Knowing The Day and The Hour
Vol: 26 Issue: 23 Friday, September 23, 2016
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:35-36)
The text itself, at first glance, seems simple and unambiguous. Jesus is explaining that nobody, not even He, knew the precise hour and day in which the Lord will return for His Church. But He offers a clue, saying conditions will be similar that those experienced by Noah and his family.
Before moving on, let’s look quickly at conditions in Noah’s day, according to the Scriptures. First, Noah, himself.
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”
We immediately see four key points. Noah was the recipient of an unmerited gift – “Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” God extended His grace to Noah, who, in spite of being a sinner, trusted the Lord’s word.
Consequently, Genesis tells us, “Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations.”
Noah was a ‘just’ man. Only God can justify sinful man. Note that it wasn’t Noah that was perfect — instead, Noah was ‘perfect in his generations.’
What does that mean?
Genesis Chapter Six opens with an explanation:
“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. . . (6:1-2)
The reference to the ‘sons of God’ is a reference to angels:
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” (Job 1:6)
“When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:7)
These angels, according to Genesis 6, produced hybrid, half-angelic and half-human offspring, polluting the human bloodline.
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. ” (6:4)
At the Fall, God pronounced both the curse and a Promise of a Redeemer, saying to the serpent, Satan,
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her Seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His Heel.”
By the time of Noah, the seed of Eve had been so polluted by this hybrid bloodline that only Noah and his family remained “perfect in his generations.”
And God’s promise was specific — mankind could only be redeemed by the seed of Eve.
Wipe out Eve’s ‘seed’ and God’s word is broken, and Satan wins his case on the grounds God is not perfect and therefore not qualified to stand in judgment over him. Finally, we see that Noah “walked with God”.
Noah is a picture of the Church in the last days. The Church is redeemed, and therefore justified, not by its own merits, but by God’s grace. Covered by the Blood of Christ, the Church’s ‘bloodline’ is perfect and unpolluted by the world.
Noah was preserved alive out of judgment, not necessarily because God loved him best, but because it was a necessary element in God’s unfolding plan for the ages.
Had God not preserved Noah and his family alive out of judgment, mankind would have perished and there could have been no Virgin Birth, no redeeming life, atoning death or Resurrection unto life.
Only Eve’s seed could qualify according to God’s Promise, so some perfect, untainted, purely human remnant of Eve’s seed had to be preserved for God’s plan to move forward.
God’s plan for the last days includes preserving a remnant out of judgment, not because He likes this generation best, but because it is necessary for His plan to move forward. Noah and his family were ridiculed for 120 years, until “the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.” (2nd Peter 3:6)
Jesus likened the Rapture to the Flood, saying,
“And [they] knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:39)
How do we know that Jesus is referring to the Rapture in his passage about Noah, and not His 2nd Coming? Jesus said no man could know the hour and the day.
The Prophet Daniel gives us the hour and the day of the 2nd Coming of Christ — or at least, Daniel gives us the ability to calculate it.
Daniel predicts a prince of the revived Roman Empire would negotiate a peace settlement between Israel and ‘the many’ and that part of that settlement would include the restoration of Temple worship.
The peace agreement, according to Daniel, has a set term of one “week” (Heb – shabua) which is a week of Biblical 360-day years. Seven biblical years equals 2,520 days.
Daniel says that agreement will be broken when “the abomination that maketh desolate is set up.” (Daniel 12:11) The Apostle Paul identifies the “abomination” as taking place when the antichrist, “as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)
It is this claim of godhood that causes the Jews to reject him, which results in his tearing up the agreement, closing the Temple and launching his persecution of Jews.
So, let’s quickly recap. Daniel 9:27 predicts a period of seven years time from the agreement that restores Temple worship to the 2nd Coming of Christ. Daniel also says that, from the time of the abomination of desolation until the 2nd Coming would total 1,260 days — or exactly half of 2,520 days of Tribulation.
Since the event that begins the countdown is the antichrist’s seating of himself on the Mercy Seat in the Temple, anybody will a Bible could mark that date and start counting down 1,260 days to His Second Coming.
Therefore, it seems entirely logical to deduce the following: The Tribulation Period (Daniel 9:27) lasts for 2,520 days, or seven Biblical years. It is divided into two parts, 1,260 days of Temple worship, and 1,260 days of persecution.
It concludes on the 2,520th day from the date of the peace deal on the plains of Megiddo at the Second Coming of Christ.
Since Daniel also predicted the precise date and hour in which Jesus Christ would ride into Jerusalem on the back of a colt and be received as King of the Jews, it is reasonable to expect the same kind of precision in Daniel’s prediction of 1,260 days from the abomination to the 2nd Coming.
Therefore, the only secret coming is that of the Rapture, not His triumphant return as the Righteous Judge at the close of the Tribulation Period. A secret pre-Trib Rapture is the only event that cannot be calculated.
A mid-Trib Rapture can be calculated — it is 1260 days after the peace deal. A post-Trib Rapture can be calculated, 2,520 days after the peace deal, or 1,260 days after the abomination.
A pre-Wrath Rapture, that is a Rapture that takes place at some point after the peace deal but before the abomination, makes the inclusion of the 2,520 and 1,260 day time frames superfluous and unnecessary, begging the question of why God included them in the first place.
But despite Jesus’ stern warning that the timing of the Rapture cannot be calculated, I predict that within the next couple of weeks, somebody will be predicting the Rapture will occur on September 24, 2007 with the blowing of the last shofar (trumpet) at the end of the Jewish Feast of Trumpets (Rosh Hashana).
It is a safe enough prediction; it happens every single year at this time. And it makes logical sense. The only major Jewish feast day for which there is no corresponding miracle performed during the Lord’s earthly ministry is Rosh Hashana. So many conclude that when the Rapture does come, it will come at the conclusion of Rosh Hashana.
For that reason, I am absolutely convinced that, of all the possible dates for the Rapture, it won’tbe Rosh Hashana, despite the twenty-page emails I am certain to receive shortly explaining somebody’s exhaustive and comprehensive calculations.
Why? Because the same Jesus who said we couldn’t calculate the Rapture also said any calculations that are made will be wrong.
“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matthew 24:44)
Featured Commentary: Everyone Loves Israel ~Alf Cengia