Does the Bible give us any clue as to when Jesus returns?
Jesus said, "You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?" (Luke 12.56)
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh" (Matt. 24.32).
The word “now” marks the beginning of the second part. Since the Lord gives this part of His prophecy on the Mount of Olives—a place where there are many fig trees—He quite naturally could use the fig tree as an illustration.
“When her branch is now become tender”—This speaks of the return of life. “And putteth forth its leaves”—This means the manifestation of life.
The fig tree represents the Jews (Jer. 24.2,5,8). Earlier the Lord had cursed the fig tree which possessed only leaves but had no fruit. In reality the curse was upon the Jews who possessed the outward rituals but had no reality.
"And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away" (Matt. 21.19).
"And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet" (Mark 11.13).
“Summer” (Matt. 24.32) is the season of growth as winter is the season of withering and death. In the summer, life shows its greatest vigor, the air is warm, and the days are bright. It is a golden season, and therefore it stands for the kingdom.
The Jews today are in the winter time. Winter points to tribulation, particularly the Great Tribulation. Spring speaks of rapture (see S.S. 2.10-14); summer speaks of the kingdom (see Luke 21.30-31). In Luke 21.29-30 we have the words “and all the trees”—which phrase represents the nations (see Daniel 4.10-17 and Judges 9.8-15). When “all the trees ... now shoot forth” (Luke 21.29-30), this is a signifying that nationalism will have been greatly developed among many peoples and nations.
Let us understand that the preceding verses in Matt. 24.4-31 form a part and are not a break with what follows; and hence the thoughts in the earlier part are continuous into the next. The major difference between 24.4-31 and 24.32-25.46 lies in this: that the one part speaks about the Jews while the other part speaks about the church.
“All these things” (v.33)—Such words should be connected with 23.36 (“All these things shall come upon this generation”), with 24.6 (“these things”), and with 24.8 (“all these things”). “All these things” have reference to the beginning of tribulation these past 20 centuries, as reflected in such things as false Christs, wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, and so forth.
“He is nigh” (v.32)—“It is nigh” (mg.) is the more accurate rendering of this phrase in the Greek text. The “it” points to the kingdom. The kingdom is near, “even at the doors”: this agrees with Luke—“Even so ye also, when ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh” (21.31).
We know Jesus returns soon after Israel becomes a nation again because Matt. 24 says "the fig tree" representing Israel "when his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near" (v.32) pointing to the millennial kingdom when Jesus reigns on earth in person.
How long has Israel's branch been tender? Certainly no later than May 14, 1948 when she became a nation again. The nearness of the summer would in the backdrop of the past 2000 years not be longer than a lifetime which is 75 years according to Ps. 90.10; not a generation of 30 to 40 years, but a lifetime of 70 to 80 years in the context of a wicked generation that continues to this day and up to the point when Jesus returns.
"So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors" (v.33).
What things? Israel a nation again as described by the "holy place" (v.15) of the 3rd Temple in Israel and to be built by the Israelites.
In order to determine when the 7-year Tribulation starts we need to observe specific events first that must take place, before that great and terrible day of the Lord.
The parousia of our Lord (and commencement of the day of the Lord that spans the 7 years of the Tribulation) begins with overcomer Christians raptured first to 3rd heaven "before the throne" (Rev. 7.9) for keeping the word of His patience (3.10) before the 1st trumpet (8.7) of the Tribulation. He then comes on the clouds through the Tribulation period followed by meeting the saints "to meet the Lord in the air" at the start of the last trumpet (11.15; 1 Thess. 4.14-18; cf. 1 Cor. 15.23,50-52). After all this, He finally steps down on the mount of olives to return just as He left (Zech. 14.4, Acts 1.11, Rev. 1.7).
We find complete harmony in Joel 2.31, Acts 2.20 and Rev. 6.12.
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come" (Joel 2.31). "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come" (Acts 2.20). "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood" (Rev. 6.12).
Would the earthquakes in Haiti 2010 and Japan 2011 qualify as a great earthquake? 320,000 people died in Haiti, 2nd most deaths of any earthquake in history, and the most deaths per capita (1 in 27 people). The earthquake in Japan was the 4th greatest we have ever recorded in history in magnitude. It was the greatest financial loss, and all 50+ of its nuclear power plants were shut down. Back to back, year over year, never has such devastation ever occurred.
We know that in 2014/15 is the the 8th feast red blood moon Total Lunar Tetrad since Christ on passover, tabernacles and again on passover, tabernacles. It won't happen again for nearly 600 years 2582/83. The 6th was when Israel became a nation (1949/50) and the 7th was was when Israel entered Jerusalem (1967/68). Armistice treaty was signed in 1949.
What are the chances a unique black sackcloth sun total solar eclipse will occur in proper sequence in between, that is in the year 2012 or 2013?
There are 4 kinds of solar eclipses, the rarest which is the Hybrid occurring about 5% of the time. And there are 3 kinds of Hybrids, the rarest which is the H3 occurring 5% of that 5% so it is the rarest of all solar eclipses. The H3 concludes as a total solar eclipse to produce that black sackcloth effect. It is even more rare when it is a long version according to NASA when it lasts for 1 minute 30 seconds or more. On Nov. 3, 2013 there is just such a long H3--the 4th since Christ. It won't happen again till 2172.
So, in conclusion, just before the the Tribulation these 3 events take place in exact order. What immediately follows is the Tribulation that lasts 7 years concurrent with Daniel's final seven of 2,520 days (Dan. 9.27). Incidentally 2,520 is the smallest number divisible by all numbers from 2 to 10. Take notice!
There are 2,520 days from Feast of Trumpets Sept. 14, 2015 to Tisha B'Av Aug. 7, 2022. Tisha B'Av was when the 1st and 2nd Temples were destroyed. Jesus returns to reign in the 3rd Temple on earth for 1000 years.