October 25th, 2012 10:56 EST
'Rapture' Likely to Occur by 2021
Dr. F. Kenton Beshore Estimates Second Coming to Happen By 2028. He is Encouraging Believers to Prepare for the Greatest Opportunity for Worldwide Evangelism in 2,000 Years
Based on a lifetime study of Biblical hermeneutics, World Bible Society President. Dr. F. Kenton Beshore says the "Rapture" is likely to occur between now and 2021 and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ from 2018 and 2028.
Beshore -- whose ministry has distributed nearly 60 million Bibles in 65 nations, including 10 million in Russia on former Communist Party propaganda presses -- says he`s releasing the estimate at this time of global economic, political and spiritual crisis in hopes of inspiring believers to get prepared for the greatest opportunity for worldwide evangelism in the last 2,000 years.
As part of this effort, Beshore says his Costa Mesa, Calif.-based ministry is printing millions of copies of the 45-page Jewish Scriptures to distribute to Jews worldwide before the seven-year Tribulation period. Beshore hopes Jews will read the books containing Biblical prophecies about Jesus` first and second comings and become some of the "144,000 Billy Grahams" described in Revelation 7 that will lead billions to Christ during the Tribulation.
"There are 144,000 Jews during the Tribulation who are going to turn to the Lord," says Beshore -- the 86-year-old father of Kenton Beshore, pastor of Mariner`s Church in Irvine, Calif., one of the nation`s 25 largest churches. "Now, we are all going to be gone (following the Rapture).
"But if we can get our Jewish Scriptures into their hands now, the Holy Spirit will lead them to them at the right time. They may have set them aside, but they will read them, turn to the Lord and lead billions and billions to Jesus."
Beshore, who holds five doctoral degrees in theology and is considered one of the foremost scholars on Bible prophecy, bases these predictions on an innovative interpretation of one of the Bible`s most controversial parables -- the lesson of the fig tree.
This parable gained international prominence in 1970 with the release of Hal Lindsey`s The Late Great Planet Earth -- the bestselling nonfiction book of the 1970s.
In the book, Lindsey claimed he had unlocked the secrets of the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24-25 in which Jesus described the signs of his Second Coming.
Lindsey suggested the generation that witnessed the 1948 rebirth of the nation of Israel -- purportedly symbolized by the fig tree -- would see the return of Christ. Lindsey wrote a biblical generation is "something like 40 years" -- suggesting that "within 40 years or so of 1948, all these things could take place."
But when 1988 came and went without Jesus` return, Lindsey came under heavy criticism, ministers shied away from teaching Bible prophecy and many became skeptical about predictions regarding the Second Coming. They noted Jesus` admonition in Matthew 24:36 that no one would know the "day or hour" of His return.
While no one knows the exact date, Beshore argues people can know the "times and seasons," or the approximate timeframe, by watching for the signs Jesus described of his return.
Beshore, who teaches a popular Bible study and prophecy class at Mariner`s Church on Sunday mornings, points to Jesus` remarks in Matthew 24:33 that "when you see all these things, you know that he is near" and His command in Matthew 24:42-44 to "watch" and be "ready" for His return.
Also, Beshore says God always warned of impending judgment throughout the Bible. For example, God gave the people of Noah`s day more than 100 years of warning, Lot and his family were warned before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and Jesus warned Jerusalem of its destruction several decades in advance.
In terms of the prediction in The Late Great Planet Earth, Beshore argues Lindsey`s interpretation of the parable of the fig tree was right, but he was wrong about the length of a biblical generation.
Instead of 40 years, Beshore says Psalms 90:10 reveals a biblical generation is actually 70-80 years: "The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong."
Therefore, Beshore -- author of the books When: When Will the Rapture Take Place? and Millennium, the Apocalypse and Armageddon -- believes the Second Coming will occur sometime between 2018 and 2028, or 70 to 80 years after 1948.
Taking into account the seven-year Tribulation period, Beshore expects the Rapture -- the belief that Christians will be miraculously removed from the Earth prior to the Tribulation and Second Coming -- to occur sometime between now and 2021.
In his book, Beshore explained that Jesus in the Olivet Discourse used the illustration of "birth pains" to describe the signs of His return.
"The parable of the fig tree is a prophecy of the rebirth of the nation of Israel," Beshore wrote in When "The Greek phrase `panta tauta` that is translated `all these things` refers to the beginning of birth pains (Matthew 24:8). Jesus was saying, in effect, that when you see the birth pains -- World War I and II and famines, pestilences and earthquakes -- you will know that His return is drawing near. The Greek word genea is translated `generation.` It literally means `born one.` Jesus said this `born one` (nation of Israel) will be in existence when He returns."
When Jesus says this "born one" will not pass away "until all these things be fulfilled," Beshore wrote Jesus was referring to the birth of the Jewish boy, the nation of Israel.
"Finally, the birth of this man-child took place on May 14, 1948," Beshore wrote. "The signs Jesus gave were the beginning of birth pains, followed by the super-sign -- the birth of the nation of Israel, and its growth from a baby to a mature man."
Before the Rapture occurs, Beshore says certain events must take place.
Beshore says five of these events are taking place now -- the "falling away" or apostasy of the church, an increase in travel and knowledge, the rise of anti-Semitism, development of "Mark of the Beast" technology and that Israel is dwelling safely before an attack by a coalition of Russian and Islamic nations.
Beshore says this prediction -- described in Ezekiel 38 and 39 -- is especially relevant given the nuclear showdown between Israel and Iran. Iran is widely believed to be developing nuclear weapons and Israel is considering whether to launch preemptive strikes on Iran`s suspected nuclear weapons facilities.
"If that were to happen, we could see Ezekiel 38 and 39 fulfilled and a revival following that event," Beshore says. "When these nations come against Israel, God not only defeats these armies, but he sends fire on Russia and Iran and those that `dwell securely in the isles.` I see that as a removal of the Islamic presence. So it`s a great miracle that will cause many to turn to the Lord."
After this, Beshore says more than a dozen other prophecies must be fulfilled before the Tribulation begins. This includes the rebuilding of the ancient city of Babylon, the rise of the False Prophet and a world church, formation of a global government and world economic system, rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, rise of the Antichrist from obscurity, an impending covenant between the Antichrist and Israel and "signs in the sun and moon and stars" and distress and fear among the nations.
"Bible teachers have grown old and died preaching about the Rapture and a word that doesn`t exist in the Bible -- imminence," Beshore says. "The word imminence means the Rapture can take place any day. The Bible does not teach that. The Bible teaches that certain events must take place before the Rapture -- that `the day cannot come except the falling away takes place` and `the man of sin is revealed.`"
In an effort to help facilitate the massive revival the Bible predicts will occur during the Tribulation, the World Bible Society is continuing to print and mail copies of the Jewish Scriptures to Jewish families in Israel, Russia and the United States. So far, the ministry has mailed out more than 5 million copies.
"As I see it, 144,000 Billy Graham types of Jews are going to take the gospel to the world during the Tribulation," Beshore says. "I know that I`ll be gone when they turn to the Lord so they won`t be able to hear my radio program. The only way they can be reached that I can see is to give them, by the literary method, specially prepared Jewish Scriptures now.
"They may not read it now, but Isaiah says they will hear a voice behind them, saying, `This is the way, walk ye in it.` They will take the Jewish Scriptures, read them and 144,000 will be called out. Then they will go out, Spirit-empowered, to take the Gospel to every tongue, tribe and nation. I see billions coming to the Lord during the Tribulation."
With a donation of $65 or more, 50 Jewish families will receive their personal copy of the Jewish Scriptures in the mail. To donate or learn more about the ministry, log onto www.worldbiblesociety.org or call 949-642-7443.
About Dr. F. Kenton Beshore
Dr. F. Kenton Beshore became a Christian at age 5 and gave his first sermon at age 17 on the Second Coming. He was ordained at age 19 at Bellview Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., and pastored churches most of his life. Dr. David L. Cooper was Beshore`s mentor for 10 years at the Biblical Research Society. Beshore began a daily radio ministry in 1954 -- the Bible Institute of the Air -- and today he is the president of the World Bible Society. Beshore -- along with his college roommate, Left Behind series co-author Tim LaHaye and Lindsey -- are considered the fathers of the modern Bible prophecy movement. Beshore has been married to his wife Lois for 65 years and they have three children, 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.