The Jewish idiom, “No one knows the day or hour:”

[I’ve not included many scriptures below, mostly just references, but where I have I used the K.J.V. People will want to draw their own interpretation and for that the verses are best read in the context of the relevant chapters].

”But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,” (Matt 24; 36, K.J.V & N.I.V).

Some claim there is no point in keeping watch for the end times because they interpret Matt 24; 36 to mean that we cannot know the season of Jesus’ return anyway. However, this appears to be a misinterpretation. Messianic, (Jewish) Christians inform us that this verse is a well-known Jewish idiom, (saying), that refers to Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of Trumpets. The exact, literal day and hour of the start of this Feast is never known because this depends on the first sighting of the New Moon. As this is a thin slither of the Moons crescent it is often obscured by cloud for hours or even days. Two witnesses, who are accepted as reliable by the religious authorities, first have to testify to seeing the New Moon before the official start of the Feast is declared. Since the cycles of the moon are known in advance the Jewish people can know approximately when the Feast will start each year, and prepare for this confidently in advance, although they won’t know the exact day or hour. Unlike most gentile believers many Messianic Christians know about this idiom and, therefore, claim that Jesus was telling His disciples that they will know the approximate time of His coming. Some think Jesus was saying He will return on the Feast of Trumpets itself, for which the exact day or hour is never known until that time. Others believe that this was symbolic, and that we will be able tell down to perhaps the nearest month or so of His return. Either way Jesus was saying that we will be able to tell when we are very close to the time of His return, (from other verses definitely to within less than a year once we are in that season). This explains why Jesus also told us to keep watch for the season of the end, something He would have not have led us to do if this was impossible to perceive:

Matt 24, 32, 33; “Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door,” (N.I.V).

This verse also informs us that certain signs would be apparent when that season approached. There are many other signs in the bible that relate to an end times timeline. These refer to the last seven years before Christ’s return, others to the last three and a half years, the last “hour,” (symbolic of a shorter period within that last three and a half years), and events that will immediately precede Jesus’ return.  When those signs start to occur I, personally, believe that we will then be able to pin down the time of Jesus return to within a month or so. If the Feast of Trumpets happens within that month then maybe Jesus will even return on the actual day of the Feast of Trumpets itself that year? Miss those signs, though, and we could end up like the five foolish virgins, who failed to recognise the season of the end and then weren’t ready for Jesus return. I think this is because the devil will use the secular media to deceive them into misinterpreting the signs, so many will be lulled into a false sense of security and won’t realise that Christ’s return is near. Such Christians are far more likely to be worldly and fall away from the faith. This is because they will not have prepared themselves to endure the hardships that the end times will bring, which will even include martyrdom for many. Watching on its own is obviously not enough, though, we still need to be submitting to God and serving His purposes  as well. Watching is extremely important too though. If someone really loves Christ, and wants to be with Him, they will not be able to help keeping watch for His return. If their heart is on other things then they may just be paying lip service to this and focussed instead on enjoying the world. Keeping watch is also a matter of obdeience as jesus asked us to;

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” (Matt 24; 42, N.I.V).

So Jesus wasn’t saying, “don’t bother keeping watch because you won’t have a clue when I will return” as that would contradict other verses and not fit with the meaning contained in this Jewish idiom. Instead He was saying that if we keep watch we will be able to know to time, when that season arrives, although not the exact day or hour.

It is interesting that Two Witnesses, (the Two Olive Trees and Lampstands/Candlesticks), are raised up within the body of Christ to testify to end times events approximately three and a half years before Jesus return, just as two literal witnesses testify in relation to the start of the Jewish Feast of Trumpets. [The word “lampstands is interchangeable with “candlesticks” in different versions of the bible, and is used to symbolically refer to the seven city churches in Rev 1; 20].

Here are some references to the Feast of Trumpets, "the start of a three holy days “Rosh Hashanah is the Jewish New Year. It is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, and a day of judgment and coronation of G‑d as king…” “Rosh Hashanah can be translated as “first” or “head of the year.” It is also sometimes called “The Feast of Trumpets.” “Rosh Hashanah is a celebration of creation…” “On this day ritual trumpet blasts signify the issuance of revelation and a call for Israel to gather for God's word of redemption.” [It is interesting that there are Heavenly Trumpet blasts in the build up to Jesus return in the Book of Revelations]. It is “set at the time of Israel's final agricultural harvest, the day also symbolizes the Lord's final harvest of souls…” “The three concluding biblical Holy Days beginning with the Feast of Trumpets point to the conclusion of the age. During this season there is a heightened awareness and urgency for the need of repentance. Prophecy is quickly being fulfilled…” The Feast of Trumpets is also known as “the Judgement Day or Day of Creation…” It “marked a 10-day period of consecration and repentance to God,” “…the birth-day of the world and the day upon which Adam sinned and was forgiven and therefore the time when the coming of a Saviour/Redeemer was made known to them as the plan of salvation for their redemption.” We can see then how relevant the Feast of Trumpets is when seen as symbolic for the return of Christ.

A Traditional Jewish Wedding Banquet: Some Messianic Christians also claim that the second part of this verse gives a similar message, i.e. “…that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” They claim that this is a reference to a traditional Jewish Wedding. The Jewish custom is that once everything is agreed upon and a rough date set for a wedding, only the Bride’s Father will know the exact day and hour that the wedding will actually begin, and Jewish wedding Banquets often go on for days. As a formality the Groom must go and see the Father and ask for his daughters hand in marriage, on a prearranged day, though, and then the Father will officially release the information about which day and hour the wedding will actually start on. This will usually be straight away or within a few hours or days ofthen depending on the preparations that only the Father knows about. Everyone invited, all those who are looking forward to the wedding, will have a rough idea of the time, therefore, and be able to prepare for this in advance, just as people can for the Feast of Trumpets. These Messianic teachers claim that by combining those two phrases Jesus was underlining His message that we will be able to tell when His Second Coming is drawing near - if we keep watch. We won’t know the exact day or hour but will be able to tell within a short period of time of the event itself! Keeping watch also involves keeping enough oil in ones lamp too. Those who are not keeping watch are much more likely to miss the timing, though, just as the five foolish virgins did. The question that then arises is; “what are the signs that we should be watching out for, that will let us know that the very end times have started, that will inform us as to when Jesus' return will actually be?”

My Interpretation of the biblical signs predicting Jesus Second Coming: Others may know of more signs than these in scripture, these are just the ones I am aware of. Many of the signs that precede Jesus’ Second Coming are found in Matt 24 and the other gospels. Some are clearly early signs, for e.g. wars and rumours of wars….famines… earthquakes etc. which Jesus described as just the beginning of sorrows, (Matt 24; 8). Some teachers claim that “sorrows” is a reference to birth pains which a woman experiences during labour. As the time to give birth draws near the contractions become stronger and the gaps between them shorter, until they become continuous at the time of birth. Such teachers claim that, likewise, when the wars and rumours of wars….famines… earthquakes etc. become continuous then Jesus Second Coming is at hand. As I understand it there appears to be a huge increase in volcanic activity taking place today, particularly under the seas, which cover about eighty percent of the earth’s surface. Although this is officially recorded the secular media does not often report on it, perhaps because there is nothing mankind, or the globalist movement, can do about this, (unlike the issue of man-made global warming for which man has potential solutions). Volcanic vents are pouring molten lava out onto the sea beds, along the line of the tectonic plates all around the world. As far as I am aware this is happening at an unprecedented level. This explains why the seas are heating up from below, not from above, as would be the case with man-made warming of the atmosphere above. When the seas reach a certain temperature they will suddenly start to release much of the greenhouse gasses stored up in them, into the atmosphere, eclipsing any man made emissions. Algae also grows more vigorously in warmer water too, which would use up more of the oxygen in the sea, causing the death of much of the life in the sea. This is appears to be a sign warned about in Rev 8; 8, (some think the burning mountain symbolises a volcano erupting, possible under the sea). So for earthquakes, volcanoes, and in particular volcanic vents under the sea, do appear to be increasing and with increasing regularity, and in a rhythmic way that parallels a woman’s birth pains, (I don’t know enough about whether or not wars famines etc. are also increasing in this way or not). Since earthquakes are not yet continuous, though, I would interpret that to mean that the time of the end is approaching but is not here quite yet. Since these signs are thought to accelerate like birth pains I think it is hard to gauge how much time, in years, we have left from them at present. These, therefore, appear to me to be more general signs at the moment. There are other signs, in Matt 24, though, that relate to more imminent signs. One is the worldwide persecution of Gods people, and then the abomination of desolation being set up in the Jewish Temple, with many false prophets also predicted to move in signs and wonders who claim to be the Christ near the very end. We do not appear to be in that season yet, though, (for e.g. there is not yet a worldwide persecution of believers). So, as we keep watch, how do we pin down, more precisely, where we are today on that timeline today?  Matt 24 doesn’t appear to me to contain enough information to enable us to point to specific years at present. Other parts of the bible refer to other signs that do appear to give us a more precise timeline, though, in terms of years. Some of these signs appear to identify the last seven years, others the last three and a half years, and then a shorter symbolic period of “one hour” within that.  So those who claim that we cannot know the season or time of Jesus’ Return are surely wrong. God has given us incredibly detailed information about when Jesus will return in the bible. We should be able to be aware of when this is, if we do as Jesus exhorted us to, and keep watch.  

The restoration of Israel is perhaps the first and earliest sign: Ez 37; 21, 22, predicts the restoration of Israel as a nation, and Ez 38; 8 identifies this as an end times sign. This took place against the odds, through the U.N, in 1948. Israel then went on to occupy all of Jerusalem, its historic and biblical capitol, in 1967, which many took as another end times sign. The rebuilding of the Temple predicted and directed in Ez 40, appears to follow the Gog of Magog war of Ez Ch’s 38 and 39. I believe that it is likely that the season of the gentiles probably started with the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple, in A.D 70, to its restoration at the start of the last seven years of this age, which follow the Gog of Magog war.

The last three and a half year signs: Daniel 12; 7 refers to a last three and a half year persecution of Gods people which may equate to the worldwide persecution mentioned in the gospels and. Therefore, place that into this timeline. The Beast Empire also appears to rule the world during the last three and a half years as well, Rev 13; 5. It appears that the antichrist becomes the overall world leader and dictator of that Global Empire somewhere towards the end of that three and a half year period, Rev 17; 13, (at least that’s how I interpret this), with the Empire being ruled by ten Kings up until that time. The mark of the beast is also probably introduced sometime during those last three and a half years too, perhaps at the very end of that period,  once the Antichrist has become world dictator, as the No of the beast is associated with his name, Rev 13; although this could be earlier. I think the abomination of desolation referred to in Matt 24; 15 must relate to the antichrist declaring himself to be God and sitting enthroned in the (rebuilt) Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, as god, (2 Thess 2; 2; 4), during the end of those three and a half years as well. When these signs happen those keeping watch should know that they have then in the last three and a half year before Christ’s return. But we don’t appear to be in that period yet though, so how do we work out where we are on that timeline today? A three and a half years warning before the end maybe too late for many people by then. We would, surely, need a longer warning than that so we have time to prepare our hearts to submit more to Christ in advance of a worldwide persecution of Christians? [I believe in a post trib rapture, most of those who are pre trib may not be as concerned… except… they will need to be ready for that, and the wiser ones may also want to prepare to endure the last seven years too, just in case they have got their doctrine wrong. It would be foolhardy not to prepare]. Fortunately I believe that God has given us some signs in the bible that relate to the last seven years too. 

Signs relating to the last seven years of this age: A sign that precedes the last seven years, (which I think will be close to that time, maybe about eight years before the end),  is the Gog of Magog War against Israel, predicted in Ez 38. As Jerusalem isn’t invaded in this war it can’t be the very last Armageddon war, (Rev 16; 16), which appears to also be the Zech Ch 14 war, but it maybe the earlier Zech Ch 12 war. For some reason a lot of people assume this is the same war but it can’t be. In the earlier Ez 38 war only some of Israel’s neighbours attack it not all the nations on earth, and Israel prevails so Jerusalem isn’t invaded. By comparison all of Israel, including Jerusalem, is occupied in the latter Armageddon war and in the Zech 14 war. After this earlier, Ez 38, war there will be a minimum of seven years left before Christ’s Return because Ez 39; 9, states that the weapons from Israel’s defeated enemy are used as fuel for “seven years,” (I think the weapons/spears which are burned as fuel probably symbolise the petrol from the enemies tanks and other vehicles that will be destroyed at that time). From this we know that there are at least seven years left after the Gog of Magog war before Jesus returns. That timeline is open ended though, as there could be far more than seven years left after that.

A sign that appears to indicate a more specific seven year period is found in Dan 9; 27. A man, (who many identify as the antichrist), makes a seven year peace treaty with either the Jews or, as I believe, with all Gods people, (as I think all the Jews will get saved at that time too, and I am post trib). Halfway through those seven years, (so after three and a half years), this man breaks that treaty and a persecution of Gods people then starts. This would leave three and a half years for that persecution. This fits with Dan 12; 7 which also refers to a three and a half year persecution at the end of this age. If this is the correct way to interpret those scriptures this would then enable us to identify the three and a half year persecution another three and a half years before it starts. I think it’s extremely likely that this treaty will be made soon after the Ez 38 Gog of Magog war. This leaves me watching out for the Gog of Magog war as the earliest sign that I am aware of. [I think in Isaiah somewhere it is predicted that Damascus will also be completely destroyed, and this may happen earlier still, if anyone wants to check that out, Ive lost my references to this and have not really studied it well enough to include it here anyway]. The point is these signs together create a very precise timeframe for Jesus return, which we should be able to pin down to at least within a year, or to within months or weeks, possibly days when that last season is upon us. So after the Gog of Magog war I am expecting the antichrist to arise and become identifiable in the world as he makes a seven years peace treaty. There are then three and a half years before a global persecution of Gods people starts, (either just the Jews or Christians as well as I believe). Around about that same time, i.e. about three and a half years before Jesus return, the Beast Empire/ Global Government of Rev Ch 13 should emerge. The Two Olive Trees, of Rev Ch 11, also closely, although not necessarily exactly, overlap this last three and a half year period too, they move in such great prophecy and power from God that this will be another un-missable sign for those who are keeping watch. After a long and gradual increase in activity, (the birth pains), the natural catastrophes, wars famines described in the book of Revelations also appear to become more traumatic within that last seven years and increase in intensity as the timeframe moves towards the end of the last three and a half years. The antichrist appears to me to arise as world dictator within that last three and half year rule of the Global Government, i.e. after it has already been set up. This is because this Global Government, (which will rule over all nations, Rev 13; 7), appears to initially be led by Ten Kings, (horns are traditionally thought to indicate leaders, Rev 13; 1 and Dan 7; 7). Rev 17; 12 and 13 indicate that these ten horns will give all their power over to the antichrist, which I think also indicates that they must have ruled the Beast Empire before him for some of that three and a half year period. Dan 7; 8 suggest to me that the power and authority of three of those horns will be forcible overtaken by the antichrist, who emerges from amongst the ten. 

In regards to this article, the point is, there are many very detailed signs that indicate when Jesus will return in the bible in both the O/T and N/T. What could be motivating many Christians to ignore these signs? These signs and their associated timelines are so precise that the claim that we cannot know the season of Jesus’ return is really quite ridiculous, and a sign someone does not know the scriptures. Why is someone a Christian if they do not care much as to whether Jesus will return soon or not? The 666 mark of the beast, (Rev 13 18), itself is also introduced within the last three and a half years. [I believe towards the end of the last three and a half years as I can’t see it introduced before the antichrist emerges as overall leader of the beast empire, since it is linked to his name, Rev 13; 17]. There is also the Armageddon war, which is lead by the beast, in which all the other nations of the world attack and invade/overcome Israel, (Zech Ch 14 and Rev Ch 16; 16), which would have to take place within the last three and a half years rule of the Beast Empire. It surely has to be after this that the antichrist sits in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem declaring himself to be God, (2 Thess 2;3). I personally believe that this is probably when the 666 mark is finally introduced since it is related to a false prophesying body enforcing this in a religious sense too, (Rev 13; 11- 18). There is also the beasts destruction of Babylon which is most commonly believed to be either the worlds free market system and cities, (Rev Ch 17 and 18), or the Catholic Church. I believe it symbolises both. Jesus returns soon after this, (Rev 19; 11 to 20; 4).  Zech Ch 14; 4 says His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem, which is also indicated in Acts 1; 10 - 12. The signs relating to the last seven years’ timeline are, therefore, incredibly precise, detailed and numerous. The earlier signs can also be identified and placed in a timeframe that relates to the later ones. This includes a concertina of end times events that increase in number and intensity as Jesus’ return draws near. No one who is watching could possibly miss these signs, there are just too many of them and their impact will be overwhelming. Those who claim we will not know when the end is approaching are, therefore, not only wrong but unmistakably and overwhelmingly wrong. It is actually quite a foolish thing to say. You would think this is down to an ignorance of the bible and yet many who regularly reading the bible will make that false claim. I think this is down to a misunderstanding of that Jewish idiom, “no one knows the day or hour.”

A false narrative: I think that the only way these signs could be missed would be if a Christian is worldly enough to draw their world view from the secular news instead of the bible. The main News Stations are already being utilised by the devil to create a false narrative on world events, and this will only get more controlled, false, deceptive and delusional as we move further into the end times. For example; the mark of the beast may be said to be the mark of the Lord. We know that the antichrist will be said to be the symbolic Messiah, a man accepted by a New Age, many ways to god, belief system, who they will claim is bringing equality and peace to the world. Such counterfeits of the truth are bound to be promoted through the media. The most dangerous perhaps will be from the apostate fallen away church, (which will have abandoned the doctrine of Christ, of Jesus being the only way to the Father, (Jn 14; 6). If many apostate, former “Christian” ministers are likely to lead and even oversee the interfaith movement, (the Pope already presides over it as Catholicism is still the largest religion in the world), it could then have many of the outward trappings and appearances of being Christian, deceiving many unwitting “Christians” already weakened in their faith and not prepared to face persecution. Many lukewarm Christians, especially those who refuse to accept that they are NOT going to triumph politically in this age, could be drawn into this and eventually accept that there are many ways to god, thereby rejecting the core tenants of the Christian faith necessary for salvation. An example of the power that the secular media already has is perhaps reflected by the way in which (most?), churches in the UK responded to the coronavirus issue, with more concern about obeying the rules on face masks and social distancing than the end times signs that accompanied this “pandemic.”

All Israel will be saved: I may be wrong but I personally believe that the season of the gentiles ends with the grafting of the Jews back into the vine, as was predicted by St Paul in Rms 11; 23 – 26). So that  the season of the gentiles started with the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in AD 70 and ends with the rebuilding of the Temple after the Ez 38 Gog of Magog war. This would appear to roughly parallel the start of the missing week, (seven years), in Daniels seventy weeks prophecy, (Dan Ch 9). After the Gog of Magog war God then pours His Spirit out on Israel, (Ez 39; 29). What can this mean other than the Jews accepting Jesus as their Messiah? How could anyone be anointed in the Holy Spirit and not receive awareness that this was the Spirit of Jesus Christ and also revelation that Jesus is the Messiah? Today there is apparently great interest rising amongst the Jews in the gospel and N/T, due largely to its promotion online and on radio by Jewish Christian groups based in Israel. This has never been known before as the Jews have traditionally ignored anything to do with Christianity. One of the most respected Jewish Rabbis, Yitzhak Kaduri, also claimed to have had an encounter with God, recently, in 2005, and to have been shown that the Messiahs name was Joshua, which means Jesus. He wrote this down and gave instructions that the envelope containing it should not be opened until a year after his death, which was in 2006, (see this video link). Huge anticipation must have followed amongst the Jews, then consternation as even his own disciples did not then want to accept this. This still stands as a strong testimony today, though, ready to bear fruit at the right time. Many Jews already expect the Gog of Magog war to start soon and that the Messiah will also appear shortly afterwards, it is just that they do not yet realise that this is Jesus. Most still appear expect the Messiah to be a political leader who they think is secretly living amongst them today because they are still under the shroud of blindness. It is as if God is preparing them to accept Christ latter on en – mass at a time in line with O/T prophecy. If the Zech Ch 12 war is the same war as the Ez 38 Gog Magog war, though, then two thirds of the Jews living in Israel will be killed beforehand during that conflict, (Zech 13;  9),  before the surviving Jews receive salvation. As Paul noted from Isaiah, “a remnant shall be saved”, (Rm’s 9; 27). So for many this will be bitter sweet, as with the rest of the end time’s events. However, Paul also said, in Rms 11; 15, that Israel’s restoration would result in life from the dead, which suggests to me the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the final rapture of His saints, at the end of that last seven year period. (I am post trib). As with Ezekiel Zechariah also predicted that Israel would receive an out poring of Gods Spirit:

 “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced,” (Zech 12; 10).

“In that day there shall be a fountain opened up to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness,” (Zech 13; 1).

This appears to fit in with St Pauls prediction that:

And so all Israel shall be saved“   (Rms 11; 26), “when I shall take away their sins,” (Rms 11; 27).

These will also be un-mistakable signs of the end times, things that those watching will find impossible to miss. And they appear to take place about seven years before the end giving us a decent amount of time to prepare. My guess is that the devil will use the secular media to give alternative, earthly explanations for these things, though, to deceive as many as possible from realising that the very last days have started by then.  

The Middle East: Another major sign will be that certain Middle Eastern nations will also accept Christ en mass and join with Israel, as if one nation unto the Lord, (end of Is Ch 19). These include Egypt, (Israel’s historic foe), and all the nations that occupy ancient Assyria. As far as I am aware these include Syria, the Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq up to the Euphrates River. Interestingly these areas are not included in the coalition of forces that come against Israel during the Ez 38 Gog of Magog war. They also form all of the land that God originally promised to Abraham.

False signs and wonders: We all know that the bible predicts that false prophets will arise and perform occult signs and wonders in the end times. I believe that the main great falling away of believers will happen just before the last seven year signs become apparent so they fall just before the very end times have become obviously, or at the same time perhaps, as the antichrists starts to become apparent, (2 Thess 2; 3 – 11). Considering we are supposed to be watching out for these things it is surprising how few Christians in the UK are keen to discuss or study them.

There are many signs:  The reader will want to look into all these scriptures for themselves and come to their own interpretation. The point here is these verse prove that the bible predicts many signs that relate to a last seven year period, and even more to a last three and a half year period, and also to a smaller period of time within that. Christians can watch out for all of these to prepare themselves for the end should it suddenly come, as appears v likely to me. An interesting sign at present is the huge and rising activity of volcanic vents all along the world’s tectonic plates on the sea beds, which are heating the seas from below not above from man-made global warming. Once the sea reaches a certain temperature it will soon start to release a massive amount of greenhouse gasses, eclipsing those released by man, more algae also grows in warmer oceans. Both of these things will lead to many sea creatures dying. This could happen any time and may symbolise the “seas turning to blood,” in Rev 8; 8 and 16; 3. These various signs provide a detailed and quite precise timeline as to when Jesus will return. We should almost certainly be able to work out the exact year, but only, (as far as I’m presently aware of), once the timeline relating to the last seven years has started and is observable. There are other scriptures in the Book of Daniel which make this timeline even more precise, bringing it to within a couple of months or less, which I’m not quite sure how to interpret or fit with the other times, (see note* below). Whichever way one looks at it, though, the saying “no one knows the day or hour,” cannot, possibly mean that there is no way of knowing when Jesus is about to return. Instead we should be able to know to at least the last year and probably to within far less than that. So we should be able to know the timeframe within months, weeks or days once we know we are within the last seven years. Whether it will literally be on the actual Feast of Trumpets or not, I’m not sure myself. Once people are within that last year, though, it would be wise to pay special attention to that Feast time just in case. If the Feast of Trumpets appears to fall within the likely months of Jesus return those Messianic Christians who believe that will be the actual day of Jesus return may prove to be right. Even then, though, we won’t know the precise day or hour until it arrives, until the first sighting of the New Moon that indicates when the Feast will start. When one considers all this it really starts to look rather foolish for people to claim that “no one can know when Jesus is about to return so there’s no point in keeping watch for the signs,” since this clearly isn’t the case. Jesus also kept telling his disciple’s to keep watch and that message has been passed down to us in the bible, (Matt 24; 42). This can’t, therefore, be what “no one will know the day or hour” means as the opposite appears to be true. The scriptures predict a huge number of the signs that will alert those who do keep watch as to when this season is upon us; so many that no one watching could fail to miss them. So we should know the season to within a high degree of accuracy but it doesn’t appear to me that we can know the precise day or hour which appears to be what Jesus meant when He used that Jewish idiom.

S. Dobbs, 13th Dec, 2020.

 

Footnotes:

The Gog of Magog sign: The creation of Israel in 1948 is thought by many to be a sign of the start of end times season, as was the Six Day War, in 1967, which gave Israel full control of Jerusalem.  The earliest sign I am aware of, which I think we should be watching out for, is the Ez 38 Gog of Magog War as this could be relevant to the last seven years or so. I think it likely that the seven year peace the man, (antichrist) makes with Israel will probably follow soon after that war. The Temple is also rebuilt after that, Ez Ch 40. I think these are both very likely linked to the missing week, (seven years), in Daniels seventy weeks prophecy, (Dan 9; 26; 27). Many religious Jews are already expecting thee Ez 38 war any year now. The stage appears to be set politically. Most of the tribes listed in Gog’s coalition of forces named in Ez 38 are located in modern day Turkey. Turkeys present day leader, President Erdogan, has become increasingly antagonistic towards Israel and stated he wants to see Israel destroyed. Many believe he wants to re-establish the Ottoman Empire in the region and Israel stands in the way of this. Erdogan has also established close ties with Iran, (previously known as Persia), which is another nation in that coalition, and whose leaders have also declared a desire to see Israel destroyed. Some think that “Rosh” signifies a Russian involvement/leadership of this attack, which appears politically possible, (I prefer the King James interpretation though which translates “Rosh” into the Hebrew word “head,” making Gog the head prince of Turkey not of Russia and Turkey). The point here is that there is great expectation that this Gog of Magog War could start any year now which means, (according to my belief), that we may be close to the start of the very last seven or eight years of this age. If that is the case we cannot be nearer to the end that that, though, as there are at least seven years left after that war, (Ez 39; 9). So we cannot, according to my understanding, have entered the last seven years yet but the stage appears set for this to be possible any year now.

It is surprising how so many books and articles mistake the Ez 38 Gog of Magog war for the Armageddon war. As we have seen there are at least seven years left at the end of the Ez 38 war, (Ez 39; 9),  whereas Jesus appears to return soon after the end of the Armageddon war, (Rev 16; 15-17).  In the first war only some of Israel’s neighbours are named in the coalition against it, (Ez 38; 2, 5, 6), whereas all nations come against Israel in the second war, (Rev 16; 14). The Gog of Magog war may also be the Zech Ch 12 war. A similar mistake occurs here too, though, with this Ch 12 war being mistaken for the same war as the latter Zech Ch 14 war. Once again in the first war Israel prevails and Jerusalem remains free whereas in the second war Israel is invaded and Jerusalem taken, (Zech 14: 2), and Jesus also returns soon after the Ch 14 war, (v. 4).

Imagine the confusion there will be amongst such Christians in the end times, when the Gog of Magog war plays out as predicted but Jesus tallies at least seven years longer than they are expecting. It could open those Christians up to all sorts of other false narratives that will, probably, be offered by the devil through the secular media.

Another common mistake is to mistake “ROSH” in Ez 38; 3, for Russia. There is no linguistic reason to assume this, this is just an unfounded assumption based on the fact the two words appear slightly similar. There was also a cold war with Russia going on making it the likely enemy. Turkey was not as militarily powerful in the past as it is today either. In past decades Turkey had good relations with Israel unlike under Erdogan today, (who wants to destroy Israel and set up a new Ottoman Empire in the region). Although like Turkey Russia is to the North of Israel, (Ez 38; 15), there is no other scriptural reason to implicate Russia though. In Hebrew “Rosh” means “head” or “chief” and you will find this correctly interpreted in the King James Version. In some version the word is not translated but left in the Hebrew form because some wrongly assumed it was a place name. All Hebrew words are written in capital letters only which is why the first letter is mistakenly left as a capitol in some versions as this would be the case if it were a place name. The correct reading of Ez 38; 3, (as is found in the KJV), is, therefore:

 “I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal,” (K.J.V), not

“I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal,” (N.K.J.V and some other versions).

So apart from also being in the North there is then no reason to implicate Russia in this attack on Israel. All the nations mentioned in this coalition today are Islamic, even Ethiopia which in those days covered what is modern day Sudan today. All the tribes mentioned are located in modern day Turkey. Magog is also listed as one of the descendants of Noah in Gen 10; 2, who some believe settled in what is now modern day Turkey, as did most of his brothers. Many believe that another descendant called Gog did likewise.  All scholars appear to agree that “Meshech and Tubal,” are both also located in Turkey. It doesn’t make sense for Gog to be the leader of Turkey and Russia since they are two separate nations, with no cultural links, and which are often in political conflict with one another today. It is also doubtful whether modern day Russia would be capable of invading and occupying modern day Turkey, which now has a powerful military of its own, a fiercely nationalistic population that would resist, and is a member of NATO.  So how could a single leader be in power over Russia as well as Islamic Turkey? Perhaps Russia will support a Turkish and Iranian lead attack on Israel but I can’t see that there is any reason to assume this from the scriptures.  

Interpreting the scriptures: I think the best way to gain an understanding of the scriptures is to just keep reading those chapters over and over again, repeatedly. Trying too hard to fit things together can lead to errors like those above but reading a chapters or paragraph dozens of times, along with others, can, over a period of years, lead to those scriptures becoming familiar and then almost falling  into place by themselves, as it were. I don’t think it’s wise for anyone to attempt to write a book on the Book of Revelations, for example, unless they have read it at least fifty times and some parts far more. And also over a period of years to let things mature within one’s mind as it were, and even then much will remain a mystery and mistakes will be made. I think one of the worst things someone can do is read other peoples commentaries on the end times and think they have found a short cut to reading them themselves. This is probably how the errors concerning the Gog of Magog war and Armageddon wars are perpetuated.

Pre or post trib? I think a similar error is happening concerning the rapture of the Church which I believe the scriptures teach will occur at the end of the Tribulation period not the beginning, i.e. a post - trib rapture not a pre -trib one. There is no mention of a pre - trib rapture anywhere in the bible that I am aware of, the idea appears to be cobbled together by supposition and assuming certain scriptures mean something they don’t actually state. It is also only about 150 years old and was started by a vision a little girl had, (which I think was a counterfeit from the enemy), not scriptural study and then promoted around the body of Christ by a vicar who was there when it was given. Christian doctrine shouldn’t come from or start with new visions or the spiritual gifts.  In Matt 24 Jesus directly warns us to prepare for both tribulation and persecution. Christians have been suffering persecution and martyrdom since the first church of the N/T era. Also wherever there have been natural disasters earthquakes famines etc in the world, throughout history, Christians have usually also suffered and died too alongside unbelievers.  An example are the famine and wars within Ethiopia where the dominant religion is Christianity. Some say only the Jewish Christians will go through the tribulation but I think that is almost racists, the bible says that God is impartial so why would Jesus favour gentile believers above Jewish ones. We can agree to differ but I’ve seen worldly, materialistic Christians cling to this idea because they don’t want to have to suffer for Christ. However, if God allowed Jesus to be tortured and dies on the cross for us aren’t we called to prepare to suffer for Him?  It would be nice to think that we won’t have to suffer because God loves us more than previous Christians, or the Christians in poorer nations already experiencing tribulations, because we are special and more important than them. Why should todays relatively rich, lukewarm Christians of the western world be shown such special favour by God though? And surely it should be an honour to suffer and die for Christ? We can agree to disagree but in my experience those who believe in a pre trib rapture have gained this teaching from reading other peoples books on this before really studying the scriptures on this first, for themselves. They then appear to stick doggedly to that position for emotional reasons and get really annoyed and intolerant of anyone suggesting God would allow them to endure tribulation as if this were a personal insult. Imagine the shock they will have though, if the tribulation starts and no one has been raptured? Some could be shaken in their faith by that. Others won’t have prepared for the end times season because they thought God would give them a fee pass out of those testing times. I had a sense once, though, whilst at a pre trib believing African church that God would be moving to help avert that situation in many parts of the body of Christ. That such Christians would quickly adapt to the post - trib position once the last seven years had started. Maybe this is because the alternative post trib position is already known about by pre tribber’s. If I’m wrong that’s OK as I will not then have to endure Tribulation for my faith in Jesus either.

* A more detailed timing from Daniel: Dan 12; 7 also refers to a last three and a half years persecution of the saints which will finally “scatter the power of the holy people,” (K.J.V). Dan 12; 11 states that “from the time the daily sacrifice is taken away…” (I perceived this as being when the seven years peace treaty is broken, after the first three and a half years of this), until “the abomination that maketh desolate is set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days,” (that’s approx three years  six and a half months, using our 365 day year calendar. The Jews use a 360 day year but add in extra days every time a holy day lands on a Sabbath day of rest so both days can be celebrated separately). Dan 12; 12 ends with “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” That’s approximately an additional forty five days (1335 - 1290 = 45 days). So that’s approx. three years eight months after the seven year peace treaty is broken by the man commonly believed to be the antichrist. I can’t work out the exact time as I don’t have enough knowledge of the Jewish calendar or their holy days.  Jewish Christian scholars probably will be able to work this out to the exact day, though. I wonder if it will fall on the time of the Feast of Trumpets.

The Second Coming of Jesus:  The bible appears to teach that Jesus will return, with His physical body, to the Mount of Olives which, as I understand it, is where He ascended to heaven from. “And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven,” (Luke 24; 50, 51). The Encyclopaedia Britannica states; “Bethany, Arabic Al-ʿAyzariyyah, small village and biblical site on the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives...” The Book of Acts states:

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven,” (Acts 1:9-12, K.J.V).

The return of Jesus, also appears to have been predicted to be to the Mount of Olives in Zech 14; 4:

“his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,” (Zech 14; 4). 

The chances of anyone making it to Jesus return appear pretty slim to me, though, as Matt 24; 22 says

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved.”

I don’t personally believe in a pre - trib rapture but even if that were the case surely we would still need to be watching and prepared for that, instead of Jesus actual Second Coming. Im sure there are many other end times verses that I am not aware of but hope these help or are of interest to others. 

S. Dobbs, 14th Dec, 2020.