified:
“This eclipse was visible from Jerusalem at moonrise…. first visible from Jerusalem at about 6:20pm (the start of the Jewish Sabbath and also the start of Passover day in A.D. 33) with about 20% of its disc in the umbra of the earth’s shadow …. The eclipse finished some thirty minutes later at 6:50pm.”
Julius Africanus, Roman Historian Thallus (~50)
Julius Africanus records that according to Roman historian Thallus, the darkness could not have been caused by a solar eclipse. The feast of Passover is always observed on the 14th day of Nissan, during a full moon. An eclipse can only occur when the moon is new and under the Sun. It is scientifically impossible for a total eclipse of the sun to occur concurrent with a full moon.
Second Century, Tertullian (160-200s)
Tertullian, an early Christian church defender of the faith, described the darkness surrounding the crucifixion as occurring exactly at the time of day that Jesus was upon the cross.
“In the same hour (as the crucifixion), too, the light of day was withdrawn, when the sun at the very time was in his meridian blaze. Those who were no aware that this had been predicted about Christ, no doubt thought it an eclipse. You yourselves have an account of the world portent still in your archives (Phlegon’s account).”
This information was taken from this link, and also where more can be found:
The following two videos are here to suffice any naturally occurring curiosities following these topics. The first video explains why Jesus Birth would have occurred in the Fall, and the second discusses proofs that the resurrection actually occurred.
"True birth date of Jesus (Messiah Yeshua)." 15:39
"Dr. David Wood Proves the Resurrection of Christ" 20:35
It never ceases to amaze me, that no matter how many times a person can read the Bible, there is always something else to learn, and more is being uncovered about it every day. Some stories we have heard for so long, it never occurs to the reader to ask, "What is meant by that?" We just accept it, because we are so used to it. When Jesus was born he was given frankincense, gold, and Myrrh, as seen in Matthew 2:11. He was born in Bethlehem, and he was wrapped in swaddling cloth, and laid in a manger, and all of these things have serious significance.
Frankincense – The Deity of Jesus
Frankincense was burned in the temple as an offering to God (Exodus 30:34-38). By bringing this gift, the Magi affirmed Jesus was no ordinary man; he is both fully man and fully God.
Gold - The Kingship of Jesus
All throughout the Bible we see the value, rarity, and symbolic reference of gold to purity which does not tarnish. In those days, gold was usually only commonplace for kings. Not to mention the use of Gold in the Holy place, and the Holy of Holies. The wise men knew who Jesus was, and his incarnation heralded the presence of God. Immanuel means God with us, and according to the prophets he was going to be the sacrifice of atonement, which he would make when he went to the cross. This leads us into the reason for the next gift.
Myrrh - The Death of Jesus
The Magi knew what the prophets said would happen to him from the writings found in Isaiah 53, King David's Psalm 22, Zechariah 11:12,13, Daniel 9:25,26, and other places. They knew he was God, come as a man to die for us, and this expensive Myrrh was used for embalming, as we read in John 19:38-40, myrrh was being mixed by Nicodemus as an embalming fluid for Jesus, at the time of his death. I wonder if it was the same gift he was giving as a child...
People do not travel as far as the Magi did through a desert, escaping near death from Herod, and then give 3 ridiculously expensive, and very symbolic gifts to a young child, unless they had good reason to believe was indeed who he was. As seen in the next video, there is more symbolic significance to this, because when he was born he was placed in a manager, and wrapped in swaddling cloth. Typically, this is the way you would expect to find a lamb. The fact that Jesus arrived prefigured as a lamb, and was given those three gifts is just another loud declaration that this was no ordinary man. This was the one and only, God man who redeemed the whole world, for all of time, Just as he knew he would, from day one.
Thank you for this video David. Our God is awesome!
O Little Town of Bethlehem? Why? 17:00
For those of us waiting for the rapture, and longing for Jesus's promised return... This day when any living believers in Jesus are taken from the world, it will be a blessing beyond comprehension for us. However, for those left behind, when millions disappear without a trace, it will obviously be absolute chaos for quite some time, until order is restored. For those who don't believe this day will ever happen, who could convince them it will? When it does happen, there won't be anyone left to tell them the truth. Rather, "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 If you saw this mass disappearance event happen, you can still be eternally saved, but your faith will be tested when you are forced to either receive a mark in your right hand, or forehead of which one cannot buy, or sell without. The other option will be, to be beheaded, just as Revelation 13:16 explains will happen. This ultimatum happens at the mid point of the 7 year tribulation, but if you want to know more about that, visit the section titled, "The Final Week." This section will be addressing the many aspects concerning the mass disappearance us believers in Jesus, we call "The Rapture of the Church."
It has been said many times, that the Bible teaches the rapture doctrine of imminence, meaning it could happen at any minute. As far as mankind is concerned that is, and has always been true, even as prophecies that weren't fully understood, became known. However, the rapture most probably couldn't have happened until Israel put forth it's leaves, otherwise they would have had to become a nation and all rush to Israel within three and a half years for certain prophecies to be able to take place during the tribulation. We have never known for certain, but the more time unfolds, the more the words that were "sealed up" until the time of the end, have become understood.
We have never been able to predict when it will happen, because that has not been given to us. The doctrine of imminence has always been true for us, but God has known the rapture date since the beginning, and we do not, and cannot know that. We do know, among a few other things, that it won't happen until the full number of the gentiles has come in. We are also told, and meant to live life as if the landowner could return at any moment. This is made clear in places like Matthew 24:42-51. However, there are many patterns, clues, and signs we are given to keep watch for, knowing that this day will come like a thief, just as 1 Thessalonians 5:4 says,"But you, brothers, are not in the darkness so that this day should overtake you like a thief." No, we do not know the day or the hour, but there is a lot in the Bible that has been made available by God for us to study, so that we will not be in darkness, and that this day won't overtake us like a thief. We will see it coming, and a lot has been unfolding right in front of us, for those of us who have been keeping watch. It is indeed, close.
We are explicitly told that the generation that sees Israel put forth it's leaves will be the last. I'm sure everyone who lived prior to the year 1948, were not very sure if that generation promise was fulfilled, or not. Especially after the First Zionist Congress, and the Balfour Declaration happened, then followed by the world wars occurring towards the end of the generational time periods. They probably thought for sure that it was the end, and that Hitler was the antichrist, who was indeed "bent on conquest." Even before that happened much of the prophecies in the Bible were still very unknown and sealed up, until the time of the end.
When the Zionist Congress and Balfour Declaration happened, that would have opened up the thought pattern and question of, "Are we the generation?" Although it probably would have seemed like they fit the mould of that, there were still quite a few things not in place at that time, that are in fact in place today, and still falling into place as we get closer. Those two congressional hearings were only steps which allowed Israel to put forth it's leaves, yet they were not the leaves themselves. Just like when King Cyrus only made steps working towards the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, yet he did not actually decree the start of rebuilding itself, like Artaxerxes did. That is what began the day count of Daniel's 69 weeks, and Israel becoming a nation is what began the final generation.
Before we get into the details of the rapture, I want to address this "Pre, mid, or post Rapture" debate. Personally, I was very open to let the Bible tell me when it was, whenever that may be. When I read the Bible myself, at no point did I ever get anything other than the rapture occurring before the final "Seven". I see he is speaking about two separate groups of people (Jews and Gentiles) and of two separate events (Rapture and final return). That's how it came across to me...
Then I listened to all sides of the debate, Pre, Mid, and Post. Still open to be persuaded, and it was quickly apparent to me that there was no harmony and agreement between scriptures for any other viewpoint, other than than a pre-tribulation rapture. Other views require verses to be singled out and isolated in order to support their view point. If two, or more are put together then they're in disagreement with one another, unless they are two separate entities. Anyone who holds a view other than the rapture happening before the final week of years, is simply not "Rightly dividing" who Jesus was addressing, or speaking about when he spoke, but there are also many more proofs of two separate occurrences far past that, as you will see shortly.
Only one view can be correct here, and we will all soon find out, but this is not the gospel which saves us, and should not divide us as brothers and sisters in Christ. One day we will all know, and it will no longer matter. Nobody is going to arrive in heaven with a Biblical understanding of 100% and say, "Yep I knew everything all along". In fact, I am quite certain we are all going to have our spiritual minds completely blown in many ways about parts of scripture that we never realized, or ever even learned.
However, after researching the rapture in great depth, and a totally open mind as to whatever it was going to be based on literary support, I found there is much more reason to believe the church is caught up before the final week. It may sound strange to say, but there are actually seven "rapture" events like Enoch, Elijah, Jesus, etc. in total that occur in the Bible as described in this link if you're curious to see that.
The key of rightly dividing by asking who is being spoken to, or about, is what unlocks understanding the rapture of the church and Christ's return at the battle of Armageddon. There are two distinct groups being addressed every time "The End" is being discussed. Either the final week of years is being spoken about when Christ returns his attention back to the Jewish nation, or the church is being given hope for the day we meet Christ in the air. The church is not even mentioned again once the tribulation begins. The tribulation is the final week of years from Daniel which is stated clearly for the nation of Israel. Yes there will be non Jewish people who will be saved out of the tribulation because they have refused the mark, but this is how God is going to finish with the nation of Israel.
We know the seven years of tribulation is seven years long, because it’s Jacob’s final “week", which was a week of years from Daniel 9:20-27, The first 69 weeks were exactly one week each, and that prophecy was exact to the day. To argue that the final 70th week, isn't the same time unit is absurd when you 69 other examples of a "week". It's known as Jacob’s trouble from Jeremiah 30:7 "How awful that day will be! No other will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it." One reason we know Jacob is a type of Israel, is because of Genesis 32:27 And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” (Hint:that's a prophecy)
God has made the Bible’s written prophecies tricky by design… Those who are humble and have faith will study, and seek out the answers. Those who already have decided not to believe, won’t bother any further. When he came the first time, he fulfilled all of the precise prophecies of the Jewish people's own prophets, but he was rejected because they had their minds made up how it was supposed to look to them, and it didn't look that way. They wanted him to conquer Rome with a rod of iron, but he didn't...
The Purpose of Parables
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand,
And seeing you will see and not perceive;
For the hearts of this people have grown dull.
Their ears are hard of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed,
Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears,
Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn,
So that I should heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. Matthew 13:10-17
We can see this mystery at work, when Jesus came as a man to fulfill what all the prophets had written about with his coming. Logically, we can say, If there was no one to reject Jesus, he would not have been crucified for our sins, and that is what he came to do. It’s not to say these people didn’t have a chance to see who he really was. They did, but their pride and other desires blinded them.
When Jesus showed up from the lineage of King David, in Bethlehem, in a manger, performed all the miracles the prophets said he would perform, and arrived on a young donkey just as all the Jewish prophets said he would, and exactly when he would… They still rejected him, even to this day, they refuse to hear it, or even look.
If you were asked to show where in the Bible it says that Jesus was going to fulfill the prophecies about his first coming at two separate times, could you do it? There is no verse that says that point blank, and it is the same exact case for the rapture of the church. It doesn't say it flat out like that, but it can be definitively deduced by putting all the verses together. A major reason that the Jews rejected Jesus the first time, is because they did not see the distinction between two separate events in the prophecies. The first time Jesus came, it was with humility, and affliction only. The distinction of the exact timing of when he would rule with a rod of iron was not made clear, until Jesus made it clear to John, even though the prophets said that he will die for us. As a result, he was killed for our sins, just as the prophets said, and his clothing had lots casted for them and a potters field was purchased for the exact amount of 30 pieces of silver just as Zechariah 11:12-13 foretold.
The second time Jesus comes, it’s going to be with a rod of iron, judgment, and to establish the kingdom age, and because that last part didn’t take place with Jesus’ first coming, the Jews say, he can't be the Messiah. They even shouted at him to come down from his cross, if he is the Son of God. Even John the Baptist questioned Jesus, and asked, ”Are you the coming One, or do we look for another?” see Matthew 11:3 Jesus replied by quoting Isaiah (29:18,19 and 35:5,6) Saying, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
Technically, Jesus first coming also had two visits. He came and lived, was crucified, and came back to show himself and the wounds in his side, feet, and hands. Jesus’ second coming also has a division of separate events. When you apply rightly dividing you will be able to clearly and easily see these divisions, and that there are two different “visits”. But if you don’t think to ask the "W" questions, it may get past you. Who said it? Who is it being said to? and when is it talking about?
Some of these verses are logically impossible statements, if they aren’t two separate events, and that should be your first clue.
Paul’s message of imminency is a clear theme for the church. We can also see that the church and Israel are addressed as separate bodies, or groups. The church is not appointed to wrath, nor is the church even mentioned during the tribulation. Just keep those two things alone in mind, and then read through the New Testament, and it will already begin to jump out at you.
We know the timing of the tribulation extremely well. It’s not going to be very “thief” like, or imminent, if the rapture is at the end of the final week. We are given both starting points of the 1st half of the tribulation, and the 2nd half, The Great tribulation, in the form of a specific day count leading up to the abomination, and a day count thereafter the abomination that causes desolation. In it’s entirety this is the “Final week” of “Jacob’s trouble.” The timing is exact. Just like the first 69 weeks of Daniel, a 360 day year was used. The last week is no different, and the day count confirms that.
Paul says the restrainer is currently at work in his day. 2 Thessalonians 2:7
“For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.”
Who can be on the Earth restraining him in Paul’s day, but then be taken out of the way two thousand years later? No mortal thing, but perhaps the Holy Spirit who lives in us? So since we know from verses like Colossians 1:27, that He lives in us. For me, this explains Revelation 12:4,5
"His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne."
Note the placement of this verse. Why is it here? Revelation is not exactly chronological. There are parts of it that sum up a lot in a short time. It goes through the various sections, one section at a time. Some are in concert together, but not exactly the same time like the seals and trumpets, and they are in a particular order, but it's written sectionally, not chronologically. I realize how confusing that sounds, but there are some handy charts explaining it in the next section. In short, statements are made that sum up major events and various sequences that span years of time, not listing each and every thing that's happening chronologically from start to finish, but addressing each topic, one section at a time.
That "Rod of iron" comment pins this to Jesus, who lives in us. This is the restrainer that is going to be taken out of the way. Why else is this verse where it is written? Just after the sign that happened on Sept. 23rd, of 2017, in that particular chapter, after the next sign in heaven of the red dragon. We are meant to live as though Jesus will return at any moment, because that is how we are supposed to live. However, scientifically speaking, there must be "time" between now and then.) And we all know there are signs that must take place prior to the one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron is caught up. We are told to watch for them. There are also 2 great signs in heaven to watch for. One of them is the sign of the woman, and the sign of the red dragon is the second, and then the child is caught up. Yet again, even with this viewpoint, we do still hold the rapture to be imminent, because we are under the impression that as soon as we see that second sign, we are raptured. Pastors say all the time that there are no signs that precede the rapture. I do disagree completely because we are given many to watch for including the sign that the generation that sees Israel born in a day and put forth it's leaves, will be the last. Then the two great signs in Revelation 12 that happen before "the male child who is to rule all nations is caught up". If you disagree with that then please tell me why is Jesus being caught up found in the 12 chapter of the book of Revelation? What is used is the exact same word "Rapturo" that was used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
It is true that we have never known the day, and we are supposed to live like he can return at any moment, because we don't know the day. That doesn't mean pretend like there aren't all these other preceding signs, when there are. As we get closer the definition of the picture gets a lot better. People who lived prior to the final generation, did not have this amount of clarity on all of this. These things were indeed "sealed up until the time of the end". The fact that they are being unsealed, and you're hearing something new for the first time, doesn't necessarily mean it is heresy. If it's scripturally reasonable, it's ok to learn something new, even if you're an old dog who teaches prophecy every Thursday night. We should all admit that we don't have all of the answers, but then why would we in the same day think that anything new to us is probably heresy, when we often admit we don't have all the answers? Most people can admit it's the time of the end, so when will we start believing many biblical things are being unsealed? Examine the scriptures diligently to see if these things are true.
All of this is just the tip of the iceberg, and so without further ado, it is time to be directed to the most comprehensive list, consisting of 250 reasons for a pre-tribulation rapture. I have never seen more biblical references, or all inclusive hermeneutics of all the other biblical doctrine being shown for the continuity of scriptural cross agreement.
If there ever was more amazing information packed into one effort, i haven't seen it.
This definitely worth the read whether you already understand why the pre-tribulation rapture is sound doctrine, or not. This is packed with wisdom and clarity regarding many biblical doctrines.
Something else worth mentioning, is that almost every time a “post tribulation” rapture person approaches me, it’s usually done nastily, unloving, with arrogance, and condescension. This is honestly a loud declaration of their biblical comprehension upfront. Clearly after whatever they have read, they not only don't understand the rapture, they don’t even get the more important message of how to conduct themselves as Christians. They often also believe they can lose their salvation, and still believe repentance is required for eternal life, and/or that water baptism is also required for salvation. Knowing how to rightly divide the Bible, is also the key to understanding salvation before and after the new covenant. Understanding salvation is clearly far more important, and that is explained in the salvation section.
Sadly we all know how most people read the Bible these days, I know how I read the Bible back when I took it for granted. Usually one chapter at a time, and then whatever they say in church, if i'm paying attention. If that is where you're at, then just go download the Bible app, and hit play. It will read it to you, in whatever language you want, and all you have to do is listen, and drive, or walk, or whatever gets you to pay attention. I can not stress this enough, you’ll be amazed what it will do for you if you listen to John through Jude, in under a week. This only takes about 35 minutes a day, and it can even be done much faster if you read it.
Don’t be on the other side of what “The Purpose of the Parables” are written about.
“Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled.”
What I know, is that one-hundred people can take the same test, and each of their test results will reflect their study. So just as 2 Timothy 2:15 says, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
11 reasons why Jesus will come back before the Tribulation
It is very worth a read as to the whys and the wheres from the Bible
About the top 7 verses concerning the rapture
If you're Jewish and you want an explanation about this rapture, this video by Hal Lindsey not only explains why the Jews think there will be 2 messiahs, but also explains why there is also going to be a rapture, and why they will miss that. Hal Lindsey is one of those men who is a Biblical power house, He was a tutor for Chuck Missler, and many other prominent teachers of the Bible. There are few men who have lived, that have gone to lengths to know and understand the Bible as much as Hal Lindsey has. His theology and understanding of the entire Bible, on the deepest levels is very evident when you listen to the amazing amount of detail he knows about any given passage.
All of these next videos do a great job explaining the view point of why a "pre-final week" rapture makes sense for this "mystery" given to Paul. Robert Breaker's video will even show you all the people, including Paul, who believed in the rapture long before Mr. Darby. Above all, pray about it, read, and study the Bible for yourself. It seems the number one reason people don't believe in a pre-trib rapture, is because they haven't ever sat down and read the Bible for themselves.
"12 Minute Rapture Rundown" 12:37
"Tommy Ice: Refuting the Rapture" 28:30
"7 reasons to trust the Pre-Trib Rapture." 44:56
"Chuck Missler Proves The Pre-tribulation Rapture" 1:43:27
"Ken Johnson: The Rapture in the Dead Sea Scrolls" 28:30
"Why a Pre-Tribulational Rapture?" 1:00:19
"Hal Lindsey - The Rapture" 1:29:38
Gary Stearman: "The Last Trump" 28:30
This is one of most important sermons a person could ever be taught. It's not often discussed in churches, but should be mentioned in almost every sermon ever preached. How to rightly divide the Bible. Again, Robert Breaker has a fantastic video about this crucial Bible verse, and key to applying the Word.
"Matthew 24 Explained Rightly Dividing
Proving Pre-tribulation Rapture" 1:13:02
It is true to say, that when Jesus answered the question about the end times. He answered it for the Jewish nation. However, Is the rapture in the Olivet Discourse? Although some differ on this, I believe it is, and Mondo Gonzales from Prophecy Watchers, explains why very well.
Is the Rapture in the Olivet Discourse? | Mondo Gonzales 1:02:33
No mention of the rapture before Darby?
Obviously whoever said that, has not looked.
Ephraim The Syrian 306 - 373 A.D.
Bishop Ussher (circa 1500). Bishop Irenaeus (170). Hippolytus (210-220). Cyprian (250) Clement of Rome (35-101), Ignatius of Antioch (died 110), The Didache (a late first-century anonymous Christian treatise), The Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas (circa 70-130), and The Shepherd of Hermas (second century) AND MANY MORE all reference Christ’s imminent return.
What is meant by the apostasy in 2 Thessalonians 2:3?
Apostasy or Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3? | Lee Brainard 1:17:17
This video gets into what exactly was meant but the apostasy has been a topic of contention of many years, but thanks to people like Lee Brainard, who can read and write Greek, and even Hebrew, a lot of clarity can actually be obtained and checked on this matter to put it to rest. His website and book on this matter can be found here, https://soothkeep.info/apostasia-in-2-thessalonians-23-rapture-or-apostasy/ God has designed the Bible in such a way that things will continue to be revealed at certain times. The Nature of the Bible causes us to study it, "To those who have, more will be given." If we have come to faith, knowledge will be given to us as we dig deeper, for those who will not believe they wont go any further, and so they won't ever learn all that God has for us.
“Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
It has been said,
The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed,
and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.
If you ever buckle down and just read the Bible like a novel and as quickly as you can you will find out how true that statement is. Most people read one chapter at a time at most. They never finish the book within a year. Imagine trying to read a novel like "Lord of the Rings" one chapter at a time, over a period of years. You will definitely lose congruency. If you read it at a fairly constant pace however, you can actually see what is unveiled and all the prophetic links from the old testament, happening in the new testament.
Reading the Bible will raise many questions, resulting in a personal journey of you getting to know God better. One of those questions is this.
"Are we supposed to follow the Old Testament rules still?" It is very important to "Rightly divide" the periods of time by significant events. Like Jesus' death changing water baptism, to being baptized by the Holy Spirit (read Acts). There are things we are definitely still supposed to follow from the Old Testament, and some that we are definitely not. This following link answers that question very well.
Cherry picking the Bible, what still applies?
Why I Do Not Expect Graves To Open At The Rapture
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 is the portion of scripture being discussed. Exegetically determining what exactly is meant by these verses, does not need to be overly technical. Especially with consideration to what verse 14 plainly says in the King James version, which is most accurate here as confirmed by the Greek interlinear. "them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." Continuing on in verse 16, the punctuation and grammar does come into play, and will be underlined to show you which portion of verse 16 is being looked at. For the sake of comparison, the NIV, BSB, KJV, and also the heavily modified NLT, will be compared in order to show the misleading inaccuracy of certain versions.
14For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him. 15By the word of the Lord, we declare to you that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. 17After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16For 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: 17Then 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.
14For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.15We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. 17Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.
This is the break down of the 2 perspectives:
What appears to be the most commonly accepted paradigm for 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 (whether people have realized this is what they are saying, or not) is that the rapture has 2 stages in the same event. They believe that at the rapture, “The dead in Christ rise first,” and then we who are alive and remain at the time of the rapture, get raptured... Then they are saying, that God needs the decayed material of dead bodies, in order to give us new ones, and that he will recover them in the first stage of the rapture, just prior to catching those of us who remain up to be with them and the lord in the air. Therefore, graves will "be opened” and atomized, scattered, physically dissolved human remains at an atomic level, will be collected from the earth and used for the new heavenly bodies. If that is the case, I would argue that it would have no meaningful purpose for this to be witnessed by the believers who are being raptured, to the rapture happen in stages beginning with the decayed human remains of previous believers. I believe the rapture will just happen, and those who are alive and remain will be changed in the twinkling of an eye, just as it says.
When Christ rose after his crucifixion, he did raise many others with him and graves did open, but this was for the faith of all those who witnessed it on earth. How many times, does scripture say, “This happened for you.” Even the demons who asked to go into the pigs understood this is how Christ operates. This is the very reason Christ did indeed send them into the pigs, which the demons went and drowned straight away, anyway. The demons knew this served to credit the truth of Christ, and used it as a bargaining chip so they were not sent to their torment yet, but rather to the bodies of the pigs. It was so that we would see. It was for our faith in order to show us that he is who he says he is.
After the crucifixion, Christ did only just rise himself for the first and only time, and this put an end to the old covenant, and established "a new one, a better one.” This put an end to Hades, and Abraham’s bosom. So, Christ’s resurrection was a bit different as compared to the rapture. All that being said, I see this as viewpoint 1, being that the rapture is 2 stages. The underlined portion from verse 16 is the so-called stage 1, being a noticeable event to unbelievers who see graves open, and "the dead" are decayed matter being pulled out of the ground, and the reason for the first stage is entirely as a visual thing for the eyes of those who are left behind, as a testimony to the event of the rapture.
Now, I do not see that as the most logical explanation for many reasons, I will now try to list. A few things to first quickly mention is that 1 Thess 4 does not say that graves will open and the dead come out of them, unless you are using the NLT, but that is not in the greek. It was added by translators. Another thought, that makes me think the rapture will not be seen by unbelievers is because of 2 Thess 2:11,12 “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” If the rapture is has a visual stage 1 of “The dead” coming out of graves, then it would be contradictory to 2 Thessalonians 2:11,12. Granted, I understand this is not a hard line, never to be unbroken. This is merely stating that God will send them powerful delusion, and it is indeed for that purpose. If it was a hard line, there would be no tribulation saints at all, but we know there will be a vast number of them.
1.) There are indeed 2 groups in sequential order. Group 1, “The dead in Christ” covers past, present, and future from the time of Paul’s writing, to whenever the rapture happens. Group 1 are all of "the dead" in Christ, who all rise first, at the time of their individual deaths, prior to the rapture event of group 2. (Group 2 are all of those who are alive and remain at the time of the rapture event.) To say it another way, If they’re “raptured," period, they are group 2.
2.) Those who have already died, will indeed resurrect “LIKE Christ” (Not identically verbatim, walking around for a while chatting with people and showing them their wounds that caused their death), and they will probably get their resurrected bodies right after death in heaven, but not walk around on Earth prior to their spiritual ascension to be with the Lord. Their dead earthly bodies do not go with them.
3.) Those who are alive and remain (Group 2) at the time of the rapture will meet Jesus in the air, as well as meeting group 1, who are “the Dead”, of whom are already with Jesus, having come with Jesus to meet us at the time of the rapture, having already died, and been with Jesus since their own deaths.
I believe Paul was speaking to the very worried church in Thessaloniki about their dead friends, with the apparent need to clarify the order of resurrection regarding those who have already died and those who will be raptured. He is making it known that those who will be raptured, will not precede those who are dead. Their friends will not slip through the cracks between the resurrection and the rapture. As a Greek student may point out, the Greek sentence structure to me of a “Hoti” clause committing the sentence to an "if, than” structure. I totally agree with this, but I believe that there is an interjecting stand alone sentence in the middle of this Hoti clause, and I also believe that the punctuation supports that stance. If you go look at the underlined parts of verse 16 in the 3 decent versions I shared with you, there are not only commas, periods, and for whatever reason the translators of the KJV decided colons were warranted, creating this aside, in the middle of the Hoti clause. Now, not only is that there, but I believe the rest of scripture supports this viewpoint, leaving no uncertainty that there is absolutely no need for our human remains.
Says the body is done away with, and directly linked with sin itself: “the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—” “because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
1 Corinthians 15:15-18
This portion pins down the complex verb tenses by linking past tenses to “progressive" verb tenses. It also further confirms the inability for those who have died to have any benefit with the dead sinful body, or have any future ability either: 1 Corinthians 15:15-18 says “More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.” “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.”
2 Corinthians 4:14
Here is another example of past present future all at play together. (I was not raised with Jesus. that has already happened, and I am sure I would have remembered that.)
“because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.” 2 Corinthians 4:14 NIV
2 Corinthians 5:6-8
The Body is not needed to be at home with the Lord, and this confirms again, that once we die, we are indeed with Jesus. “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:6-8
Most convincing of all, are the next following verses which state in several ways that our current body can’t go to heaven, it is directly coupled with sin, it is made of a completely different variety of type, material, as well as use compared to the spiritual bodies of heaven. It even calls us foolish to think that our physical body has anything to do with the next realm, rather it makes the distinction that there are 2 different bodies altogether. If there is the physical body, and after that is the spiritual body, and affirms it again by saying the physical must die. We are just a seed and the next body is not the body that is planted here on earth:
1 Corinthians 15:35-50
“But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”
1 Corinthians 15:35-50
In light of these explanations about the physical Body “being ruled by sin and done away with”, “Being of the dust of the Earth, and not of heaven” Knowing that when we are dead, we are present with the Lord, there is a spiritual Body, and a physical body, Flesh and bone cannot inherit the kingdom, we are merely a seed and not the plant, the seed must die before our spiritual body can be with the lord, I believe it logically makes sense to conclude that our earthy bodies/seeds die, and not only have no use for the heavenly body, but they cannot have use because they are sinful.
We do have all of this explanation about the difference between the natural body and the spiritual body, but in addition to that, if 1 Thess 4:16 was speaking of the dead physical bodies, it would make the verses I just covered, untrue, they would actually be wrong unless stage 1 of the rapture is being used as a physical sign to the world in the same way it was used when Christ rose and "the graves of many others were opened”. I do not believe that makes logical sense for all the reasons listed, and again, because it directly opposes 2 Thessalonians 2:11,12 which states: “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”
Prior to consideration of all those other verses that explain our earthly body's fates, I believe the isolated exegesis, not forgetting to include the context of the book, the chapter, and especially verse 14 where it says point blank "them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”, and the deliberately stand alone interjection of verse 16, amongst the sentence that was already at hand for which this “Hoti, or if/than clause" applies. There would be no need to include those periods, or even colons in the KJV as a stand alone sentence, if it was one event. Rather it is actually an interjected sentence already in progress, “: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:” Then group 2. Therefore 1 Thessalonians 4:16 allows for “The dead” to be a corporate statement applicable to all of those who have already died. I believe it not only is, but it must be according to what we know of the Bible’s explanations regarding bodies.
Lastly as an explanation for 1 Corinthians 15:23 should be addressed. "But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.”
Because we are raised with Christ, we are still the first fruits, each according to their group he has called home. That verse only lists 3 categories total, but this is not a rigid 3 categories. These 3 categories, cover everyone “Each in turn", from 1.) Enoch, 2.) Elijah, 3.) Those who died and went to Abraham’s Bosom. 4.) Christ himself 5.) The first fruits who rose with Christ that day Christ rose and appeared to many. 6.) Those who died and are with the Lord. 7.) Those who will be raptured. 8.) Those who came to faith and died in the first half of the tribulation. 9.) Those who came to faith and refused the mark, and refused to worship the beast. 10.) The two witnesses. 11.) Those who somehow made it to the end of the tribulation without dying if that is even possible. 12.) and anyone else I forgot, but Christ didn’t!That is not 3 hard groups is the main point.
Summary and Conclusion
Viewpoint 1: A visual to the unbelievers of dead bodies being raised and open ground, and a 2 stage rapture scenario.
Viewpoint 2: It will not be a visual grave-breaking experience for unbelievers. Those, left standing at the time of the rapture will simply be changed in the twinkling of an eye, and meet up the lord in the air to be caught TO BE together with the dead in christ and the Lord forever.
I do think it is relatively important to get this addressed, prior to the rapture BECAUSE! Let's say all the Christians of today are going around saying that the graves are going to open up like the NLT says will happen, and that doesn’t actually happen. Well, that will certainly serve the powerful delusion, wont it? It will be a massively discouraging thing for the tribulation saints to overcome, when they are standing in line to either get their heads removed, or take the mark of the beast and survive. For that reason alone, I do believe viewpoint number 2 is probably pretty important to get out.
It was May 14th, 1948.
We pay attention to this because of Matthew 24: 32-35
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
A Nation Born In a Day
"Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children." Isaiah 66:8
"I AM ISRAEL Clip - Prophecies Being Fulfilled" 4:33
Israel has quite the tumultuous past. During its long history, Jerusalem has been attacked 52 times, captured and recaptured 44 times, besieged 23 times, and destroyed twice. Then during the holocaust they were systematically searched out and killed with the mass genocide led by the Nazis. What some may not be aware of is that there are many prophecies regarding Israel regathering and reforming and even down to the detail of a nation being born in a day.
In the Book of Ezekiel, primarily in chapter 36, God says he scattered the Jews across many nations as seen in verse 19 "I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them." He also says he will regather them and make the land prosperous again and it will bear fruit, as seen in verses 8-11
8 'But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. 9 For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: 10 And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: 11 And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
There are a lot of amazing pictures showing how barren Israel was before 1948, and what it has become since it became a nation on May 14th, 1948. You can go searching if you're interested in seeing more, but one thing is for certain, it has most certainly put forth its branches, and it is actually ranked as one of the world's top fruit producers fulfilling those verse quite literally.
Going back up to the parable about the fig tree... I have been highlighting that because people who don’t read the Bible very often, won’t pick up on its meaning. The Bible refers to Israel as a “Fig tree" over and over again. This is what that parable was speaking of. Just like it says, it is exactly that, a parable. After all, why would Jesus be talking to the disciples about, the end times of a tree?
There are so many more messages to be gained by reading the Bible as a whole. We miss things like this if you only read bit by bit, and not very frequently. Most would read “fig tree”, and think, fig tree… Not Israel.
Israel as a fig tree
I will surely consume them, saith the LORD: there shall be no grapes on the vine, nor figs on the fig tree, and the leaf shall fade; and the things that I have given them shall pass away from them.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.
I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at her first time: but they went to Baalpeor, and separated themselves unto that shame; and their abominations were according as they loved.
He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.
And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us. But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us. And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees?
Naturally, people are very curious as to the years in a generation because of those versus we just went over. Jesus said, “That generation will surely not pass away”. That means that along with all the other signs, more specifically the generation that saw Israel become a nation again (when it's twigs get tender and it's leaves come out), will see the “End times”. That’s a big deal! So how long is a generation?! This statement is not only from Jesus himself, but from a book that gets 100% of it's prophesy correct. This has a tendency to get ones attention.
How Many Years In a Generation
The word generation in the Bible is most commonly used the same way we use it when it comes to families. Grandpa is one generation, dad is the next generation, and I am the third generation, but what if there actually is a specific time period that applies to this? Could we know it? There are multiple possible lengths of time given for the duration of a generation in the Bible, but only three of them are actually given point blank, and apply to the length of time for a man's life. Only one of them says how long a generation is point blank, but at that time people also lived a lot to be much older. Long story short, no, we don't know how long a generation is, but! We are most definitely at the end of the final generation that saw Israel put forth its leaves.
This word generation, has kept many people guessing for a long time. It's also made people give up on it, as they have been fooled by there own calculations, but it isn't time until it's time. The signs in the stars are now telling the time with the Rev. 12 sign, and the many various prophecies coming to pass. If you want to take a deeper look as to why we aren't able to lock in a figure, then keep on reading. The various supposed generations by people are: 40, 50, 70, 100, and 120, as seen in the Bible. These time frames form a pattern used by God. Forty is used for trial periods, testing, or punishment. Fifty years is the length of a jubilee. 70 to 80, 100, and 120 are the ones referred to as generations. With each time frame we look at, it can be said that they have all been completed from the major events when Israel put forth its leaves during points where Israel may have been considered to put forth its leaves.
These are the places in the Bible where these generational lengths can be found, starting with 120.
God gave people a 120 year warning to repent before the great flood and Genesis says this:
And the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”
Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”
70 to 80 Years