“The days of our years are threescore years and ten (70 years); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years (80 years), yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”
Interestingly, the Book of Psalms was written approximately 2,500 years ago when there were individuals who lived hundreds of years. Yet, even back then we were told the age of a generation was 70 years unless the people had the strength to live 80 years. Even if they did, they were still impacted by “…labour and sorrow.” After that, they would soon die and they would fly away. A simple search of the Internet says in 2019-2020 the average life expectancy of all people in the world is 72.6 to 72.3. Wow! Compare that to 1950 and the average life expectancy globally was 45.7 to 48.0. Does anyone else consider it strange that it was AFTER the rebirth of the Nation of Israel in May of 1948, the average life span of all people in the world rose to that level prophesied in the Book of Psalms written 2,500 years ago? Life Expectancy data
Thirty years ago (July 31, 1991) my family gathered together in Southern California to celebrate the 70th birthday of my mother Lois Mae Wigton Lichtenberger. By reason of the strength given to her by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, she not only celebrated her 70th birthday that day with her four children and their families, but she eventually went on to celebrate over 86 years of life before being called home to be with Jesus forever. If she was still alive, July 31st would have been her 100th birthday. My purpose in writing about this is at that birthday party I gave her a letter where I actually quoted the Scripture above and complimented her for all the blessings she as a single mother had given to us over her life even with much “…labour and sorrows.” I remember actually saying this in my note to her because of the strength she was given she surely would celebrate many, many more birthdays.
Lately, I have seen many posts and articles from people proclaiming, in essence, those alive in 1948 would see the Return of Jesus Christ. While I believe the Bible is clear this to be true, many are taking the Scripture above and setting dates for His Return. Their argument is the age of a generation is 70 to 80 years. If you add 70 to 1948 (the year of the Nation of Israel’s rebirth) you get 2018. Obviously, that did not happen. Now they add 80 to 1948 and they get to 2028. By then subtracting the 7 years of the coming Tribulation, you arrive at 2021. They therefore state the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation will occur this year! In other words, they are date setting when this will happen even though Jesus Himself told us quite differently.
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”
Matthew 24:36, 42
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”
While Jesus told us no one would know the hour or the day of the culmination of His prophecies and His Return, He also told us the generation alive who witnessed the Nation of Israel being reborn WOULD KNOW the signs of the End Times and would see ALL the things He told His disciples on the Mount of Olives about the Signs which would be fulfilled!
“Now learn a parable of the fig tree (Israel), When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves (grows), ye know that summer (End Times) is nigh. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily, I say unto you, THIS GENERATION (capitals mine) shall not pass (die), till all these things be fulfilled.”
So, what is the difference? One of the very first articles I wrote (The Rapture – God’s Promise) was intended to explain the Coming Rapture of the Believers before the Tribulation (aka Pre-Tribulation Rapture). If I may, I want to requote what I wrote because in order to know how we won’t KNOW the hour or the day, the generation seeing these prophesied events happening would KNOW:
Scholars throughout time have interpreted these verses to mean that God did not intend for us to KNOW when the Rapture or the end of the world would occur. A number of other Bible references do conclude we actually CAN KNOW the exact time of Christ’s ultimate return at Armageddon (e.g., exactly 1260 days after the ‘Abomination of Desolation’ by the Antichrist) but the date of the Rapture will remain a mystery to us.
An expert on the ancient Greek language, Joseph Civelli of Pensacola, Florida actually may have uncovered the answer! In his book “The Messiah Returns”. He says the generation COULD know by better understanding the original Greek language the Bible was written in. For example, I can say in English “I know you”. You then must interpret how I used that in context I said it to fully understand what I meant. Did I mean I physically knew you? Did it mean I know of you? Does it mean what I know of you? To what degree do I know you, in passing or intimately? In the original Greek there are actually 5 different words for the one English word “know”. The Bible has been translated from the original Greek into English and may have lost some of the original meaning and intent!
Interestingly, the word “know” used in Matthew 24 and in Mark 13 were actually two different Greek words in the original Bible! Those two words, both meaning “know” were ‘ginosko’ and ‘oida’. While they convey similar meanings, they are different. According to Strong’s Concordance #1097 and the Companion Bible, appendix 132 says ‘ginosko’ means “to understand, to be sure of, and to have unconditional and objective knowledge”. When this word is used it means the information can be obtained and understood; you can have absolute and complete knowledge. In other words, the information or knowledge is either available and understandable or it is not. If Jesus had used this verb there would be no question that no one could KNOW“…of that time, not even the angels, or the Son.” It is an absolute!
But, He did not use ‘ginosko’. Instead, He used the word ‘oida’ which basically means the same thing except when it is used in certain past tenses. When used in these certain past tenses, as Jesus did, its meaning is obtained from the Greek word ‘optomai’ which means to be understood intuitively or knowledge that is obtained without effort. Usage of ‘oida’ in other than certain past tenses refers only to HOW knowledge is obtained, not the degree of understanding as with ‘ginosko’. When used positively, ‘oida’ means that the information is understood intuitively. When it is used negatively, it doesn’t mean you can’t know it. Rather it means it takes effort, investigation or study in order to uncover and understand it. In other words, it is not readily apparent but it is there to obtain and understand!
When Jesus used the word ‘ginosko’ He was indicating that knowledge was available and understanding would be complete. When He used ‘oida’ He was indicating that the knowledge would NOT come automatically but would require some effort to perceive and understand it. Obviously, around the world at any moment there are 24 different hours and 2 different days. If I were to say the Rapture would occur at 10PM on Tuesday, do I mean Central Standard Time? Rather, I believe what Jesus said and what was written in the original Greek was that for those of us alive in these last days who have seen the rebirth of the nation of Israel and are cognizant of the fulfillment of so many Biblical prophecies made between 2,000 and 2,600 years ago, the Rapture and the end times are not far off. We WILL know it! BUT, beware of anyone saying it will happen on a certain date or at a certain time. The Bible does not tell us that. It only gives us the information, if we study it, that lets us know what is needed to happen before it could occur. No other generation in history has seen this ancient prophecy fulfilled with the Jews return to their promised land. It took OUR generation to see their return to be able to better understand or KNOW the Rapture is NOW near. In the timeline of Biblical prophecy, there is no other event now required for the Rapture to occur today. The clock has started! It can happen at any time!
I am a firm Believer that no one will know the exact time or date of Jesus’s Coming for us in the clouds at the Rapture BUT because we have witnessed so many other things prophesied to occur in the Last Days, we can feel certain we are very, very close. Could it happen this year? Absolutely! Could it happen next year? Of course! If we Believe in what the Bible tells us, we must therefore Believe God does not lie and “…this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.” That is definitely a message of comfort for all of us who yearn for His soon Return to “snatch” us away in the twinkling of an eye. But you know what? Not everyone knows what Jesus has told us and that is why while we still have the time to do so, He instructed us to “…therefore comfort one another with these words.” It is incumbent on ALL of us to tell our friends and families we are THAT generation who have witnessed so many things prophesied to happen and we will KNOW we are those who Jesus proclaimed would see Him in the clouds. And, don’t forget to tell them of His Gift of Salvation which came because He died for our sins and all we have to do is acknowledge Him as our Saviour and ask Him to forgive us of our sins.
Are we close? Absolutely! That is why we must begin immediately to tell others. May God Bless you as you await Jesus telling you “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Amen!