Hosea wrote that the fig tree is a symbol for the nation of Israel: "I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at her first time..." (Hos. 9:10). And if there was ever a nation on this planet known to be constantly fighting, it is Israel. They have been fighting someone from the day they crossed the Jordan, until this very moment. Their plight has been so bad for so long that for at least three thousand years, believers have been admonished to "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem..." (Ps. 122:6).
"Figure," in the Bible, can have various meanings, from "an antitype," "an idol," "a type," or "a carving." And although the Word of God does not use the term "figure" to mean "to calculate," nevertheless, it is the fig tree that Jesus uses to teach how to calculate His return. The Parable of the Fig Tree says:
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer 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 shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" (Matt. 24:32-34).
Since Israel is symbolized by the fig tree, and Jesus said the generation of Jews which sees the events described in Matthew 24:3-31 will still be living when He returns, we can figure about when the Second Coming will occur, and Christ will fulfill the prophecies concerning His Millennial Kingdom. Psalm 90:10 says that a generation is seventy years, although some individuals could live longer. So, since Israel became a nation in 1948, and some of those who were alive when that occurred will live to see Christ's return, He should be back somewhere between 1948 and 2018. If we subtract the seven year Tribulation, which has yet to begin, that suggests the Tribulation should begin in 2011. If we take the Word of God literally (all previous prophecies have been fulfilled literally), the Rapture of the Church should take place sometime in 2011.
I hope to present more Scriptural support for this theory tomorrow, Lord willing.