[Page Name: PR7 ]
pr448» The disciples came to Christ in private and asked, "tell us, when shall these things be [the destruction of Jerusalem]? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world [age]?" (Matt 24:3) The disciples asked Christ when the age would end, and when his return would be. Christ then gave them some signs of his coming (Matt 24:4-44).
pr449» But notice with these signs, Christ said, "but of that day and hour [of his return] knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt 24:36). And again he said, "therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes" (Matt 24:44).
pr450» From the two just quoted verses and other verses people conclude that no one will know the date of Christ's return. But this overlooks many other verses that tell us we will know the date of His return. Those who say we do not know, or will never know the date of His return are overlooking scripture that proves we (meaning the Church) will know the date. But the Church will only come to know the date for sure some 3 ½ years before the date.
pr451» We'll show several reasons why Matthew 24:36 and 24:44 are taken out of context with other scriptures that say we will know the date of the end of the age.
pr452» First we must know a very important principle on ascertaining the doctrines of the Bible: "Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isa 28:9-10).
pr453» To understand doctrine one must study all the details of the doctrine found throughout the Bible. You must take a line here, and a line there from the whole Bible and put it together in order to understand it. But shall one just take any line here, and any line there, to ascertain or figure out doctrine? No, they should take the lines pertaining to each doctrine. But further they should examine all the scriptures on any one subject before putting the verses together. And the only way to do this is to study the whole Bible. If we want to know what the Bible says about the nature of God, we must study every scripture pertaining to God. If we want to know what the Bible says about the return of Jesus Christ, we must study every scripture pertaining to His return.
pr454» In order to understand the mistaken notion that we will not know the date, we want you to note the following fact:
pr455» Christ has been given all the power of his Father. If Christ has all the Spiritual power of his Father, then he must also know the date.
pr456» Notice in Acts 1:7-8, Christ was speaking to the apostles after his resurrection to the Father, "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power." But Christ was given all his Father's power (Matt 28:18), therefore Christ has the power to know the times and the seasons -- to know when the end of the age is. To continue in Acts 1:7-8: "But you shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you." On the Pentecost the power was given to the disciples to know (Acts 2), for at that time they received the Holy Spirit. Therefore the apostles could know the date after they received the power of the Spirit.
pr457» Notice, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when this, the Spirit of truth, is come, it will guide you into all truth ... it will show you things to come. This [the Spirit of truth] shall glorify me: for it shall receive of mine, and show it unto you. All things that the Father has are mine: Therefore said I, that it [the Spirit of truth] shall take of mine, and show it unto you" ( John 16:12-15).
pr458» These verses clearly say that the Spirit will show the apostles all that is Christ's. The Father had the power to know the times (Acts 1:7), but Christ was given all the power of the Father (Matt 28:18), for "all things that the Father has are mine" said Christ (John 16:15). Through the Spirit and scripture Christ will show us about the things to come (John 16:13).
pr460» The secrets will be revealed through the Spirit (John 16:12-15). And, "but we [of the Church] speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory ... But God has revealed them [the hidden wisdom] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God ... Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual" ( 1 Cor 2:7, 10, 13).
pr461» One of the things that the Spirit will teach is the time of the end of the age. In Acts 1:7 it speaks of the power to know "the times and the seasons" and this power the Father has. But then in the very next verse (Acts 1:8) it says, "you shall receive power." They were to receive the power of the Father -- His Spirit. It is through this power of the Spirit that ALL THINGS would be revealed because what the Father had was given to the Son (Matt 28:18; John 16:15; etc.). And the Son was to show these things to his servants (John 16:15, 13; Matt 11:27; Luke 10:22; 8:17).
pr462» The New Testament Church did know the typical end of the age: "but of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you" ( 1 Thes 5:1). Why? "And that, knowing the time" ( Rom 13:11). They knew the times. This doesn't mean they knew the date of Christ's return, although they could have known it even then. More than likely they knew that this was the evil age and that the new age was fast approaching. But further they knew that there was an antitypical rest or Sabbath (Heb 4:1-10). And they knew God's days are counted as l,000 years (2 Pet 3:8). Also they knew the typical sabbath rest was on the seventh day of the week. Thus they could have easily have figured that the antitypical rest or sabbath was the seventh l,000 year "day." And through the chronology of the Bible they could see that Christ appeared near the 4,000th year of man. Thus, they could have figured up that the date of Christ's return was still about 2,000 years off (see Chronology Papers).
pr464» Daniel's prophecy is locked up until the time of the end of the age of evil. Thus at the time of the end of the age is when the appointed time of the end of the age will be revealed. All secrets are to be made known before they happen per the verses we have already quoted. And at the time of the end is when Daniel's book will be opened completely, for at the time of the end is when all things shall be restored (Mal 4:5; Amos 3:7; Matt 17:11; see "Two Witnesses" paper [PR8]).
pr465» We will return to Daniel in a moment after we go over a couple of parables. These parables are put forth by some when they attempt to prove that we will not know the date of Christ's physical return. We will show that these parables are taken out of context.
pr466» First before we go over these parables note the following facts:
pr467» Now let's look at what is written in Matthew 24:37-51. It is very important that we comprehend what we are about to study. These verses, if taken alone, are out of context with what Christ said. Christ spoke these parables on many occasions, like any minister today repeats and repeats things, so Christ in his ministry repeated his parables.
pr468» Further in any one book on the sayings of Christ, each author gives the story from a different view point, and at times leaves out important sayings of Christ. But each thing each author (Matt, Mark, Luke, and John) says is true, yet to find out all the things Christ spoke of concerning a parable, one must compare all the books that mention the parable to get the full information. We need the full information because we don't want to take Christ's words out of context.
pr469» This is the Basic question of which we will now answer. First lets look at Matthew 24:37-51:
pr470» Matthew 24:37-51 basically shows us that as in the days of Noah, so will be the days before the return of Christ -- people will be engrossed in the every day things of life and will not be looking and noticing the times (notice Mark 13:33-34; Luke 21:34-35). Then in verse 42 Christ said, "watch therefore because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." Let's translate this verse directly from the Greek text, using the Greek Lexicon published by Zondervan, and Thayer's Lexicon:
Therefore a correct translation of Matthew 24:42 from the Greek is:
pr471» Christ was warning that in the time of Noah before the flood people behaved as always until the flood took them away, and so will it be at the end of the age: "and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man" (24:39). He said at His return it would be the same with people not recognizing the times. He warns them not to be like those in Noah's day: "you be watchful therefore: that you do not know what day your Lord will come."
pr472» It was because Noah knew what time the flood would come that he prepared the ark. Christ was merely telling them to be careful so that they won't be like those of the flood who did not prepare themselves for the flood like Noah did. He wasn't saying that all would not know the time of his coming, but he said that they should not be in the position of not knowing the time of his coming because then they would be like those dying from the flood.
pr473» After this Christ went on and told about how happy will be the servant who is doing His work when He comes, and the future weeping of the unfaithful one or ones who are not doing God's work, but eating and drinking. The parallel here is that Noah was the faithful servant who knew the time of the flood and prepared the ark, but those who did not know, but kept on as always, were destroyed by the flood.
pr474» Christ wasn't saying His true servants would not know the date, but that the unfaithful ones, or one, would "say in his heart, My lord delays his coming" (Matt 24:48). Inside his mind, the unfaithful servant will not believe the date or time of Christ's coming like those who did not believe Noah's warnings of the flood. "The master of that servant [wicked or unfaithful one] will come on a day when he [the wicked one] does not expect him [Lord] and at an hour he is not aware of" (Mat 24:50).
pr475» Matthew 24:44 should be correctly translated as, "and because of this [V. 43] you be ready: that in such an hour as you suppose not, the Son of man will come." In other words, be careful that you don't suppose wrongly about the time of His coming. Why? You will be like those who were destroyed by the flood, if you do not know the time.
pr476» Now we will show you an important verse that qualifies these sayings of Christ. If you look in Robertson's, Harmony of the Gospels, you see that Christ said some more things after he spoke what was recorded in Matthew 24:42. After Christ warned them about being watchful for his return, Christ adds, "lest coming suddenly he [Christ] find you sleeping" (Mark 13:36).
pr478» If we are of the day, if we are of the children of light, if we are faithful servants; then we will not sleep and be drunk with the world's way. We will know the times so that we will not be destroyed like those of the flood.
pr479» After Christ said be watchful "lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping," he said, "and what I say unto you I say unto ALL, watch" (Mark 13:37). Christ was not only speaking to his apostles at that time, but he was speaking to all, to all mankind. All mankind must be watchful lest they be asleep when Christ physically returns and the flood of it all takes them away to destruction.
pr480» Notice the confirmation on our last statement. Christ in Luke 12:37-40 is again speaking about watching. He was speaking to the disciples. "Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest you this parable unto us, or even to all?" As Mark 13:37 said, "what I say unto you I say unto all, watch."
Thus a close study of what we have put forward proves the true Christians will know the time of the end of the age, but others will not perceive the time.
pr481» In Luke's account of what Christ told his disciples about the time of the end of the age, Christ said Jerusalem would be "trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). And Paul said that physical Israel would be blinded to the truth, "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom 11:25). This physical blindness of physical Israel also applies to all the other peoples, because they do not have the New Mind.
pr482» What are the times of the Gentiles? In context of Luke's writings, Christ will come right after the fullness of the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24-27). In the truest sense of Paul's writing, Israel's blindness will not cease until Christ physically returns. Therefore the times of the Gentiles must be fulfilled before Christ returns, then Christ shall immediately return.
pr483» What are the times of the Gentiles, and when will they be fulfilled? When we answer this question we will know when Christ shall return.
pr484» In Colossians 2:16-17 we read, "Let no man therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a foreshadow of things to come." The holydays Paul was speaking of are enumerated in the Old Testament. These holydays are foreshadows of things to come. Notice the pattern of some holydays or ceremonies:
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