But wait, doesn’t the Bible specifically says that NO ONE KNOWS the Day or the Hour!!
The Lord says that we should search what any man says against Scripture to ensure that what is being said is correct. Paul, speaking for God, commended the Bereans for doing just that. I therefore also commend anyone for doing this. As such, it never bothers me when, on the MANY occasions that this has happened, someone quotes the below verse in order to tell us to stop “wasting our time watching”:
"However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in Heaven or the Son Himself. Only the Father knows"
Obviously, I take this verse VERY seriously, as should everyone!! HOWEVER, as per usual, we need to take into account both the audience and the context of this verse in order to TRULY understand to whom the Lord intended this verse to apply. Then, and only then, do each of the seemingly contradictory messages from the Lord on the “expectations” for His return make any sense!
Please allow me to take you where I am coming from. A good place to begin any journey is with a Bible quote:
1 Thessalonians 5:2-3: "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
This is where preachers USUALLY stop!! They then say, “Look, no one can know when a thief will come, so stop trying to figure it out”. HOWEVER, these two verses, as quoted above, were merely confirming that which we already know: That the Day of the Lord will come unto an unwatching world completely by surprise!! Who can deny that we are watching this prophecy unfold EXACTLY as predicted RIGHT NOW!!
However, it is in the VERY NEXT TWO verses that the Lord clearly outlines what those ACTIVELY WATCHING for Christ's return should expect to receive from the Lord as the time of the Rapture came closer. I ask that you read the following two verses slowly and carefully. 1 Thessalonians 5:4-5: "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." Either we are to KNOW when the “thief” is coming, as specifically stated in these two follow up verses, OR there is contradiction in the Bible. I vote that we who are watching will know!!
In other words, those in darkness (the world) will be overtaken by the Rapture / Sudden Destruction like a thief. However, those in light (the Church) will NOT be overtaken like a thief. Indeed, we, who watch, should and will KNOW when the Holy “Thief” will be coming to snatch us away just before the Sudden Destruction hits (it is not really “stealing” as He already owns us!!).
Is this the only time in the Bible that this, at first seemingly contradictory, message is given to His watching church in the Bible about being able to “know” when the Rapture should occur? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Indeed, this EXACT theme is confirmed in Revelation 3:3: "Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."
The only way that this verse makes any sense at all is if the converse of this verse also applies. Allow me to reiterate and expand Revelation 3:3 in today’s modern English to help illustrate, including the converse of this verse in the next sentence (and no, I am not “adding” to Revelation – this is just my interpretation and should be viewed as such). In addition, since He is addressing the Church here, I will put substitute “you” with “you in the Church”:
“If you in the Church do not watch, I will Rapture you as a thief, and you will not be anticipating when I will come to Rapture you. HOWEVER, if you in the Church watch, I will not Rapture you as a thief because you will be able to know the approximate hour I will be coming to Rapture you.”
Doesn’t this interpretation make much more sense than the common view among non-watchers of the Church HAVING to be ignorant of the timing of the Rapture? Of course it does!! Why else would the Lord have given us SO many clues and timelines in the Bible, signs in the sky, etc. , if He didn’t want us to be able to do this?
Doesn’t this interpretation make all the sense in the world (or should I say “out of this world”). To reiterate, if you watch, you SHOULD BE ABLE TO KNOW the approximate hour He will be coming for His Church in the Rapture. In traditional Jewish wedding tradition, do you REALLY think that the groom wouldn’t somehow let his bride know APPROXIMATELY when he was coming for her so that she would be ready? Why would Jesus be any different?
After all, Jesus is talking directly to His watching Bride in Revelation 3:3, so therefore it HAS to be about the Rapture. Why does it have to be about the Rapture and NOT the Second Coming? Because we will already be in New Jerusalem when Jesus returns to the earth!! Because we KNOW that the Church is not assigned to the wrath of the Great Tribulation!!
So please, to those in the Church that are not actively watching for the Rapture, let us keep the various messages in the Bible straight. There is a specific and correct message for each different audience. Before I lay out each of the scenarios, I would like to outline exactly which Jesus “return” events will be occurring over the near future:
- First, the Rapture / Day of the Lord: The Day of the Lord, as described above, refers to the Rapture of the Church, followed IMMEDIATELY by Sudden Destruction (nuclear holocaust) and the beginning of the 1335 day Great Tribulation.
- Second, 1335 days later, the Return of the Lord: At the end of the 1335 day Great Tribulation, Jesus will return to the earth to destroy the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet, ending the Great Tribulation.
In addition, we have to be VERY clear about exactly which audience the Lord is addressing with His “return” message. Specifically, there are five audiences that these various “return” messages apply to, each receiving a different message. However, keeping all five messages is difficult if you don’t fully understand it. This is why prophecy is so often mixed up. I do not believe that this is being done on purpose:
- The “Unsaved World”: This is the first of three pre-Rapture audiences. The Unsaved World includes both unsaved Jews and unsaved Gentiles prior to the Day of the Lord commencing with the Rapture / Sudden Destruction
- The “Non-watching Church”: This is the second of three pre-Rapture audiences. The Non-watching Church are people NOT looking for the Rapture prior to the Day of the Lord commencing with the Rapture / Sudden Destruction. The Church includes all followers of Jesus, whether Jews or Gentiles
- The “Watching Church”: This is the third of three pre-Rapture audiences. The Watching Church are people actively looking for the Rapture prior to the Day of the Lord commencing with the Rapture / Sudden Destruction. The Church includes all followers of Jesus, whether Jews or Gentiles
- The “Tribulation Sheep”: This represents the first of two post-Rapture audiences. The Tribulation Sheep have the following characteristics:
1. They become believers after the Rapture AND they do NOT TAKE the mark of the Beast; and
2. They survive to the end of the 1335 day Great Tribulation (as per Daniel 12:12, it will only be the “blessed” that make it)!!
- The “Tribulation Goats”: This represents the second of two post-Rapture audiences. The Tribulation Goats have the following characteristics:
1. They do NOT become believers after the Rapture OR they TAKE the mark of the Beast; and
2. They survive to the end of the 1335 day Great Tribulation
Now, let us sort out how each of the above audiences are classified, in terms of the “expectations” factor, with respect to the “returns” of the Lord, both before and after the Great Tribulation (the Day of the Lord):
- To the Unsaved World, the Day of the Lord (Sudden Destruction / Great Tribulation) will come upon them like a thief (and will be an excruciating experience since these people will miss the Rapture that immediately precedes it)
- To the Non-watching Church, the Day of the Lord (the Rapture to New Jerusalem) will come upon them like a thief (but will be a pleasant and unexpected surprise since these people will miss the Sudden Destruction / Great Tribulation that immediately follow it). However, because they were not watching and longing for His return, they will not be able to earn the crown designated for this!!
- To the Watching Church, the Day of the Lord (the Rapture to New Jerusalem) will NOT come upon them like a thief, but will be HAPPILY ANTICIPATED IN ADVANCE. Not only that, but those watching and longing for His return will also get a crown specifically designated for those people found watching and longing for His return!!
From this point on, the Non-watching Church and Watching Church are no longer revelant as they are now in New Jerusalem with Jesus during the entire 1335 day Great Tribulation. In other words, the True Church, which consisted of anyone who believed WITHOUT seeing PRIOR to the Rapture, are no longer part of the equation (thank the Lord FOREVER for His mercy to save us from His wrath).
Now, observe what happens to those who finally make it to the end of the Great Tribulation. Regardless of category, Jesus will return at the end of the Great Tribulation on “a day and hour that no one knows”!!
Why is this terminology used? Because this is referring to the return of Jesus on the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets is also referred to in Jewish culture as the Feast that no one knows the day and the hour!! It is also the next Jewish Feast to be satisfied by Jesus upon His return.
Why can't the day or hour be known? Because a new moon occurs over a two day and two evening period, requiring that the new moon be spotted by two designated and qualified witnesses BEFORE the Feast of Trumpets officially begins.
However, because ONLY God knows when the very first sliver of the new moon will appear, it will only be God that will know when the Feast of Trumpets, representing the return of Jesus, commences!! In other words, NO ONE will know the day or the hour of His return to earth. As such, in no way, shape or form, does this verse refer to the Rapture AT ALL!!
Now watch how each of the two remaining audiences will now be dealt with:
- The Tribulation Sheep will be spared and will remain on the earth to repopulate it during the millennium
- The Tribulation Goats will not be so lucky. These people will be separated from the Tribulation Sheep and will be immediately cast into hell to await judgment at the end of the millennium
I sincerely hope the above analysis helps to clear things up for some of you. I admit that writing the above actually helped me out as well!!
Overall, prophecy is a complicated topic. Most preachers aren't taught it properly in Bible College. Therefore, they are intimidated by prophecy, and perhaps even by those in their flock that know more about prophecy than they do.
Therefore, many preachers take the “path of least resistance” and simply state, sometimes defensively, "We should not bother with prophecy and watching for His return!! After all, Jesus will return as a thief in the night and no one can know the day or the hour!! Just accept that and move on!"
How sad!! This advice is incorrect and, indeed, DIRECTLY contradicts what Jesus says we should do. Jesus specifically COMMANDS us to ALWAYS watch for His return!! Not only that, but Jesus tells us that, if we do, He will let us know when He will be returning for us in the Rapture!! AND we get a crown for doing it!! What a win-win-win-…situation for us!!
The Calculations pointing towards soon Rapture / Sudden Destruction
Now, in terms of my calculations pointing towards a soon Rapture, are these calculations are not some mumbo-jumbo “magic” buried in mystery? ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Every one of my calculations are based on REAL Israel events, using REAL time lines as SPECIFICALLY OUTLINED IN THE BIBLE, wherein each equation, without stretching, lands on the EXACT same date on the EXACT same year (the Day of Atonement 2015), like a God-guided missile.
In contrast, I reviewed Harold Camping’s calculations, for example, and his calculations were steeped in subjective and personal revelation. It was not Biblical and was destined for failure from day one!!
Every date, every Scripture, every calculation, every assumption – EVERY SINGLY ONE THAT IS USED – is fully and completely disclosed in my documentation for your perusal. However, it is up to each of you to accept or reject these calculations as illustrated!!
That being said, the wildcard, as I point out in EVERY one of my posts, is God’s grace. He MAY surprise many be delaying the Rapture for only reasons He will know. I don’t think He will, but He may. After all, He is God and He can do as He pleases. Regardless, April 11th is a hard and fast date and we have to be gone before the Anti-Christ starts his murderous pursuit. I am convinced that the groans that are coming from all corners of the earth are pointing directly to our soon departure!!
That being said, PLEASE DO NOT stop living your lives. This way, Rapture or not, you win!! Indeed, the Lord commands us to watch as if He is coming tomorrow BUT to ALSO live for today as an example to the world. Living as an example to the world involves planning and carrying on, with our jobs, our families, our vacations, etc. It is ALL in His more than capable hands, as are each of us who believe in the Son!! We simply can’t lose this way.
Side Note: Even though it doesn’t apply to the Rapture, thanks to 24 separate time zones, as well as 24 hour days, no man can EVER truly KNOW the exact day or the hour of the Rapture either. By definition, the Rapture will occur at a different hour and day no matter who you are or where you live. Only 1/24th of the world (on a VERY approximate basis) are on the same day AND the same hour at the same time. As just one example, Jerusalem is 7 hours ahead of New York. The hour is ALWAYS different and the day is OFTEN different. I write this so some reading this won’t get too hung up on the whole “day and hour” issue, even if they disagree with the above analysis.
Quick Reply on the Rebuilt Temple “Requirement”
While I do not believe a physical Temple is a requirement for the Great Tribulation to commence, I also do not have a problem with a physical Temple PERHAPS being ready in time. Our Great Tribulation scenario would “allow” either to occur. However, I should note that even a temporary tent-like Temple could be used and could very well be what is being referred to!
BACKGROUND ON THE ABOVE ARTICLE
If you have time, and you have not already done so, I would recommend that you read a message I had posted on January 6, 2012, on www.FiveDoves.com, titled “2015 for Dummies”, explaining the entire concept of the soon Rapture / Sudden Destruction, along with the Day of Atonement 2015 as the day for the Return of Jesus:
My message posted on January 11, 2012, titled “Only 17 More Days Left - Given the final "3 week" warning by the NWO on January 8th, did God "counter" by using Tim Tebow for a final "3 week" alter call on the EXACT same day?”, outlines why the answer to the question asked in the title certainly appears to be…ABSOLUTELY!!
BE EXCITED, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST, OUR REDEMPTION DRAWS EXTREMELY NEAR!!
As always, to God be ALL the glory!!! He is at the door!! Maranatha!!