The Star of Bethlehem - The Rest of the Story


No One Knows the Day or the Hour - Or Do They?

We don't know exactly how and when Jesus will come back the second time, but the Bible commands us to watch for signs, and it gives us many clues.

The purpose of this page is NOT to prove that I or anyone will know the day when the LORD will come. 

The purpose is to encourage us to watch, because the LORD MAY show us when He is coming.  There is nothing preventing Him from doing so.  The time of His coming may become very apparent as the day draws near.

God is God. He can do whatever He wants, whenever He wants. He is our Creator! That being said, God is a God of incredible order and purpose, and He is faithful to what He has inspired in the truth of the Bible. He will fulfill all that He has said in the Bible. 

People get nervous when you start to mention dates associated with Jesus' second coming. And understandably so given that many who have "cried wolf" in the past and have been wrong. Just remember that in the end of the story, the wolf eventually came.  Consider the context of these Bible verses and who Jesus is speaking about and to: 
 Matt. 24:43-44  unwatchful houseowner lets his house get broken into
 Matt. 24:45-51  unexpecting wicked servant gets surprised (Luke 12 & 13 digging deeper)
 Matt. 25:1-13, esp. 10-13  unprepared foolish virgins are shut out
 Rev. 3:1-3  Sardis - the dead church is asleep
 Rev. 3:14-18, 16:15  Laodicea - the lukewarm church is blind and naked
 2 Peter 3:1-7  the scoffers (relates day of judgment and fire coming like a thief)
 Rev. 6:9-11, 8:1-5, 8:6-7  avenging judgment begins with fire
 1 Thes. 4:13-18  we are to encourage one another about the rapture
 1 Thes. 5:1-11  alert believers are not to be surprised by the "thief"
 Matt. 24:36-42  the ones the flood took away knew nothing about what would happen 
 Jewish Idioms  (The Feast of Trumpets was known as "the day where no one knows the
 day or the hour" since it was a 2-day feast beginning at the sighting and
 reporting of the new moon. This phrase was also used by the Jewish son
 when he was getting married since his dad was making the preparations.
 The wedding pictures the rapture.
Amos 3:6-7 When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it? Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.

Matt. 24:36-42 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah 38 so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, 39 up to the day Noah entered the ark; 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. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. 42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.

Gen. 7:4-5 Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made. 5 And Noah did all that the LORD commanded him.

Noah knew a week before the floods came. Others knew nothing. The floods caught them by surprise, even though some watched the ark being built over 120 years and they saw the animals entering the ark 2-by-2. The "signs" were there, but they didn't understand or accept them.

When Jesus uses the Jewish idiom Feast of Trumpets "No One Knows" phrase in the same paragraph as "one will be taken and the other left", doesn't it sound like Jesus is talking about the rapture at the Feast of Trumpets some year? The corresponding passage in Luke 17:34 says "two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left."  Does that sound more like a non-discriminate flood or a selective rapture?  (especially in light of the commentary further down about half way and other Bible verses) 
Matt. 24:36 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor  the Son, but only the Father."

Question: Now that Jesus has risen from the dead and is seated at the right-hand of God the Father and is no longer limited by His self-imposed humanity, does Jesus know now when He will come the 2nd time? I think He does. (John 17:11)

Did Jesus know then? No, or His statement in Matt. 24:36 would be a lie.

Jesus was both fully human and fully God, yet He accepted His self-imposed humanity
 and had to grow up like the rest of us with certain human limitations. 
Luke 2:40 & 52 And the child grew and became strong; He was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him. 52 And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. 

John 8:25-30 "Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied. 26 "I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world." They did not understand that He was telling them about His Father. 28 So Jesus said, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man (John 3:15-16), then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be (John 10:33)] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught  Me. 29 The One who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do what pleases Him." 30 Even as He spoke, many put their faith in Him. 
We know Jesus to be fully human and yet fully God as shown below: 
John 1:1-2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. John 1:14 The Word (Jesus) became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. 

8:23-25 But he continued, "
You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that   you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], you will indeed die in your sins." 25 "Who are you?" they asked. "Just what I have been claiming all along," Jesus replied.

John 8:53-59 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?" 54 Jesus replied, "If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad." 57 "You are not yet fifty years old," the Jews said to him, "and you have seen Abraham!" 58 "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

John 10:31-33 31 Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great
miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?" 33 "We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."

Col. 1:15-17 15
 He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Gen. 2:1-3 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. 2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. 

If Jesus completed creating the heavens and the earth in the beginning in six days - and synchronizing
 everything with human events right down to the hour of His death on the cross. Might He also have set everything in place, including dates, at creation for His second coming? I'm convinced - He knew at creation, He knows now, and He didn't know in His self-imposed limitations of humanity while physically on this earth. 
If Jesus knows the time of His 2nd coming now, could He have told the angels? What about telling His people that make up His Bride, the Church in due time? (Col. 3:3) 

Some things might be a matter of timing:
Dan. 12:4 "But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge."

Dan. 12:8-10 I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?" 9 He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end . 10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand."
Knowledge has certainly increased with the advent of the computer and software. We now have access to the positions of stars and planets over the years, we know that Israel became a nation in 1948 and Jerusalem was restored in 1967, and we know when the Jewish Feast Days occur as well as events like lunar tetrads and lunar triples. None of these were available when Jesus said "No one knows, but only the Father". In His humanity, He was completely truthful to His audience at that time - and no one knew the day or the hour of His return. 
In Rev. 6:9-11, When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" 11 Then each of them was given a white robe (Rev. 7:9), and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.  

Here in Rev. 6, I believe Jesus is revealing when He will come - at the rapture of His people (Rev. 7:9 and Rev. 13:7) for it is then that there will be no Christians left on the earth to martyr.

I wonder if God the Father had revealed to Jesus, in His humanity, when His 2nd coming would
 be, and if Jesus had told His audience if they would have procrastinated in their devotion to Him through the ages. And if John, who wrote Revelation, was given a specific date to write down, rather than an event, if his audience would procrastinate as well.

But now, if Jesus is coming back in the very near future and if we know the approximate date, perhaps it gives us a sense of urgency to reevaluate our beliefs and our priorities. 

If we know the time Jesus is coming, would we want to live for ourselves until shortly before then?
"By no means!"

In Matt. 24 and 25 Jesus illustrates that the house owner, the wicked servant, and the foolish
 virgins weren't watching, and they were caught unwatchful, unexpecting, and unprepared.

"But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 "Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' 12 "But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' 13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." 

Wouldn't you think that the Groom would give His Bride some clues as to when the wedding might be so that she might enjoy "making herself ready" and looking forward to it - especially as the day drew near? Rev. 19:1-10
Heb. 10:25-27 "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching. 26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.
How do people know the Day is approaching unless they know and are watching for the signs?
2015 feast of trumpets 

  The following is not my own. This is an excerpt from: 
The Most Infamous Prophecy Lie 

(Or, Why Most Christians Don't Benefit From Prophecy...
And the Answer is NOT What You Would Think ...)

Many Christians have come to believe that "no man knows the day or the hour" about any prophetic event in the future. In other words, they believe we are not supposed to understand it until after it happens. They therefore believe studying prophecy is a waste of time and tend to stay away from it.

In other words, Christians generally understand that when Jesus said "no man knows the day or the hour" it was meant to discourage us from trying to know anything about the future, even if our reason is to be better informed for planning our lives. Believe it or not, this is the very belief that leaves a lot of Christians with a poor understanding of God's plan, too.

Let me ask you a few questions about interpreting Jesus statement in a way that limits us from understanding future timings:

  • Do you know what specific event Jesus was talking about when he said that?
  • Have you ever noticed that he phrased that in a very odd way, "day or hour" instead of "time," or simply "day"?
  • What about Daniel and Revelation where day counts of 1260, 1290 and 1335 days are given from one event to the next. Isn't it clear when you see the starting point event that you can count and know the day of the ending point event, as well?
  • Why does Daniel 12 says that "the wise would understand" Daniel's prophecies (including those very day counts in the same chapter) in the time of the end—our time?
  • When Revelation 1:1 says it is written to show God's servants what will come to pass, does that mean everything except the timings given all over the place in 42 months, 1260 days, time, times, and half a time, etc.?

The solution to all of this I found was that "no man knows the day or hour" is a Hebrew idiom that was very specifically referring to a single day: the Day of Trumpets. This is one of those "difficult words of Jesus" that you have heard of but did not realize applied here.

See, Jesus used that idiom in the Olivet Discourse in the context of talking about the day of his angels coming to rapture God's servants. It even says a few verses earlier that this gathering will happen with the sound of a great trumpet! (Matthew 24:36, 31)

The reason the Jews referred to it as the feast of the "unknown day and hour" was because it was the only one of their holy days that came on the first day of the Biblical lunar month.

Why is this significant?

Because in Jesus' day the Biblical calendar months were based strictly on the lunar cycle. This meant a month could be either 29 or 30 days since the lunar cycle is 29.5 days long. So the month began on the evening that the first sliver of the new crescent moon became visible. Their system was to wait for two witnesses to confirm that they had seen the new moon before a new month could be declared on the 29th instead of the 30th (today they follow a pre-calculated Jewish calendar devised by Hillel II, instead).

But even with today's technology we cannot predict with 100% accuracy at what day or hour the first day of the new Biblical month of the original observation-based calendar will begin. Weather and atmospheric conditions just are too variable to predict if two sets of human eyes will be able to spot that dim sliver of the new moon.

Therefore the one holy day that falls on the first day of the month is still the "feast that no man knows the day and hour of."

So you can see now that Jesus was not discouraging us from studying prophecy to know the dates of events in advance at all. He was actually confirming that the day of the rapture would be the Feast of Trumpets at the end of the Great Tribulation!

I know the above conflicts with the pretrib rapture theory popularized in Late Great Planet Earth and Left Behind, but remember, that doctrine relies upon unreliable allegorical interpretation which Jesus rejected. Instead Jesus plainly stated that the rapture would be "after the tribulation of those days" (Matthew 24:29)

Who are you going to believe, Jesus' plain words or prophecy teachers breaking the interpretation rules Jesus taught and adhered to?

2 Big Keys to Understanding Prophesy

Key #1: reading the Bible literally or plain sense interpretation

Key #2: understanding the Biblical calendar and God's feast or holy days on them

You already have an idea now what the second key is about. It is understanding the Biblical calendar and God's feast or holy days on them.

If you are a typical Christian you probably do not understand how this calendar works or what the holy days are. The reason is that Christians in general are taught to focus on the New Testament and more or less ignore the Old Testament, believing it is obsolete and therefore less important. Christians are consequently left unmotivated to become familiar with the Old Testament, much less try to understand what the difficult things it says or what God was doing in the many stories it contains. (But these things we will see are prophetically important).

Thus, they certainly have no understanding of God's calendar and holy days. The little they know about them comes from contact they may have had with Jewish people or Judaism. But this is not much help. For example, the world in general supposes that days like Passover are "Jewish holidays" or even "Jesus Festivals" when in reality the Bible calls them the Feasts of the LORDGod's feasts.

Does this sound like a useless piece of trivia? It's not. It's actually a clue towards the central place of importance these days hold in God's plan for mankind.

You see, there are eight of these festivals of the Lord (seven of which are annual sabbaths or rest days) and all of them are prophetic days which must be fulfilled for all mankind, not just the Jews.

Have you ever heard that Jesus fulfilled the Passover by being sacrificed on the very day of Passover? It's true.

What you may not have heard is that Jesus fulfilled another "Jewish Feast" day in his ministry as well.

That other day on the prophetic calendar is the Feast of the Firstfruits. This is the day when the wave sheaf of barley was presented towards heaven by the high priest in Ancient Israel. It is always on a Sunday, seven weeks before Pentecost Sunday (Lev 23:11). As you know, right after Jesus was resurrected Mary Magdalene met him first and he warned her, "don't touch me" because he was about to ascend to "our God and Father" (John 20:17). This ascension he refered to in advance is often missed because it is overshadowed by "The Ascension" recorded in Acts 1:1-11. But there is no mistaking that he ascended that day (John 20:17) returning by that evening (John 20:19 and
John 20:19-27).

Why? He had to to fulfill prophecy. Jesus had to ascend on the very Sunday that the high priest of Israel was waving the firstfruits sheaf to God (Lev 23:11-13), in direct fulfillment of this prophetic feast day just as he had fulfilled Passover. Therefore, he was not only the Passover lamb but he was also the "wave sheaf." (And by the way, if you have ever wondered why God brought just the Jews and Levites back from Babylon only to scatter them again just 40 years after Jesus came, only to bring them back again in 1948, this is a chief part of the that all these prophecies could be fulfilled. Mystery of Disunity, mentioned below, makes plain this great mystery of the exiles and returns of the Torah-breaking Jewish people in Palestine over the centuries.)

So, if anyone back then understood that these days were prophetic and that Jesus was going to fulfill them as made possible by the presence of the Second Temple and the priesthood attending it, then they would be able to predict which day that Jesus would die and which day he would ascend to heaven.

In the same way, the rest of the prophetic feast days of Leviticus 23 must be fulfilled on the very day of their celebration and the Book of Revelation makes references to these days all over the place!

Jesus himself established this principle in Matthew 5:17-18 that not a jot or tittle of the Law or Torah would pass away until "all were fulfilled" and heaven and earth finally pass away, too. Paul also said that the feasts are "shadows of good things to come" (Col 2:16-17). But few have understood or applied this key until now."

Consider how Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts all within about 50 days:

Passover - Jesus died a sacrificial death on the cross at the exact time the Jews
  were sacrificing their lambs for Passover
Feast of Unleavened Bread - Jesus was buried in a tomb cleansing us from sin
Feast of First Fruits - Jesus was the first to rise from the dead and go to our Father
Feast of Pentecost - Jesus returned to be with His disciples through the Holy Spirit

Could Jesus fulfill the Fall Feasts all within about 15 days?
Feast of Trumpets - Jesus to rapture His Church of believing Gentiles (and believing Jews)
Day of Atonement - Jesus to gather His Jewish people as Jews turn to their Messiah
Feast of Tabernacles - Jesus to tabernacle or reside with His people

Christ in the High Holidays

Mark Biltz from El Shaddai Ministries has a great presentation on The Fall Feast Days
on the Viewpoints page

Consider also that when the rapture comes it will take people from every part of the world and from every time zone.

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