Update June 1, 2015
I received multiple requests recently to make a video where I share my thoughts on the September 23 Rapture speculation. The following is my video on the September 23 Rapture speculation. If you are unable to see the video below, you can access it at the following link:
Update: April 11, 2015
I wrote this article about the September 23, 2015 Rapture speculation nearly four years ago and since then I have received many comments on it. Multiple theories concerning September 23, 2015 now exist, so I now want to update this article to talk about a couple of issues that I have with a particular theory taught by a prominent proponent of the September 23, 2015 Rapture on the Internet.
One theory surrounding the September 23, 2015 Rapture speculation is built on the assumption that the seventieth week of Daniel began on the day that President Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. A prominent proponent of this theory claims that this is the date that the world made Obama its peacemaker. I think this claim is hyperbole as a committee of only five individuals appointed by the Norwegian Parliament selects the Nobel Peace Prize winner each year. The committee is hardly a representation of the world, so it is a total stretch to say that the world made Obama its peacemaker when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I strongly believe that the seventieth week of Daniel has not yet begun, so I strongly disagree with any theory that teaches that the seventieth week of Daniel has already begun.
This particular theory acknowledges that sixty-nine of the seventy prophetic weeks of Daniel have been fulfilled but we are supposed to again count seven prophetic weeks from June 1967 until September 23, 2015. I have not found any solid evidence in the Bible to suggest that we are supposed to count seven prophetic weeks from June 1967 until September 23, 2015 again. I think counting seven additional prophetic weeks again is a manmade step intended to arrive at a certain conclusion and not something that is supported by the Bible.
There are other problems associated with this particular theory, but the two issues I’ve mentioned should be enough to show that this theory is not a viable one. The rest of this article critiques other things that you may have heard taught by proponents of the September 23, 2015 Rapture.
Original Article May 13, 2011
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to examine another date some people are looking to as the potential date of the Rapture: September 23, 2015. I did not know that some people were looking at that date when I was asked about it, so I was unable to provide a response until now.
I recently reviewed several websites which promote September 23, 2015 to see what kind of support its proponents use to claim that the Rapture will take place on this date.
- Today I share my thoughts on the September 23, 2015 Rapture speculation.
The September 23, 2015 Rapture speculation begins with a non-traditional way to view Daniel’s seventy week prophecy, which is found in Daniel 9:24-27:
(24) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (25) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (26) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. (27) And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Dan 9:24-27)
Many people believe that Daniel’s first sixty-nine weeks have already been fulfilled: The first week began with King Artaxerxes’s edict to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls and gates (Nehemiah 2:1-8) while the sixty-ninth week of Daniel was completed around the end of Christ’s First Coming.
In contrast, many people who believe that the Rapture will occur on September 23, 2015 believe that the first sixty-two weeks of Daniel apply to the First Coming of Christ while the next seven weeks of Daniel apply to Second Coming of Christ.
- The first sixty-two weeks of Daniel have already been fulfilled since Christ made His First Coming nearly two thousand years ago.
- The next seven weeks of Daniel supposedly began on the day when Israel gained control of East Jerusalem in the Six Day War: June 7, 1967, which proponents say represented the modern day call to “rebuild Jerusalem”. The seven weeks of Daniel are supposed to continue for 17,640 days (the length of seven prophetic weeks) from June 7, 1967.1 The seven weeks of Daniel are supposed to end on September 23, 2015, which coincides with the Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur.
Some proponents of the September 23, 2015 Rapture also claim that September 23, 2015 is the start of a Jubilee Year and even claim that Daniel’s seventy week prophecy also is a prophecy of seventy Jubilee Years.
The September 23, 2015 Rapture speculation has some connection to the Blood Moon Rapture speculation. I’ve read proponents of a September 23, 2015 Rapture date note the fact that 2015 is part of the upcoming tetrad of lunar eclipses as a reason to pay special attention to that year. My thoughts about the Blood Moon Rapture speculation can be found at the following links:
My Assessment of the Theory
In this section I discuss several of the issues I found while assessing the viability of the September 23, 2015 Rapture theory. The issues I bring up today are not all the issues I have with the theory, but are enough to give you an idea of what I think about the theory.
Before I begin, I understand that some people are excited that there are precisely seven prophetic weeks between the time when Israel gained control of East Jerusalem and Yom Kippur in 2015. In addition, I understand that people are also excited that 2015 is part of the upcoming tetrad of lunar eclipses. However, we should not let these considerations affect how we assess the theory. The theory should be evaluated based on whether it is feasible given what is found in the Bible.
A Prophecy of Seventy Jubilees?
There is nothing in Daniel 9:24-27 which suggests that the prophecy of the seventy weeks is also a prophecy of seventy Jubilees.
- The Hebrew translation of the word “week” in Daniel is shâbûa‛, which actually means “seven”. “Seven” has nothing to do with Jubilee Years, which come once every fifty years (Leviticus 25:8-10).
In addition, even if Daniel’s seventy weeks also represented seventy Jubilees, September 23, 2015 would not be the start of the seventieth Jubilee year.
- Some proponents of September 23, 2015 cite Luke 4’s account of Christ reading Isaiah 61:1-2 in the temple at the start of His Ministry as the start of a Jubilee Year. If you subtract multiples of 49 years or multiples of 50 years from September 23, 2015 all the way back 2,000+ years you will not have a Jubilee Year anytime near Christ’s Ministry under a September 23, 2015 Jubilee Year scenario.
- Even if September 23, 2015 was a Jubilee Year, it would not be the seventieth Jubilee if you apply the prophecy given in Daniel 9:24-27. Daniel 9:25 suggests that the first week began with the call to restore and build Jerusalem. Using the seventy Jubilees logic, the call to restore and build Jerusalem should be the first Jubilee. If you add the timeframe of sixty-nine or seventy Jubilee cycles to that time period you will get a time period near the year 3,000 A.D. That’s way too far into the future…
A Jubilee Year?
How do some proponents of a September 23, 2015 Rapture date know that September 23, 2015 represents the start of a Jubilee Year? The articles I read were eager to proclaim that September 2015 is the start of a Jubilee Year, but they did not provide much evidence to support that conclusion…
The Possibility of Only 62 Weeks
For sake of argument, let’s assume for a moment that only the first sixty-two weeks were fulfilled at Christ’s First Coming. Recall that Daniel 9:25 suggests that the first week began with the call to build and restore Jerusalem. Consequently, the time between the call to restore and build Jerusalem and the time when Christ was “cut off” should be sixty-two weeks or 156,240 days.2
For sake of argument, let’s take Friday April 1, 33 A.D. as the date when Christ was “cut off” (I know some people may disagree with this date, but I am just using this date for illustrative purposes). If we subtract 156,240 days from Friday April 1, 33 A.D., we’ll end up going back in time to June 24, 396 B.C.
- This date is too late to represent the start of the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Nehemiah began the process of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls and gates several decades earlier (circa 444 B.C.).
- In contrast, viewing the first sixty-nine weeks of Daniel as a time period from King Artaxerxes’s edict to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls and gates to Christ’s First Coming works: Link
- Therefore, it is highly unlikely that there are only sixty-two weeks separating the call to rebuild Jerusalem and the end of Christ’s First Coming.
We should not forget that Christ said that no one knows the day and hour of His Coming. Only His Father knows…
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matt 24:36)
The proponents of a September 23, 2015 Rapture date are challenging this verse in my opinion by telling you that September 23, 2015 is the date of the Rapture.
Finally, it’s worth noting that some proponents of September 23, 2015 Rapture originally used this date to conclude that the End Times would begin in 2008. There has been no seven year peace treaty agreed to yet at the time of this writing (May 13, 2011), so I highly doubt that the End Times began in 2008.
- This is an example of how September 23, 2015 theory is speculation which can be disproved with the passage of time.
I do not view the September 23, 2015 Rapture theory as a viable one because of its inability to deal with the first sixty-two weeks of Daniel adequately. In addition, I do not see any connection between Yom Kippur 2015 and a Jubilee Year. Finally, I believe the theory is a challenge to Matthew 24:36 which suggests that only the Father knows the date and the hour.