2018 Rapture? Israel & the Last Generation?

2018 Rapture

You will likely hear a lot of speculation about the potential for the Rapture to occur in 2018. Much of the speculation about a 2018 Rapture will center on the seventieth anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel. You will likely hear some Bible prophecy “experts” teach at least the following three things:

  1. Israel represents the fig tree that Christ referenced in His teachings about the end of the age
  2. Christ taught that the generation that saw the creation of the state of Israel would see His coming.
  3. The generation that saw the creation of the state of Israel is ending in 2018 in a biblical sense.

In this article, I will provide my thoughts on this 2018 Rapture theory in anticipation of the speculation that will soon arise.

A 2018 Rapture vs Various Rapture Timelines

I expect those who anticipate a 2018 Rapture will predominantly be believers in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (the position that posits that the Rapture can come at any time) because a 2018 Rapture does not mesh well with the respective timelines of the Mid-Trib, Pre-Wrath, and Post-Trib positions. The following table shows the start date of the seventieth week of Daniel (or the seven year end time period that people often refer to as “the tribulation”) if a 2018 Rapture took place on the first day or the final day of the year under the Mid-Trib Rapture and Post-Trib Rapture scenarios.1

2018 Rapture? Start of the 70th Week of Daniel for Various Rapture Date Scenarios*
Rapture PositionJan. 1, 2018Dec. 31, 2018

Mid-Trib

July 21, 2014July 20, 2015
Post-TribFebruary 7, 2011February 6, 2012
*The start dates under the Pre-Wrath Rapture scenario would fall between the Mid-Trib and Post-Trib dates

As shown in the table above, a 2018 Rapture is impossible under the Post-Trib, Mid-Trib, and Pre-Wrath Rapture scenarios. Nevertheless, I expect a large portion of this article’s readers to believe that the Rapture can occur at any point in time or possibly in 2018, so I will continue my critique.

The Length of a Biblical Generation

The 2018 Rapture theory under consideration depends on a biblical generation being seventy years in length. However, debate exists about the length of a biblical generation. Some believe that a biblical generation is 40 years in length given that it took the Lord forty years to remove a generation of His people:

“And the LORD’S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.” (Numbers 32:13)

“(10) Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways: 11 Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.” (Psalm 95:10-11)

“(8) Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: (9) When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. (10) Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.” (Hebrews 3:8-10)

Meanwhile, others argue that a biblical generation is seventy years or even eighty years in length by citing Psalm 90:10.

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)

Although few people these days live to one hundred years of age, some argue that a generation lasts for as much as 120 years based on what is found in Genesis 6:3.

“And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” (Genesis 6:3)

Those who believe in the 2018 Rapture theory under consideration are likely inclined to believe that a biblical generation is at least seventy years in length.  However, remember that the length of a biblical generation is debatable.

Israel as the Fig Tree

I have written previously on the subject of Israel representing a fig tree. Three key passages often cited by those who believe Israel symbolically represents the fig tree are: Jeremiah 24:1-9, Hosea 9:10, and Mark 11:13-23:

  • Jeremiah 24:1-9 describes two groups of figs: those who were taken captive (the good figs) and those who remained in the land of Israel and lived in land of Egypt (the bad figs):
  • Hosea 9:10 compares the Israelites to the firstripe of a fig tree: “I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the firstripe 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.
  • Mark 11:13-25 (also found in Matthew 21:18-22). Mark 11:13-14 mentions that Christ commanded a fig tree to never grow fruit again while Mark 11:20-21 describes the discovery of the same fig tree-now withered away. Some people view the cursing of the fig tree as a symbolic denunciation of Israel’s poor spiritual condition at the time. I know others have different ideas of what the symbolic signficance of the curse placed on the fig tree is, so the issue of why Christ cursed the fig tree is not something that I am dogmatic about.

I will not argue for or against the idea that Israel has some symbolic connection to the fig tree in this article because whether Israel is symbolically represented by the fig tree or not has no bearing on my view concerning the Parable of the Fig Tree. I’ll discuss the Parable of the Fig Tree next.

The Parable of the Fig Tree… and All the Trees

For sake of argument, let’s assume that a biblical generation is 70 years in length so that 2018 is the end of the generation that saw the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. The following passages are connected to the teaching people refer to as the Parable of the Fig Tree.

“(32) Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: (33) So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. (34) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. (35) Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (36) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthew 24:32-36)

“(28) Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: (29) So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. (30) Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. (31) Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. (32) But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” (Mark 13:28-32)

“(29) And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; (30) When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. (31) So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. (32) Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:29-32)

Notice that Luke recorded Christ saying, “Behold the fig tree, and all the trees” in verse 29.  I believe the inclusion of “all the trees” in the parable is quite significant.  The inclusion of all trees means that the parable is not exclusive to the fig tree. Christ described a phenomenon that is found in a variety of trees with an emphasis on the fig tree. Therefore, I argue that the parable does not concern Israel even if Israel is represented by the fig tree since the parable concerns phenomena found in a variety of trees. I believe the central message of the parable is that people ought to know that Christ’s coming is near when they see the signs Christ described like people know that summer is near when fig trees and other trees put forth leaves.

Concerning “this generation shall not pass (away)”, I believe Christ taught that the generation that sees the heavenly signs and signs on the earth He referenced would be the generation that would see His Coming.  These signs won’t occur until at least after the opening of the sixth seal as shown in the following table:

    Signs Connected to Christ’s Coming
The Sun Darkens The Moon Changes Signs in the HeavensMassive Seismic Activity
Revelation 6:12-14: (12) And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquakeand the sun became black as sackcloth of hairand the moon became as blood; (13) And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. (14) And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled togetherand every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Matthew 24:29: Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkenedand the moon shall not give her lightand the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mark 13:24-27: (24) But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkenedand the moon shall not give her light, (25) And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. (26) And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (27) And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
Luke 21:25-27: (25) And there shall be signs in the sunand in the moonand in the starsand upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; (26) Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. (27) And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Therefore, I do not believe Christ taught that the generation that witnessed the creation of the state of Israel would be the last generation before His Coming.  Instead, I believe Christ taught that His Coming will be imminent when the heavenly signs and signs on the earth He described occur.  The Parable of the Fig Tree is simply an analogy to help people understand how certain developments can alert someone about the proximity of an upcoming event.  Thus, I do not believe the Parable of the Fig Tree is a teaching that supports a 2018 Rapture date.

  1. I subtracted the dates in the Mid-Trib scenario by 1,260 days and 2,520 days in the Post-Trib scenario. 1,260 days and 2,520 days relate to the length of the seventieth week of Daniel.  See the section below:

    The Length of the 70th Week of Daniel

    Gabriel told Daniel that 70 weeks have been given to the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem to bring about several developments:

    “(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.” (Daniel 9:24-26)

    Most Christians who study Bible prophecy agree that the first 69 weeks of this prophecy was fulfilled over a several-hundred year period with a call to rebuild Jerusalem in the 20th year of Artaxerxes Longimanus’s reign (Nehemiah 2:1-5) and the death and ascension of Christ. Therefore, Gabriel did not mean 70 literal weeks where each week is 7 days in length. The Hebrew translation of the word “week” in Daniel is shâbûa‛, which actually means “seven”. Therefore we can also refer to Daniel’s prophecy as “the 70 sevens”.

    The length of a “prophetic week” can be determined by analyzing the structure of the 70th week of Daniel. Daniel’s 70th week is divided into two halves. In the first half Antichrist will confirm a covenant with many, but will halt temple sacrifice halfway through the seven.

    “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.” (Daniel 9:27)

    The second half of the week is a period of severe persecution. This period of time will last for “time, times, and a half”. The Hebrew word for “time” is mô‛êd, which also can mean “a year”. Nearly every commentator who analyzes Daniel’s 70 week prophecy agrees that “time, times, and a half” means 3 ½ years. Therefore, a “prophetic week” is a seven (prophetic) year period.

    “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Daniel 7:25)

    In Revelation 12:14 we learn that 3 ½ “prophetic years” is the equivalent of 1260 days. If we divide 1260 days by 3 ½ years we will find that a prophetic year is 360 days long.

    “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” (Revelation 12:14)

    “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” (Revelation 12:6)

    Similarly, 3 ½ years is also defined as 42 months since seven years is the equivalent to 84 months. Therefore a “prophetic month” is 30 days long since 1,260 days divided by 42 months equals 30 days/month.

    “(2) But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. (3) And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelation 11:2-3)

    Given this information, we can confirm that the 70th Week of Daniel will be 2,520 days long three different ways.

    1. 30 Days (in a Prophetic Month) x 42 Prophetic Months (in Half a Prophetic Week) x 2 Halves = 2520 Days
    2. 7 Prophetic Years (in a Prophetic Week) x 360 Days (in a Prophetic Year) = 2520 Days
    3. 1260 Days in “Time, Times, and Half” x 2 Halves = 2520 Days.

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Josh Strain
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Josh Strain

No rapture – the word isn’t in the Bible . The verses that some people think are referring to it are referring to other things . The rapture theory came from the imagination of Margaret McDonald .

Connie
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Connie

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then 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. The term “rapture” was coined from a Latin term to refer to the event described by the Greek term “harpazo” – being caught up (in the air to meet the Lord). Ignoring or denying a fact doesn’t make the fact cease to exist. The word “Bible” isn’t found in the Bible either, but the Bible exists. Now if you want to say that there… Read more »

James Glover
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James Glover

A fig tree that doesn’t produce fruit is a hypocrite. Jerusalem (GoE site) was re-captured in 1967.

Tim777
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Tim777

There is simply no mention of a 7 year tribulation mentioned in scripture, its another lie from the father of lies. However, it is referring to Daniels 70th week mentioned in Dan. 9 misinterpreted as it may be. No where in history do you ever take a time prophecy, in this case 490 years and slice the last 7 years off to place it at the end of time. Satan had nothing to do with the daily oblation or sacrifice! Jesus Christ was the one who was cutoff 3.5 years into the final week or 7 years of His ministry… Read more »

pete
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pete

Enjoyed your writings. HE did tell us to watch for the abomination. HE also told us
the Book of Truth would be opened – to help guide us during these days. Thanks and take
a peek at daniel11truth.com

Steph
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Steph

13Then the LORD said to Abram, “You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. 14But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth. 15(As for you, you will die in peace and be buried at a ripe old age.) 16After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction.”Gen 15:13-16. From this scripture, we can clearly see from Vs 15… Read more »

Solomon
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Solomon

I dunno the relation but I know King David was born in the year 1948, when Israel was founded. 70 years before 2018..

mike
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mike

i think the antichrist is as jesus was but differn he is a sinner who repented and came back to God he is the lost child , the prodigal son the one who returns (michael row your boat ashore) he is someone God chose ,one who is familiar with sin in the modern world one who loves life and people and the world he will solve all the worlds problems including poverty and disease created by greed and will expose the world to a better way of life and free the world of fear and hatred and has only the… Read more »

Greg
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Wayne: The “fig tree” represents Israel and the United Nations represents “all the trees”. Jesus said “learn the parable”. All his parables were explained literally in great detail. Daniel’s 70th week of years should begin following its 70th year in the land. Israel today is apostate Israel. It is the Israel of Isaiah 11:11 and Ezekiel 20:37. She was brought back in unbelief. God will call out His remnant from apostate Israel. She is Sodom and Egypt, soon to be placed in the “furnace of indignation” as declared in Isaiah 48:10, just like Daniel’s friends in Daniel 3, who were… Read more »

David Pope
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David Pope

Merely conjecture here. The state of Israel is not the state of Israel that god ordained. He gave them the promised land and the modern borders of Israel are nowhere near the inheiritance. This is mans kingdom. I believe the staye of Israel as god intended is comimg soon. Probably with war in syria. To restore the land.of Israel to it inheritance size. Then we may have a generation to observe this. Then the anitchrist and the real king.

Jessica
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Jessica

The word “after” should mean something … I think you are really not wanting your earthly life end sir like most people. I believe it is soon we are the generation timah wake up kid.

Connie
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Connie

Could you explain what the word “after” has to do with the parable of the fig tree? I don’t see it anywhere in the verses about it. Nor do I see with why the word “after” has anything to do with Wayne being concerned about his earthly life. Could you please explain your remark for some elucidation?

Max
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Max

The text clearly says “after” the tribulation these signs show the near immediate return of Christ to set up his Kingdom on earth. The rapture has nothing to do with this (two different events), so not sure why this is used to support anything in the context of a false prophet 2018 rapture. Sure could be 2018 as I write this that the rapture occurs, but just ignore any stupidity from anyone who claims a year or date, the Bible is clear about that, so there is no need for explanation other than one simple scripture to call out any… Read more »

JaredMithrandir
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I have a theory, that I’m not solid on, that the 70th Week could start in the Spring of 2018.

But my Rapture view is a form of Mid-Trib, so it would place The Rapture in September or October of 2021, one either Yom Teruah or Yom Kippur.

Vicky
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Vicky

When studying the trumpets and the Jewish Feasts – I thought this was all very interesting: It appears that they blow a trumpet for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) as well as they do for the Rosh Hashana (Feast of Trumpets). According to one article (“The Great Shofar To Be Blown at the End of Yom Kippur”), the “Trumpet” blown at Yom Kippur is not the “Last Trumpet”, but rather, the “Great Trumpet.” The article says that there is a difference. Apparently the “Last Trumpet” is blown first at the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashana), and the “Great Trumpet” is… Read more »

Marc
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The parable of the fig tree has nothing to do with political events. The fig tree in Matthiew 24 is NOT about 1948 or 1967. It’s about SPIRITUAL fruits. (Note that in Mat 24:32 “the branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves” but there are no fruits) “And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.” And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon… Read more »

Johnny Ash
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Johnny Ash

2 Samuel 22 became Psalm 18=1918. All throughout Psalms 18, you read the book of Revelation. Battle of Haifa Sept 19-25, 1918, Israel during Feast of Tabernacles. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Haifa_(1918) End of WWI. The Battle of Haifa was fought on 23 September 1918 towards the end of the Battle of Sharon which together with the Battle of Nablus formed the set piece Battle of Megiddo fought between 19 and 25 September during the last months of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War (WWI). These wars took place during a part of Feast of Tabernacles in the 7th Biblical… Read more »