It is hard to write about some things in the Bible. Especially those things and times known as the End Time. Just bringing it up can cause some people to go into a rage. Others refuse to discuss it as being irrelevant and not worthy of discussion. To the last group I have an answer. If it was important enough for Jesus to spend his whole last night on earth discussing it with his disciples he evidently felt it was important. If not why didn't he spend his time sharing and reminiscing with his followers. Jesus prayer in John 17 shows that Christ prayed not just for those who were with him at that time. He also prayed for us that would follow him based on their testimony. (verse 21) Going to Luke 21:31 Jesus made it clear, "So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is at hand." In the book of Luke, Jesus proclaimed, "This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." In the 21st chapter Jesus is giving all the signs and things that will come to pass as the end of time approaches. One of the prophecies he gives makes it clear that Israel for a time will not exist as a nation..He makes it clear in verse 24, "They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
The above quotes raise two questions. At least in my mind. How long is a generation? Also what and how long are the "Times of the Gentiles" that he speaks of. They are related issues and they are important as they are the triggers. These two events set the stage so those who follow Jesus will know that the end of time is drawing near. If you have studied the events to come at the end time. You will want to know. It will not be a pleasant time. Knowing that it will come to an end may give us courage to face the trials that are happening.
Let me deal with the "Time of the Gentiles" first as it is easier to see and to explain. Basically Jesus was saying there would be a period of time that the Gentiles would rule the world. Israel would not be a part of world of events as the Jewish people would be scattered. Yet Israel is important in the Bible's description of end time events. Therefore Israel had to be on the scene for the Bible's end time events to be fulfilled. In 1947 the matter of Israel being a nation was bought before the United Nations and a vote was taken. It was approved in November 1947, but Israel did not become a physical nation till May of 1948. With Israel's return to the world scene and the Jews having a place to call home "The Time of the Gentiles" was over and prophecy was fulfilled. Read Isaiah 66:5-24, especially verse 8, "a nation born in a day." The rebirth of Israel started the end time clock ticking. The question now is how long is a generation.
There are several interpretations of what a generation is. I will give a couple and hopefully it will make sense to you. In the book of Numbers the 32nd chapter verses 11 to 13 give a couple time frames. Verse eleven says that none of the men from twenty years old and upward would enter the promised land. So is generation twenty years. If you continue to read the Bible verse thirteen says God made them wander in the wilderness for forty years so that all those who were twenty or above would pass away and not enter into the Promised land. Well twenty and forty equal sixty years of age. So sixty years could be used to describe a generation. Some people believe that Numbers 32:15 declares a generation to be forty years. Often I hear people say it is a seventy year period, but I have found no justification for it. There are some seventy year time periods, but nowhere did I read that seventy was a generation. I have been wrong before. so if someone finds the time frame I would appreciate if they would share the verses with me.
So the question is what does God say a generation is. God gives us some facts that narrow down what a generation is according to him. Genesis 15:12-16 says Abrams children would be in a land not theirs and that they would be afflicted for 400 years. It also says they will come out of that land in the fourth generation. Well none of the previously mentioned numbers work. Four times seventy only adds up to only 280 years. So the number has to be a number greater than 100. Reading further we find in Exodus 12:41 it says they left Egypt after 430 years to the day. Then they wandered in the wilderness for forty years before entering the Promised Land. God made clear that they would enter in to the Promised Land in the fourth generation.
If we go to Genesis 6:3 it declares mans days shall be 120 years. There are many life terms given of the people and leaders before Moses. All lived longer time periods than 120 years. The first to die at less than a hundred and twenty years was Joesph who died at 110 years of age. Moses was 120 when he died. If you multiply that number times four you come up with 480. Which is a number that works and would put them in Promised land in the fourth generation.
Moses lived 120 years and spent forty years in Egypt, then forty years on the back side of the desert before being called to lead Israel to the promised land. So God did his work in Moses's life in his last forty years. From the birth of Jesus to the destruction of the temple was seventy years. Jesus did his work and ministry in the middle of that seventy year period. The nation of Israel went into the Babylonian captivity for a period of seventy years and spent all seventy years there. I thought there was no seventy year period at the time of Moses, but I was wrong.
So what does all this mean. Not a lot till you do some more research and put it all together. If Israel became a nation in 1947 and you add 120 years to that date you come up with the year 2067. Many people do not know that Sir Issac Newton was a Biblical scholar and he came up with an end date of 2062. There is another number that seems to pop up frequently and shows another timeline, within a timeline. From the birth of Jesus till the destruction of the temple which he prophesied was a period of seventy years. Israel was in the Babylonian captivity for seventy years. I did not think that mattered at the time of Moses because they wandered in the wilderness forty years. If you pay attention to what it says though, there is a seventy year period at the time of Moses. In the book of Joshua it says, "Joshua died being 110 years old. The significance of that is found in Joshua 14:7. It says that when Moses sent Joshua to search out the land he was forty years old. That was before the forty years of wondering in the wilderness. If you subtract 40 from 110 you come up with another 70 year period. If you go seventy years from Israel becoming a nation that gives you a date of 2017.
The generational time period of 120 years is consistent with what God proclaimed a generation to be. I have a much longer writing where I show what I think it all means. It shows God is the same yesterday, today and forever and that he works in a consistent pattern. There is a seven part post on my blog called, Further Down the Path. Part one is dated 3/23/2012 and is basically a book I decided to print an give away free to those interested. It was a 168 pages but was turning into a biography. I went back and cut most of me out. Some had to stay to explain how I came to the understanding that I have of what the Bible says on the End Time. I invite you to read it. If nothing else read part seven and it may open your eyes to some things that have always been there for us to see, but I learned more by changing how I looked at the Bible. It is nothing knew, but it is how it is explained that makes it say anything. We are beyond the middle point of a 120 year period. We are approaching the seventy year mark and in my book I explain why that may be significant. Jesus said we would not know the day nor the hour. He said we would be able to discern the times though. The question is are we in that time frame. You have to make up your own mind on that.
One of the only prophecies in the Bible that has not been fulfilled as far as I can tell is the coming of the two witnesses to the End Time mentioned in Revelation 11. That prophecy could not have been fulfilled till this day and age, but now it can. Why couldn't it have happened before? It says the witnesses shall be slain and lay dead in the streets of Jerusalem for three days. It also says they shall be viewed by the whole world and people will celebrate their death. That prophecy has only been able to be fulfilled in the last few years.
So now it can come to pass. To me that is the point at which the Rapture happens if you believe in it. So the stage is set.