If the "day and hour" of Jesus' coming are unknown, how can we know when it will happen?
If the Jesus said the Rapture happens at an unknown day and hour, how can it happen, as you state, during the 7-year Tribulation when even a poor mathematician could figure out when it was coming, based on Scripture and on the very detailed description of the tribulation period? You have placed it in your chronology diagram at a specific place, so we should be able to figure out approximately the day on which it will happen.
Most who believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture will cite what Jesus said as strong support for their view. They insist that the fact that we won't know the day or hour of his appearance supports their idea of "imminency" of the Rapture, believing that it could happen at any moment and with no signs preceding it. I disagree.
First of all, it is important to realize and understand that Jesus fulfilled the four main Hebraic Spring feasts/holy days upon His first coming. Presumably, then, He will fulfill the three main Hebraic Fall feasts and holy days upon His second coming. You may be familiar with all of this. If not, though, I recommend reading this email response that I wrote to someone else: How is it that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Jewish Spring and Fall feasts and holy days?
For even more details about how Jesus fulfilled or will fulfill the Hebrew feasts/holy days, read chapter 4 (Hebraic Spring Festivals/Holy Days ) and chapter 5 (Hebraic Fall Festivals/Holy Days ) in my online book, Creation ... Counterfeits ... and the 70th Week.
In ancient times, long before methods were available to calculate the exact time of each new moon, no one knew the exact day or hour the new moon would occur until two witnesses, peering into the sky, detected the first minute sliver of the waxing moon. Upon their announcement, Rosh haShanah, or the Feast of Trumpets, officially would begin. In fact, Rosh haShanah commonly was referred to as the festival where "we do not know the day or hour of its arrival."
Thus, when Jesus said, "No one knows about that day or hour [of His return in the clouds]..." (Matthew 24:36), and also "...the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him" (24:44), He very likely was making a veiled but specific reference to Rosh haShanah. Which Rosh haShanah, only the Father knew. (Jesus was Jewish, so He celebrated all of the annual Jewish feasts and festivals.) It is believed by many, including myself, that the main, Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church will take place on a Rosh haShanah or Yom Teruah, which is the Jewish new year (as well as a new moon beginning a new month: Rosh Chodesh).
Jesus often spoke in parables, and He explained many of His parables to His disciples. But He left the main significance of some things unexplained. I believe this is an example of that, because the allusion He was making to Rosh haShanah should have been clear to most Jewish people, who were the main audience of Jesus' day.
Jesus' claim that "no one knows about that day or hour" of His coming is satisfied by the fact that we do not know, for absolute certain, in which year (and, thus, on which day and hour of that year) His aerial reappearance in the clouds will be. Plus, even if we could know which year, Rosh haShanah traditionally is observed on two consecutive days; in fact, the shofar (ram's horn) is blown both days.
Therefore, even if we happen to be alive and present following the opening of the Sixth Seal, we will not know on which of those two days, nor at what hour, His appearance in the clouds and the main Rapture will be. You can see this, and read more details about it, in my dates of prophetic fulfillment section. Also, the following email response, which I wrote as in answer to someone elseís question, might be of interest: If Jesus was God, why did He say the Father was greater than He and knew things He didn't?
There also is another factor to consider, and that is the possibility of a partial, Mid-Tribulation Rapture of "firstfruits" believers, in fulfillment of Matthew 25:1-13. In that parable, Jesus even noted, again, that we would "not know the day or hour" (25:13). As such, it may be that believers will not know during which Rapture event they will be transformed and removed; therefore, they would not know "the day or the hour" (see also Is it possible that Jesus' parable about the ten virgins could indicate that there will be a Mid-tribulation Rapture?).
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