Scientifically dating biblical events shows that human events appear
to be controlled by a Supreme Being. But Christ said, "of
that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor
the Son, but the Father alone" (Matt.
24:36). How can your research answer what appears to be a
contradiction with Christ's words?
Before I go further, I must emphatically state that I also
believe that no one knows the day and hour of Christ's return.
However, Scripture also reveals many known dates about Christ's
return. Consider the gospel of Matthew that reveals two KNOWN dates
as compared to only one UNKNOWN date of Christ's coming.
The disciples asked Jesus:
"When will these things be, and what will be
sign - Not Plural Signs] of
Your coming, and of the end of the age?" (Matt.
Matthew penned two questions concerning Christ's return. The
first question reveals the disciples wanted to know the time of
Christ's coming, "When will these things
be?" The second question asks for one sign that will
indicate Christ's coming is very close, "What
will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"
Christ answered both questions as written by Matthew. What is the
sign that will only occur one time?
The sign that answers Matthew's question with respect to the
timing of Christ's return is recorded in Matthew
abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel.
"When you see the abomination
of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet,
standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let
those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the
housetop not go down to get the things out that are in his house; and
let him who is in the field not turn back to get his cloak. But woe
to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those
days! But pray that your flight may not be in the winter, or on a
Sabbath; for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not
occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall"
These verses clearly note Daniel's recording of the abomination
of desolation which declares Christ's return is at hand and answers
the question penned in Matthew 24:3. By reading about the
Abomination of Desolation in Daniel, we will find that Daniel points
us to two known dates. Daniel tells his readers to count 1,290 days
and 1,335 days from the day of the abomination of desolation.
"From the time that the regular sacrifice is
abolished, and the abomination of desolation [Christ's sign of his
return in Matthew 24:15] is set up, there will be 1,290 days. How
blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days!"
It is certain that Christ knew he was telling the disciples of
these two known dates along with an unknown day and hour. So
Matthew's gospel tells us there are two KNOWN days and one UNKNOWN
day concerning the return of Christ. Is this a contradiction, or do
all three dates somehow fit together?
My research shows that these prophetic dates are related. By
using logic, we will find a foggy relationship between the unknown
day and the two known dates.
To begin, we must determine the requirements for the two known
dates. Both Matthew and Daniel reveal that a temple is required in
Jerusalem. The abomination of desolation foretold by Daniel shows
that the false messiah will go to the temple to proclaim himself as
God, worthy of worship. The apostle Paul clarifies this idea by
writing, "the man of lawlessness is
revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself
above every so called god or object of worship, so that he takes his
seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God."
(2 Thess. 2:3-4).
Since a temple is not standing in Jerusalem today, the
abomination of desolation cannot be fulfilled. However, some
Israelis desire to rebuild the temple in the near future. Also, a
red heifer named Geula was born in the year 2002,
which supports how close we may be to rebuilding the temple. So the
requirements for the abomination of desolation may soon be in place
in Jerusalem - the temple.
Now let's turn our attention to the unknown day and hour. Does
the Bible reveal any information that would tell us the unknown day
is drawing near? By considering the gospel of Luke, we can show a
relationship between the unknown day and hour versus the two known
dates in Matthew's gospel.
We will find in Luke's gospel that the disciples were bragging
about the temple and its beauty. But Christ shocked the disciples by
foretelling of Jerusalem's coming destruction that occurred in AD
70. So Luke's gospel, in comparison to Matthew, penned a unique
question that only asked Christ when the temple would be destroyed.
"When therefore will these things be?
And what will be the sign [Singular sign-
Not Plural Signs] when
these things are about to take place?" (Luke
Luke penned two questions concerning the coming destruction of
the temple. The first question reveals the disciples wanted to know
the time of the temple's destruction, "When
will these things be?" The second question asks for
one sign that will indicate the temple's destruction is very close,
"What will be the sign when these things
are about to take place?"
Christ answered both questions as written by Luke. What is the
sign that will only occur one time?
Christ answered Luke's question in a way that tied the temple's
destruction in AD 70 to a final generation. The final generation,
according to Luke's gospel, would witness the return of the Jewish
people to Israel with Israeli conquest of Jerusalem. This sign was
fulfilled in 1967 in the Six-Day War with Israel's conquest of
Jerusalem. Consider Christ's words as he foretold of Jerusalem's
conquest by Rome in AD 70, and finally of Jewish re-conquest of
Jerusalem prior to his return.
"When you see Jerusalem surrounded by
armies, then recognize that her desolation is at hand [fulfilled
in AD 70] ... and they [the
Jewish People] will fall by the edge of
the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations; and
Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the time
of the Gentiles be fulfilled [Jerusalem
was controlled by Gentile powers from the 1st century into the 20th
century when the Jewish people gained control of Jerusalem in the
Six-Day War on June 7, 1967]." (Luke
So by Christ's words, all these verses have been fulfilled. As
you read deeper into Luke's gospel, Luke reveals that the generation
that witnesses Israeli conquest of Jerusalem will be the final
generation before Christ's return.
"When you see these things happening
[Israeli conquest of Jerusalem], recognize
that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I say to you, this generation
will not pass away until all things take place." (Luke
So Israeli conquest of Jerusalem on June 7, 1967, is the sign of
the final generation according to Luke's gospel.
Between the gospels of Luke and Matthew, we can begin to piece
together enough information to show a relationship between the
unknown day and hour of Christ's return with the two known dates
referenced in Daniel from Christ's words recorded by Matthew.
Discerning the relationship between the unknown and the known is
accessible only because of our vantage point in history with the
fulfilled prophecies occurring on June 7, 1967 about Jerusalem in
So what is the relationship between the unknown day and hour and
the two known dates of Daniel?
Logically, the unknown day and hour must happen before the known
dates. Since the known dates are counted from the day of the
abomination of desolation, it would also be logical that the
unknown day and hour would happen before Daniel's abomination of
Daniel also foretold of the abomination of desolation in his
time-oriented prophecy of the seventy weeks. According to Daniel,
the abomination of desolation will happen in the middle of a seven
year time span. Daniel wrote:
"He [antichrist] will make a firm covenant with the many for one
week [seven years], but
in the middle of the week [3½ years] he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain
offering; and on the wing of abomination will come one who makes
desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is
poured out on the one who makes desolate." (Dan.
By this verse, the abomination takes place 3.5 years after a
seven year agreement has been confirmed, which points to the two
known dates. Is there a relationship between the unknown day and
hour and Daniel's final seven years? If Christ truly meant that no
one would know the day and hour of his coming, then Daniel's
time-oriented prophecy of a final seven year agreement also points
to known events, namely the abomination of desolation and the two
subsequent known dates. If this is the case, then the unknown day
and hour must occur before Daniel's final seven year period.
In conclusion, logic tells us that the unknown day and hour found
in Matthew 24:36 will occur before a temple is built, and that the unknown day and hour points to a pre-tribulation rapture. Are there
any Scriptures that would confirm this viewpoint?
Luke, writing in the book of Acts, reveals that the temple will
be constructed after the rapture. In chapter 15, the early church
leaders met in Jerusalem to discuss the biblical requirements for
Gentile salvation. Acts 15:14-17 reveals that the Jewish temple will be constructed after the rapture.
Luke tells about James, the leader of the church, giving the
official conclusion of the meeting at Jerusalem. First, James made
special note about God taking from the Gentiles a people for
Himself. After emphasizing this point, James spoke of the signs that
would occur AFTER the completion of Gentile salvation. James said:
"After this [God
taking from the Gentiles a people for His name],
I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will
rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the
Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does
these things that have been known for ages." (Acts
Therefore, AFTER God takes from the Gentiles a people for Himself, two
events will take place as confirmation. James noted that David's
fallen tent would be erected followed by the construction of the
temple. The use of a tent dramatizes how fast events will be moving.
Sacrificial services would begin in either the tent or the temple to
prepare for the coming abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel
and Jesus with subsequent known dates.
Based on sequential logic, a temple in Jerusalem would imply the return
of Christ as being very close. Since the separation of believers from
non-believers occurs on the unknown date, the logical sequence of
events would place the rapture occurring before the temple's
James' second sign portrays that people left behind begin to
earnestly seek after the Lord. The word "remnant" in Greek (Strong's word #2645)
means the rest of mankind or what is left behind. Therefore, after
the completion of Gentile salvation, people will be missing,
implying the rapture occurred before erecting David's tent.
In essence, logic and actual historic fulfillments of Luke's
prophetic gospel point us to a pre-tribulation rapture on an unknown
day and hour. The book of Acts supports these ideas.
To what event does the unknown day and hour point? Matthew's
words tell us that the unknown day and hour will bring about the
separation of believers from non-believers as shown by the following
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not
even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. For
the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. For
as in those day which were before the flood they were eating and
drinking, they were marrying and giving in marriage, until the day
that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the
flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of the Son of
Man be. Then there shall be two men in the field, one will be taken,
and one will be left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one
will be taken, and one will be left. Therefore be on the alert, for
you do not know which day your Lord is coming." (Matt.
At this point, we see a relationship between the unknown day and
hour and the two known days referenced in Daniel. The unknown day
and hour will occur before a temple is constructed. This can only
means that Jewish people are controlling the city of Jerusalem.
Israeli conquest of Jerusalem on June 7, 1967, set in place the
necessary requirements for the unknown day and hour to occur. With
Jewish groups in Israel ready to build the temple and the birth of
the red heifer, can you afford not to be ready?
Biblical prophecy is a strange concept to most people in the 21st
century. However, to those who are watching, waiting, and
anticipating Christ's return, the Bible hints at the idea that
committed believers may even know when the unknown day and hour
could occur. To the believers at the church of Sardis, Christ said:
"If therefore you will not wake up, I will
come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come
upon you." (Rev 3:3).
Was Christ referring to his coming again, or was he alluding to
his chastening of these believers. If Christ was referring to his
taking away of the church, then logic implies that those who wake up
will know when Christ is coming for his bride.
There are many other verses that infer that those who are watching and waiting
will actually know the day of Christ's coming. Consider another verse found in
Paul's writing to the Thessalonians.
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 Thess. 5:1-4)
Even Jesus' words infer that people who are looking for the signs of Christ's return will not be surprised when that day comes. Consider Jesus' words that warn people who let their lives drift into sin (as opposed to being ready).
"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap" (Luke 21:34)
When ALL the scriptures are considered that have to do with knowing WHEN Christ will come again, there appear to be two types of people. Those who don't believe and live their lives in gross sin will not be ready and will be taken by complete surprise. In contrast, deeply committed believers will be watching, keeping their lifestyles in check, and will not be surprised on the day that Christ comes again. Due to these two people types, I have written another page that discusses the original meaning of the words, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (Matt 24:36).