This article has suddenly received a large amount of media attention with coverage from The Sun, L.A. Times, Daily Star, Metro, UNILAD, AOL, AOL U.K., Sipse, and others. There are several significant media inaccuracies about the below article that we clear up here.
This is a theory regarding the Tribulation beginning in Fall 2017 and ending in Fall 2024. For evidence that we are in the general season of the Lord’s return see here and for fulfilled signs see here.
I always want to start every post that deals with Tribulation date speculation with a WARNING label:
[This is just a THEORY. If the Church was meant to know the dates of the Tribulation with certainty we would know by now. So far date speculation has been 100% wrong, because it is just that – speculation. So take this with a grain of salt. We refuse to buy into the “Thus saith the LORD” crowd when it comes to rapture/Tribulation/Second Coming dates: Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32. HOWEVER, we also refuse to buy into the logic used by the mockers who say it’s useless to research and watch. Jesus did say we cannot know the day or hour, but He also IMPLORED us to watch for the signs and to know the season: Luke 12:56, Matthew 24:42, Luke 21:36, Matthew 25:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:4. He gave a laundry list of signs to watch for in the gospels, as did Peter and Paul in the epistles, and John in Revelation.]
Ok, moving right along…
I, along with many Watchers, was hoping expectantly for the Blessed Hope this Fall 2015, but the Fall Feasts are over and barring an unexpected rapture, it appears as though God has other plans. We must endure patiently until He comes! As much as I had hoped everything would begin in 2014 or 2015, something about it just didn’t sit right with my spirit. Aside from the Blood Moon tetrad (which I do think was a sign and warning), and subjective counts from June 7th, 1967, nothing quite “fit”.
If the UN mandate for the reestablishment of Israel in 1947 and the rebirth of Israel in 1948 are a beginning point of sorts, then 2017 and 2018 have been the big years to watch for all along. Had 2014 or 2015 been the beginning of the Tribulation, then the perfect symmetry of 70 years (a Biblical generation according to Psalm 90:10) would have fallen around the time of the Abomination of Desolation… the time of antichrist’s greatest power, rather than the time of Christ coming for His Church. The antichrist is not the star of the show. Jesus is.
The next thing I want to deal with is the much referenced “prophetic year” consisting of 360 days. I don’t want to discount it completely, but I do want to point out that if a biblical year was always only 360 days long then every few decades the Spring Feasts would be in the Fall and the Fall Feasts would be in the Spring! The calendar would not fit with the seasons at all. This is why all lunar calendars have had mechanisms to align with the seasons. In the case of the Jewish calendar, an extra “intercalary” month is added 7 times in every 19-year cycle to keep the seasons and lunar months aligned. While we don’t know exactly how God intended to keep the lunar months in line with the solar seasons, we can know for sure that not all years can be 360 days. And it is here that we find our first big clue: Daniel 12:11 defines the last half of the Tribulation (called the Great Tribulation elsewhere) as consisting not of 3.5 prophetic years (which would be 1260 days), but rather 1290 days (1260 plus an extra month). If this extra 30 days, which Daniel indicates is at the end of the Tribulation, represents a year with an intercalary month, then we should be looking for the Tribulation to end in a year with an intercalary month. 2024 is just such a year. Randy Nettles has an excellent article on this piece of evidence, plus other reasons he thinks the Tribulation could be from 2017 to 2024.
Here is a rundown of reasons the Tribulation could begin in 2017:
1.) It is 70 years from the United Nations’ decree to reestablish Israel (Resolution 181).
2.) It is a complete Jubilee-cycle from the 1967 conquest of Jerusalem (1967 + 49 + Jubilee year = 2017).
3.) If the Tribulation starts in Fall 2017, then that is in the 70th Jewish year from the rebirth of Israel in 1948. Alternatively, it is in the 69th biblical year from the rebirth of Israel, which would be a powerful symbol of the fact that the world would be about to enter Daniel’s 70th week.
4.) 2017 to 2024 offers the only timeline in recent memory where the Tribulation of 2550 days could begin unquestionably on a Fall Feast date and end on a Fall Feast date. In fact, the alignment is kind of shocking: exactly 2550 days fits with the Tribulation beginning on the last day of the last Fall Feast (Tabernacles, October 11th, 2017) and ending on the first day of the first Fall Feast (Rosh Hashanah, October 4th, 2024). This is particularly interesting in light of the likely possibility Jesus will fulfill the final three Fall Feasts in short, subsequent order while on earth, just as He fulfilled the Spring Feasts. The Second Coming could be on the Feast of Trumpets in 2024, allowing Jesus to fulfill that feast, followed 10 days later by a fulfillment of the Day of Atonement, and 5 days after that by a fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles.
5.) Bolstering point #4, the Fall Feasts in both 2017 and 2024 occur after the autumnal equinoxes, so in those years there need be no doubt about when the Feasts begin. No need to add an additional month as some were suggesting we might have needed to do in 2015. Even going by a Karaite calendar, the 2550 days would still fit, simply adding 2 days to 10/11/17 and 2 days to 10/4/24, so that the dates become 10/13/17 and 10/6/24, respectively.
6.) Passover, the traditional date for the Abomination of Desolation, falls approximately 1260 days after 10/11/17 and approximately 1290 days before 10/4/24. As a matter of fact, 1260 days after 10/11/17 is 3/24/21, just 3-4 days before Passover… this fits perfectly with the Two Witnesses’ 1260 day ministry (Revelation 11:3) followed by their lying dead in Jerusalem for 3.5 days (Revelation 11:9).
7.) The Revelation 12 sign on Rosh Hashanah 2017: while Revelation 12 certainly describes some events occurring in the middle of the Tribulation, we need to pay careful attention to Revelation 12:3. When we say “Revelation 12 sign” we are really referring to the first “Revelation 12 sign” (woman clothed with the sun, moon at her feet, pregnant, and crown of 12 stars). Most people completely miss that the second sign, which begins in verse 3, is the only sign that is for sure identified with the middle of the Tribulation (dragon about to devour the child before the woman flees). The fact that there are two signs and not one is telling. Also, it is only after the woman flees that the last half of the Tribulation begins (Revelation 12:6). Long story short: the sign in 2017 might actually be the sign of the pre-tribulational rapture of the Church. For years some very prominent scholars have thought the sign in Revelation 12 was always the strongest proof of a pre-trib rapture: read about that here.
8.) 2024 is year 6000 since Creation according to Johannes Kepler, who was the founder of modern astronomy (developed the laws of planetary motion). He pinpointed 3977 BC as the year of Creation. Since there is no year ‘0’, 2024 would be exactly year 6000 since Creation (if his biblical calculations were correct).
9.) 12th-century Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel predicted 2017 as the year of Messiah.
10.) Even though many have tried to add 49 “prophetic years” to June 7th, 1967, there was no actual decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem on that day. However, there was a decree by the Knesset to restore and rebuild Jerusalem on April 1st, 1969. 49 x 360 days later would be July 18th, 2017. Could this be the date the Third Temple is completed in preparation for the Tribulation?
11.) Daniel 12:12 adds an additional 45 days at the very end of the 1290 days, for a total of 1335 days. Amazingly, exactly 45 days from the possible 10/4/24 Second Coming date is Cheshvan 17, the same day in history that the Great Flood began (Genesis 7:11). This may in fact be the day that Christ’s global judgment is completed.
12.) The Shemitah year may actually be 2016/2017. Though Jonathan Cahn found an amazing pattern, he was looking at when economic crashes began, not when they reached their worst point. In the previous two cycles, the crashes reached their worst points in 2009 and 2002, respectively, not 2008 and 2001. According to what many think is a more accurate Shemitah and Jubilee cycle, the next Shemitah year is actually 2016/2017 and the next Jubilee year is 2017/2018. See here, here, and here.
13.) 2017 is 50 years (a full jubilee cycle) from 1967 (conquest of Jerusalem), 70 years (a complete generation) from 1947 (decree to reestablish Israel), 100 years ( two complete jubilee cycles) from 1917 (Balfour declaration), and 120 years (see Genesis 6:3) from 1897 (First Zionist Congress, the first Jewish government since 70 AD).
14.) “In that Day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border.” – Isaiah 19:19. This one is pretty astonishing: See here why this may point to Rosh Hashanah 2017 and a Second Coming in 2024.
15.) This specific time period is demarcated by two total solar eclipses forming an ‘X’ right over the chief Gentile and Evangelical nation on earth – the United States. The point on the map where the two eclipses intersect is a region of Illinois known as “Little Egypt” and often just “Egypt”. The world may very well be undergoing a replay of the events of Exodus: an end times pharaoh takes the reigns (the antichrist), as God’s judgments are poured out on the earth (the Tribulation), and His people leave (Believers leaving for Heaven and Jews leaving for the wilderness).
Many thoughts to ponder, but just remember that the LORD can come at any time, even well before these speculative dates. Keep watching and looking up!