There are signs we can look for telling us the Rapture is near
In the last two articles we have been dealing with the question as to the timing of the Natzal, or Rapture of the believers and if it will occur "at any moment" or is there a fixed time in the prophetic scenario when this will happen.
It has been established that there is a fixed day in the very near future and the Rapture will occur on the biblical festival called Yom Teruah, or Rosh ha Shana as it is commonly known today.
But, there are signs we can look for prior to that day that will tell us when it is near and that is what I want to deal with this week.
Prior to the catching away of the believer there are certain things that must be in place.
First, Israeli politics will be deteriorating and there will be the establishment of two Jewish states, one religious and one civil.
There is a concept in the study of prophecy that says that whatever happened before will happen again.
Ecc 1.9 says "That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done. So, there is nothing new under the sun."
Also, in Ecc 3.15 it says "That which has been already, and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by."
All history is unfulfilled prophecy and all prophecy is unfulfilled history.
So we can understand prophecy by looking at history.
There is a picture of the coming Russian invasion of Israel in the Scriptures when one looks at the Assyrian invasion of Israel.
There were two Jewish states at the time and that will happen again.
There is talk this week about that very subject in the news.
So, when the Rapture occurs there will be a concerted movement towards this.
A second thing to look for is a Red Heifer will be raised in Israel.
Why is this important?
We know that there will be a Temple in Jerusalem (Rev 11) and it will be operational during the first 1,260 days of the Tribulation (Dan 9.27; Rev 11.1-3).
But, to have a Temple you have to have a priesthood that is ritually clean. In order to have a ritually clean priesthood you have to have a Red Heifer.
This cleansing ceremony is described in Num 19 and it must be raised and killed, burned and the ashes mixed with living water.
Then this water is sprinkled on the priesthood to cleanse them from ritual impurity, along with the regular consecration ceremony described in the Torah.
This has to be done for a Temple and a priesthood to be operational.
In Ezra 3.6, after their return from Babylon, sacrifices were begun at the altar on Yom Teruah (Rosh ha Shana) although the Temple had not been built yet and it will be done again.
On the Rosh ha Shana, year 6001, the Rapture will occur and simultaneously the sacrifices on the Temple Mount will begin, so that means we will see this coming into fruition prior to the Rapture.
But, in order for this to happen you must have a Red Heifer and that has to be killed at least 7 days prior, or Elul 24 on the Jewish calendar.
That means we will see this happen, and when we do, we can be looking for the Rapture on the next Tishri 1.
In other words, Israel will obtain the site of the former Temple (and the altar site) by Tishri 1 the year that the Rapture will occur. Now, there is debate as to where the former Temple was exactly. Some think it is where the Dome of the Rock is and others think it may be north near what is called the Dome of the Spirits (Rabbi Kaufman), or south of the Dome of the Rock near the Gihon Spring (Ernest Martin), but nevertheless, a site will be established and sacrifices will begin on Tishri 1 just like it was before (Ezra 3.6).
Another sign to look for is oil being produced in Israel. There has been much written about this so I won’t go into it here, but this will induce Russia, along with some other political reasons, to invade Israel. But this invasion will not happen until Rosh ha Shana, beginning the fourth year of the Tribulation. So, Russian policy towards Israel will get increasingly more aggressive as the time gets closer. All these concepts would take many hours to develop in a teaching setting but these things should be looked for prior to the Rapture.
One should watch Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to get a good feel for the timing of these coming events, along with the signs the Lord gave in Matt 24, Mk 13 and Luke 24. Now, the Rapture will occur on Yom Teruah, year 6001 from creation. Ten days later it will be Yom Kippur and that is the day the False Messiah will sign a peace covenant for seven years with Israel, beginning the Tribulation period. That means the Tribulation will end 2,520 days later on a Yom Kippur. Next week we will discuss what happens between Rosh ha Shanna (Rapture) and Yom Kippur when the False Messiah will be revealed, including the role, if any, the United States will play in this end time scenario.