[I've been intending to post this one for a few days - thanks to George for finding this interesting and timely article...One note, I deleted one sentence in which the author stated that the U.S. would be destroyed in an hour; probably referencing Rev 18, an idea that is speculative at best w/o offering any scriptural proof. Otherwise this is sound]
Can we even know beforehand?
Before we go any further, the logical question we should ask is, "Can we know ahead of time when the Rapture will take place?" The answer is "not exactly."
For those who are new to Compass, we loathe those who set hard, absolute dates for The Rapture or 2nd Coming. But we believe the Bible teaches that we can, and should, observe any and all OBVIOUS signs to determine if we're getting close. Consider this verse:
"For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 1Th. 5:2-6
That verse tells us that the coming of the Lord at Rapture will come without warning only for non-Believers. But Believers are encouraged to be alert to the OBVIOUS signs because we have the discerning light of God's Holy Spirit.
Therefore, it's incumbent on Believers to be alert to OBVIOUS prophetic signs that the current Church Age dispensation, the Biblical time period in which we live, is coming to a booming close.
The Rapture of the Believers on the earth will make way for the next dispensation to begin-a horriﬁc 7-year period referred to as "Tribulation," "The Time of Jacob's Trouble" or "The 70th Week of Daniel." (Matt. 24:21; Jer. 30:7; Dan. 9:24-27)
So how's everything stacking up this year?
Sign #1 Israel
It's an exciting time to be alive as we're living in the generation that saw God, as prophesied, begin bringing the Jews back to their homeland. So our ﬁrst gauge is to look at Israel. We've written many articles about their God ordained return to their homeland.
The main reason to watch Israel is that soon after the Rapture, the Jews will again be in the prime-time of God's earthy dealings-God will come out of His Self-imposed slumber and the entire world will know it. The heaven and earth will be shaken to its core as He lets the world know that He is the Creator God and Israel is His chosen nation.
Watching Israel being primed for this change is fascinating. We can also observe the prophesies regarding her latter-day enemies. Ezekiel 38 and 39 discuss, among other things, the last-days invasion by those from the areas of Russia (Gog), Iran (Persia) and others.(4)
'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, that live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoil and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the waste places which are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired cattle and goods,...' Ezek. 38:10-12
The stated purpose for the invasion is to capture riches in the land of Israel-which begs the question, "What spoil? What riches?"
When Israel became a nation in 1948 she had no known natural riches for which a hostile sovereign nation would invade. In fact, Golda Meir, Israel's Prime Minister in 1969-1974, often quipped that Moses wandered the desert for 40 years and unfortunately settled in the only place that didn't have oil.
But recently that's changed. A couple of years ago Israel discovered massive gas reservoirs just off her coast.(6A) And within the last year or so Israel discovered a massive oil reservoir To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, within her borders!(5) And there are other oil exploration companies are currently drilling there.(6)
It's possible Israel's government has put out the word to their media not to publicize these oil and discoveries so as not to give the surrounding Arab nations another reason to come after them. But the oil discovery within Israel's borders was described as huge.
BTW-All that Middle Eastern Oil is another proof that the Bible is 100% accurate. The massive amounts of oil in the Middle East is obviously due to Noah's ﬂood burying the lush and plentiful plants in-and-around the Garden of Eden. These buried plants naturally turned to oil (11) and today Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq, etc., and now Israel, beneﬁt from the destruction of Noah's worldwide ﬂood.
So, because of Israel's relatively close proximity to the original Garden of Eden, it's not surprising that Israel also has massive oil reserves under its land. The question is simply "how much?"
Some oil experts have theorized that Israel has more oil under her land than all the other middle eastern nations combined. And looming in the future is the prophesied Russia/Iran invasion to come after her riches-an invasion that takes place, we believe, within a few days after the Rapture.(4)
The Israeli oil and gas discoveries mean the prophecy of Israel being so dog-gone wealthy in the latter days is being fulﬁlled right under our noses.(7) And when the Rapture takes place, and the Holy Spirit Restrainer is removed from the earth, Russia will obviously "devise an evil plan" and invade Israel.
All this is detailed in Ezek. 38 and 39. The result of this invasion is that Israel is miraculously protected by God, Russia/Iran/others suffer a humiliating defeat and the Jews are awakened out of their spiritual slumber.
Sign #2 Signs In The Skies
"Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;" Gen. 1:14
The ﬁrst reason the Lord gave us for His creating the sun, moon and stars is to be for "signs." Throughout the Bible He has used the sun for miraculous signs- i.e. The long day of Joshua, three hours of darkness when Jesus died on the cross, etc. (Joshua 10:12-14; Luke 23:44)
One of God's signs is a solar eclipse where the sun's light is blocked by the moon. It's interesting that if the earth and moon were .04% further apart, or closer together, there would be no eclipses to view.(8)
On August 21, 2017, there will be a solar eclipse on the earth. This full eclipse of the sun's light will only be seen in the United States, cutting a path from the Northwest to the Southeast.
This is the ﬁrst time in the history of the United States that a total eclipse will touch only the United States.
But what makes this eclipse raise even more eyebrows is that another eclipse will do the same thing-exactly seven years from now, again seen ONLY IN THE UNITED STATES. Seven years-how interesting!
But rather than NW to SE, in seven years the eclipse will be from the SW to the NE, creating a big X on our nation.
Scientists have recently been studying the link between the sun, moon and earthquakes.(10) So it's most interesting that the eclipse will cross through the two main earthquake zones in America: Cascadia Subduction Fault Zone in the Coastal Northwest and the New Madrid Fault Zone in the heart of the Midwest.
Most people are aware of the West Coast's afﬁnity for earthquakes. But the middle of the U.S. has also had its problems. The last time there was a big earthquake in the New Madrid Fault Zone, in 1812, the land movements were so severe it caused the Mississippi River to run backwards for several hours!(12) Over 1200 miles away in Boston, MA, it rattled plates off the walls and caused church bells to ring.(12)
Of course, in 1812, the New Madrid Fault Zone area was sparsely populated. Today it is estimated that a similar earthquake would be twice the problem of Katrina.(13)
The eclipse also cuts across volcanoes in the northwest like the recently active Mt. St. Helens and the unbelievably large, but long-time dormant, caldera in Yellowstone National Park. The Lord may have used the numerous volcanoes around the world as water portals for the ﬂood of Noah.(16) So hope those things stay put for now!
We're not predicting anything. Just pointing out that the paths of these eclipses, this year and seven years from now, are quite unique and interesting. So buy some approved glasses and watch this amazing eclipse! More eclipse info at the bottom of this article. (17)
Sign #3 The Corrected Jewish Calendar
For all my Christian life I've wondered why the Jewish Calendar was so far off. The Jews, always trying to keep the letter of the Law, are so precise in everything Biblical that they do. But the Jewish calendar says we're in the year 5777. And common sense says that's off by some 200+ years.
James Ussher, an Irish bishop, wrote an incredible book on biblical chronology in the early 1650s. Using Biblical lineage, he sets the date from the Garden of Eden to Jesus' birth to be 4004 BC. So by simply adding 2017 since Jesus' birth to the 4004 years before Jesus' birth, it totals to 6021 years from Adam to today.
6021 is an interesting number because Jesus died in 30AD. And if you add seven years for the Tribulation, we're within a couple of years of completing two thousand years of the Church Age.
We wrote an article back in the 1990s suggesting that the seven-day creation week was God's template of all time, James Ussher one 24-hour day equaling 1000 years. After 4000 years, Jesus came in the 5th and 6th day, bringing life.(14)
But the Jewish calendar shows we're in year 5777. So, being that far off I never paid much attention to it. Until now!
It turns out, according to an interview I watched of Michael Norten at a Texas prophecy conference last week, that in 160 AD a Jewish rabbi named Yose Ben Halafta ﬁrst created the Jewish calendar. But he strangely subtracted some 200+ years from his total years counting from Adam.
Purportedly, the reason for the change was that Ben Halafta realized that dating the calendar using a literal method would point to Jesus being the Messiah. He apparently saw that the prophecy in Daniel 9-483 years from the beginning of rebuilding Jerusalem's walls to the coming Messiah, would point directly to Jesus as the Messiah. Oh dear, can't have that!
So the theory is that Ben Halafta subtracted some 200+ years from the Jewish calendar so the Daniel 9 prophecy would not point to Jesus' Triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
When you add back 200 years to 5777, you get 5977. Add 7 years for Tribulation and you get 5984, which is getting close to 6000 total years.
And who knows how many total years he subtracted! Norten believes it was 214! That would mean the Jewish calendar should be 5998. And in September, Tishri 1, the Jewish new year, it will be 5999!
Why is 6,000 years so interesting?
I've taught for over 30 years that God's creation week of six 24-hour days and nights and one 24-hour day and night of rest is His divine template of earthly time.(13) In other words, when the Lord created time, He created 7000 total years from beginning to end.
It's called the "Day-Age" theory and it ﬁts like a glove. God created time and everything He does is perfect. So how many total years would He create? It would obviously be a multiple of seven, His number He uses all through the Bible for completion.(15)
Not to mention that there are two verses where God pointedly refers to one day being "like" a 1000 years.
But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 2Pet. 3:8
For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night. Psa. 90:4
Therefore, the ﬁrst four days of creation would be a template the ﬁrst 4000 years of human history. No life was created in the ﬁrst four 24-hour days.
Then, after 4000 years of recorded history, Jesus came to earth and brought "life," in day ﬁve of the template.
"I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." John 10:10b
Therefore, on the 5th day of the divine template (Five is God's number for grace) Jesus arrived bringing "life."
The 5th and 6th days of the template are referred to in scripture in several places. In Hosea, there's an odd and unfulﬁlled prophecy:
"Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him." Hos. 6:1-2
This remarkable unfulﬁlled prophecy states that Israel would be wounded and torn for two days, but that God will raise them up on the third day and they will live in His presence. No one seems to be able to explain this verse.
But if you apply this verse inside the 7000-year template, the prophecy states that for 2000 years, Israel will be wounded and torn, but not destroyed. And after the 2000 years, God would raise Israel up to live in His presence for one day, which equals 1000 years.
Well, that's what happened. We know for a fact that Israel rejected her Messiah and for almost exactly 2000 years, Israel has been scattered around the world, torn and bruised. Israel is waiting for the "third day" where they will live in His presence.
God is currently gathering the Jews once again in their homeland where they will soon begin living in their Messiah's world-ruling presence for 1000 years. "Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years." Rev. 20:6
The 7th day of the Creation Week, God rested. This equates to the 1000-year reign of Jesus on the earth. 4000 + 2000 + 1000 = 7000 total years.
There are also other verses that ﬁt this 7000-year template theory. For instance, when Jesus was on the earth, the only time period recorded in the Bible that He went to the non-Jews, the Samaritans, was speciﬁcally for "two days."
"So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days." John 4:40
"After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee." John 4:43
Applying this to our 7000year divine template, the "two days" would be the 2000 years of Jesus going to the Gentiles. And after that 2000 years, He would return to the Jews for "one day," or 1000 years, which is, of course, the Millennial reign of Christ with Jesus living and reigning from Jerusalem.
Another fascinating example is Exodus 19.
The LORD also said to Moses, "Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their garments; and let them be ready for the third day, for on the third day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. Ex. 19:10-11
This one gives me chill bumps. Buried in the Old Testament is a direct reference to the Church Age and the Millennial Reign of Christ.
"Today and tomorrow" are days 5 and 6 of our template- the Church Age, where we are "washed" or cleansed by the blood of Jesus. The "third day" is, of course, the 1000-year Millennium where the Jews will live with Jesus on the throne in Jerusalem-"in the sight of all."
So we believe God laid out 4000 years of time before Jesus came and brought life for 2000 years, 6000 total. We still have remaining 1000 years of rest, which is Jesus' reign as King of the Earth.
This 7000-year Divine Template makes the end of 6000 years of human history quite interesting!
As for the timing of the Rapture being this year-we may not know the day nor the hour, but it sure is fun watching for the season! It WILL happen one day in the future!.