No One Knows The Day or The Hour

Andy C

Well-Known Member
In the below, I believe Jack makes a strong case on many verses people believe are rapture verses, but its really a second coming verse, which takes place at the end of the tribulation. As always, context is key.

From Jack

NO ONE KNOWS THE DAY OR THE HOUR​

A Bible Study by Jack Kelley

There are two popular phrases people use in connection with the End Times to discourage speculation about just when the Rapture might take place. One is “like a thief in the night”, and the other is “no one knows the day or the hour”. But is that what these phrases really mean?

Let me say from the outset that I don’t believe the day or hour of the Rapture can be known in advance by anyone on Earth because I don’t believe it’s set to happen on any specific day or at any specific hour. I believe it’s set to happen when a specific number of born again believers is reached, and I base that conclusion on my understanding of Romans 11:25.

I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.

There are two Greek words in this verse that lend critical support to a proper understanding. The first is translated “full number”. In Paul’s time it was a nautical term that stood for the predetermined number of sailors necessary to operate a ship. Until the ship had its full number of crew members, it could not legally set sail. Sometimes ship captains who found themselves a man or two short when it came time to leave the harbor went through the water front bars late at night looking for drunken sailors they could kidnap. When they had the number they needed they set sail immediately.

And the second, translated “come in” is also a nautical term that described the ship’s arrival at its intended destination. We’ve all heard people say how much better life will be “when my ship comes in.”

By using these terms, Paul was saying that the hardening of Israel’s heart will not be fully removed until the Church reaches its predetermined number and arrives at its intended destination, which the Lord called “my Father’s House” in John 14:2-3. It was a reference to the rapture. There’s nothing arbitrary about God’s action here. He has already determined the number and will take the Church to its intended destination as soon as it’s reached. But as far as I can tell no one on Earth knows either the full number or the current number. All we can know is that we’ll be raptured when the full number of Gentiles has come in and it could literally happen on any given day. Then we’ll disappear, the blinders will come off Israel and the 70th Week will commence.

Now, back to the topic at hand. What do these two phrases mean and are they intended to discourage speculation about the timing of the Rapture?

Like A Thief In The Night​

When you take out the duplications, this phrase appears 4 times in the New Testament. Let’s look at each one and see what it’s telling us.

Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. (1 Thes. 5:1-4)

This is Paul’s only use of the phrase. It’s clear He was speaking of the End Times judgments that will bring total destruction upon the unsuspecting world. While this time will come as a surprise to unbelievers, events leading up to it should not surprise us. He made no mention of the Rapture here.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. (2 Peter 3:10)

Here’s Peter’s only use of the phrase, and again the reference is to the End Time Judgments, not to the Rapture.

Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. (Rev. 3:3)

John used the phrase twice, both times quoting the Lord. In Rev. 3:3 He was criticizing the church in Sardis, which in my opinion represents the mainline Protestants of today. He was reminding them that they’ve gotten away from His word and had better wake up and get back into it. Otherwise they won’t know when He will come to them. Notice the phrase “come to you” at the end of Rev. 3:3. In the Rapture He comes for us, not to us, and we meet Him in the air. The people He’s talking to in Rev. 3:3 will not go in the Rapture, and if they don’t wake up, even the 2nd Coming will take them by surprise. (In verse 4 we see that not everyone in Sardis is asleep. There are a few among them who will be ready for the Rapture and will walk with Him in robes of white.)

“Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Rev. 16:15)

In Rev. 16:15 the world is well into the Great Tribulation, so the Lord’s warning is for Tribulation believers who will be responsible for keeping themselves saved during the most terrifying and dangerous time the world has ever known. When used symbolically, as it is here, clothing always stands for righteousness, and tribulation believers will be responsible for maintaining theirs.

No One Knows The Day Or The Hour​

Now we’ll look at that other popular phrase, “No one knows the day or the hour”.

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man“ (Matt. 24:36-37).

Let’s back up a few verses to make sure we have the proper context here. After the Great Tribulation ends (Matt. 24:29) there will be various signs in the heavens. The sun and moon will go dark and the stars will fall from the sky. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear and all the nations will mourn. After that they’ll see Him coming in the clouds with power and great glory (Matt. 24:30). From both the context and the passage itself it’s clear that the day and hour the Lord was referring to in Matt. 24:36-37 is the 2nd Coming .

A few verses later, the Lord repeated the same thought, again in the context of the 2nd Coming.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matt. 24:42-44)

The Lord does not come to break into Satan’s domain at the rapture. He calls us out of it. And another few verses later.

The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt. 24:50-51)

There’s no way this can refer to the rapture because the things He described will not be done to unbelievers at the rapture. He’s speaking of the judgments that follow the 2nd Coming.

Then, for the fourth time in 28 verses the Lord said that believers on Earth at the time of the 2nd Coming will not know the day or hour of His return.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matt. 25:13)

This one is in the context of the parable of the 10 bridesmaids.

In previous studies I’ve shown that this parable can’t be about the church. The Church is the Bride, not a bridesmaid, there’s only one bride, not 10, and the banquet follows the wedding, it doesn’t precede it. There’s no way a newly married bride could be excluded from her own wedding banquet by a husband who claims he doesn’t know her. The parable is about tribulation survivors, 5 of whom are saved and enter the Kingdom and 5 who are not and don’t.

What’s The Point?​

Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing”. (2 Tim. 4:8)

I’ve searched the Scriptures in vain trying to find either of the above phrases used in connection with the Rapture. But I can’t find a single verse that does so. As I’ve shown they all point to the Second Coming and they are all directed toward Tribulation survivors, not the Church.

What I did find is that the Lord rebuked the religious leaders of His time for not expecting Him. He criticized the Pharisees for not being able to read the signs of the times (Matt. 16:2-4). We’re admonished to be aware as well. For example, the Lord commanded us to understand Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy (Matt. 24:15). Paul warned us not to let events leading up to the Day of the Lord take us by surprise (1 Thes. 5:4), and as we see above He promised that the Lord would award a crown to those who longed for His appearing. And why shouldn’t we long for His appearing? After all, the rapture of the Church is one of the most exciting things our Creator has ever done for His followers. It’s not for nothing that we call it our blessed hope. Therefore, encourage each other with these words. Selah.

https://gracethrufaith.com/end-times-prophecy/no-one-knows-the-day-or-the-hour-2/
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man“ (Matt. 24:36-37).

Let’s back up a few verses to make sure we have the proper context here. After the Great Tribulation ends (Matt. 24:29) there will be various signs in the heavens. The sun and moon will go dark and the stars will fall from the sky. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear and all the nations will mourn. After that they’ll see Him coming in the clouds with power and great glory (Matt. 24:30). From both the context and the passage itself it’s clear that the day and hour the Lord was referring to in Matt. 24:36-37 is the 2nd Coming .

A few verses later, the Lord repeated the same thought, again in the context of the 2nd Coming.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matt. 24:42-44)

The Lord does not come to break into Satan’s domain at the rapture. He calls us out of it. And another few verses later.
This one IMO is most misused.
 

usoutpost31

Well-Known Member
I agree that Matthew 24 is concerned with the second Advent. I disagree, though, that the parables Jesus told were only meant for one specific generation, not even for the disciples whom he spoke to, and who recorded and preached the same words.

Jack interpreted those parables in their most literal sense, and seemed to overlook that Jesus often used harsh language or examples in his other recorded speeches and parables. Because he was speaking to an uncomprehending generation, he had a need to hammer home the point he wanted to make, not gently or subtly.

The disciples were instructed to watch for his return, as were the churches that the New Testament letters were sent, including the seven churches of Revelation. And that was the first century. If they were to watch, surely the rest of us are too.

Mark 13:37 "And what I say to you, I say to everyone, "keep watch!"

Then the parables that Jesus spoke in Matthew 24 are meant for everyone, too.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
I agree that Matthew 24 is concerned with the second Advent. I disagree, though, that the parables Jesus told were only meant for one specific generation, not even for the disciples whom he spoke to, and who recorded and preached the same words.

Jack interpreted those parables in their most literal sense, and seemed to overlook that Jesus often used harsh language or examples in his other recorded speeches and parables. Because he was speaking to an uncomprehending generation, he had a need to hammer home the point he wanted to make, not gently or subtly.

The disciples were instructed to watch for his return, as were the churches that the New Testament letters were sent, including the seven churches of Revelation. And that was the first century. If they were to watch, surely the rest of us are too.

Mark 13:37 "And what I say to you, I say to everyone, "keep watch!"

Then the parables that Jesus spoke in Matthew 24 are meant for everyone, too.
I disagree. You stated the parables of Matthew 24-25 were about His second coming, which is at the end of the tribulation. How then can those parables also be for the church?
 

usoutpost31

Well-Known Member
I disagree. You stated the parables of Matthew 24-25 were about His second coming, which is at the end of the tribulation. How then can those parables also be for the church?
Because the exhortation to be watchful, to be awake, is not given only to the final generation. It was first given to the disciples and the early Church, who were not experiencing the Tribulation.

There is not a clearly defined period of time, or length of time, Matthew 24 is referring to. The signs Jesus gave started out in a general sense, then become more specific the further he goes into the Olivet Discourse. Many consider this to be encompassing both the Last Days and the Tribulation hour. If that is the case, then the Church is still present on earth for at least some portion of Matthew 24.

Referring to the rest of the NT passages of being sober, vigilant, awake, watchful. Paul urged his readers to be those things, as did James, Peter and John. Jesus' parables in Matt 24 and 25 describe what he expects of his servants, to be faithful and productive in his service while he is away. It makes sense that he is emphasizing this message, because his disciples are about to be tasked with a great responsibility, preaching the Gospel among the Jews, in foreign lands and establishing his Church.

Reiterate again that Jesus' use of strong language and what many would consider harsh examples does not mean his message isn't meant for us. It is consistent with how he spoke and taught elsewhere in the Gospels.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
Because the exhortation to be watchful, to be awake, is not given only to the final generation. It was first given to the disciples and the early Church, who were not experiencing the Tribulation.

There is not a clearly defined period of time, or length of time, Matthew 24 is referring to. The signs Jesus gave started out in a general sense, then become more specific the further he goes into the Olivet Discourse. Many consider this to be encompassing both the Last Days and the Tribulation hour. If that is the case, then the Church is still present on earth for at least some portion of Matthew 24.

Referring to the rest of the NT passages of being sober, vigilant, awake, watchful. Paul urged his readers to be those things, as did James, Peter and John. Jesus' parables in Matt 24 and 25 describe what he expects of his servants, to be faithful and productive in his service while he is away. It makes sense that he is emphasizing this message, because his disciples are about to be tasked with a great responsibility, preaching the Gospel among the Jews, in foreign lands and establishing his Church.

Reiterate again that Jesus' use of strong language and what many would consider harsh examples does not mean his message isn't meant for us. It is consistent with how he spoke and taught elsewhere in the Gospels.
I understand your point, but I still disagree. The entire passages of His Olivet Discourse is about the times in the tribulation and with His return at the end.

You could make the case that any verse in the bible is for all, but some verses were written to a specific group, and in this case, people during the tribulation.
 

Len

Well-Known Member
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matt. 24:42-44)
=========
I would of thought that this was rapture orientated because we do not know when the rapture happens but we could know when Jesus was returning during the tribulation - 7 years from the signing of the peace treaty would be a clue. Or is the verse "unless those days be shortened" fits in there and changes that expectation .....
 

Dragontiger777

Well-Known Member
Because the exhortation to be watchful, to be awake, is not given only to the final generation. It was first given to the disciples and the early Church, who were not experiencing the Tribulation.

There is not a clearly defined period of time, or length of time, Matthew 24 is referring to. The signs Jesus gave started out in a general sense, then become more specific the further he goes into the Olivet Discourse. Many consider this to be encompassing both the Last Days and the Tribulation hour. If that is the case, then the Church is still present on earth for at least some portion of Matthew 24.

Referring to the rest of the NT passages of being sober, vigilant, awake, watchful. Paul urged his readers to be those things, as did James, Peter and John. Jesus' parables in Matt 24 and 25 describe what he expects of his servants, to be faithful and productive in his service while he is away. It makes sense that he is emphasizing this message, because his disciples are about to be tasked with a great responsibility, preaching the Gospel among the Jews, in foreign lands and establishing his Church.

Reiterate again that Jesus' use of strong language and what many would consider harsh examples does not mean his message isn't meant for us. It is consistent with how he spoke and taught elsewhere in the Gospels.
Jesus talks toward the Israel people in past and gave parables "get that point" while the Chruch already gone with the Lord. Then focus on the Israel.

Understand what I saying?
 

ItIsFinished!

Blood bought child of the King of kings.
“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matt. 24:42-44)
=========
I would of thought that this was rapture orientated because we do not know when the rapture happens but we could know when Jesus was returning during the tribulation - 7 years from the signing of the peace treaty would be a clue. Or is the verse "unless those days be shortened" fits in there and changes that expectation .....
Those verses in Matthew 24: 42-44 are 100% about The Second Coming.
 

DanLMP

Well-Known Member
In my mind it is a moot point (although I agree with Jack).

Jesus derided the leaders of His day for not knowing the hour of His coming. Specific information was left in Daniel, at least, that they could have and should have used to tell them when to expect Him. The "Wise Men" knew when he came more than likely because Daniel left those directions and the WM heeded them. Get that? People who were not Jews knew better than the Jews when to expect Him. And of course the Jewish leadership was in no mood to upset their power base and the Romans by Declaring their Messiah had arrived.

In our day there are no clear prophecies that can be used with the same precision as Daniel to provide us with the "day and hour". If there were, someone would have gotten it right by now with all of the date calculations.

The best we can currently do is see the season. Unfortunately we are not told how long a season is for our Father. I don't think He was referring to a literal season of 3ish months. So a season could be multiple months to multiple years.

But just based on expectation of the season, we are expecting major food and energy shortages and the rumors of war are pretty intense. That's Horsemen 2, 3 and 4 lined up and ready to go.

How far away can Horseman 1 be?
 

Hidden

Well-Known Member
But just based on expectation of the season, we are expecting major food and energy shortages and the rumors of war are pretty intense. That's Horsemen 2, 3 and 4 lined up and ready to go.

How far away can Horseman 1 be?

We may be seeing the precursors of the 4 seals. These are the signs of the signs, if that makes sense. The things we see such as inflation, wars, and pestilences could be setting up the ultimate fulfillment of the real thing, which is the 4 seals.

As for Seal #1, I am kinda intrigue with the new messianic figure in Israel that's been the making the news lately. He seems to have a legit following among rabbis and orthodox jews, and I've seen videos where people watched him with fascination. He could be a precursor to the MANY more false christs and false prophets who will appear when the first seal is broken. The Lord did say in the Olivet Discourse that many false Christs and false prophets will appear during the tribulation.

Matthew 24:26 says, "So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it." The "wilderness" and "inner rooms" are particularly Jewish references, so leading up to the Great Tribulation which begins in the middle of the 7-year tribulation, many of these false shepherds will appear and try to mislead many Jews.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
What I did find is that the Lord rebuked the religious leaders of His time for not expecting Him. He criticized the Pharisees for not being able to read the signs of the times (Matt. 16:2-4). We’re admonished to be aware as well. For example, the Lord commanded us to understand Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy (Matt. 24:15). Paul warned us not to let events leading up to the Day of the Lord take us by surprise (1 Thes. 5:4), and as we see above He promised that the Lord would award a crown to those who longed for His appearing. And why shouldn’t we long for His appearing? After all, the rapture of the Church is one of the most exciting things our Creator has ever done for His followers. It’s not for nothing that we call it our blessed hope. Therefore, encourage each other with these words. Selah.
Does anyone else besides me wonder why there is so little in the entirety of the bible in regards to the rapture? One could argue the rapture will be the biggest event ever, yet it remains a mystery to so many.

The authors of the bible while inspired by the Holy Spirit could have simply stated in direct language “I will rapture all my Saints before the tribulation begins”. Thus, leaving no doubt about His intentions.

Why does anyone believe this did not happen? And yes, to those of us who study end times, the scriptures are there when all of them are taken in context, yet there is still much confusion even amongst those very strong in faith.
 

Love His Appearing

Well-Known Member
Does anyone else besides me wonder why there is so little in the entirety of the bible in regards to the rapture? One could argue the rapture will be the biggest event ever, yet it remains a mystery to so many.

The authors of the bible while inspired by the Holy Spirit could have simply stated in direct language “I will rapture all my Saints before the tribulation begins”. Thus, leaving no doubt about His intentions.

Why does anyone believe this did not happen? And yes, to those of us who study end times, the scriptures are there when all of them are taken in context, yet there is still much confusion even amongst those very strong in faith.
Yes, I've wondered about that often. On several important biblical truths. The only thing I can come up with is...

"It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter." Proverbs 25:2
 

Hidden

Well-Known Member
Does anyone else besides me wonder why there is so little in the entirety of the bible in regards to the rapture? One could argue the rapture will be the biggest event ever, yet it remains a mystery to so many.

The authors of the bible while inspired by the Holy Spirit could have simply stated in direct language “I will rapture all my Saints before the tribulation begins”. Thus, leaving no doubt about His intentions.

Why does anyone believe this did not happen? And yes, to those of us who study end times, the scriptures are there when all of them are taken in context, yet there is still much confusion even amongst those very strong in faith.

Because the Church was a mystery kept hidden for ages. Except for a few vague references in the Old Testament, the Church was not really discussed at length. The revelation that God was gonna form Israel out of Abraham was rather straightforward. God even gave Israel specific prophetic timelines such as the 400 years of sojourning in Egypt, the 70 years of captivity in Babylon that was revealed to Jeremiah, the 70 Weeks of gentile dominion that He showed Daniel.

The Church is like the wind - you don't know where it comes from and where it goes. The Church Age is a glitch in the matrix, a rupture in spacetime. It's like a bonus period unlocked because of what the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. I've always likened it to a Super Mario game where Mario explores these extra tunnels which are not really part of the natural course of the game, but it's in these tunnels where he collects bonus points.

However, that's not to say that the Church Age is any less impactful than other ages. On the contrary, the Church Age was the time when God poured out His grace and redeemed hundreds of millions of souls that are born again not of natural descent but born from above. In the same the way, the rapture, although only partly revealed in the Scriptures, will be one of the most earth-shaking events in world history.
 
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