Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /homepages/36/d220494050/htdocs/clickandbuilds/RobsChannel/wp-content/themes/Divi/functions.php on line 5467

How many of you have heard, said or taught that the Rapture is going to happen at any time because “No man knows the day or the hour”? I have. But let’s go back and look at that Scripture again. In fact, let’s just look through all of that chapter:

Matthew 24:

Temple Destruction Foretold
(Mark 13:1-9; Luke 21:5-9)

1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

The first thing I want to point out here is that the disciples asked a three-part question. They asked when the Temple would be destroyed, leaving not one stone upon the other and what the signs would be of His coming and the end of the world. Yeshua actually addresses all three separately. So, regarding all three, Yeshua starts with a warning not to let anyone deceive them.

Answering the first question, He says..

False Christs
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.

With all due respect to my Preterist and Historist friends, I would have to agree that a fair amount (if not all) of the above could have been considered fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD. I’ve read the usual arguments for this and can agree with much of them. However, their view begins to fall apart for me as we progress to His answers concerning the signs of the time of His coming and the end of the world…

Witnessing to All Nations
(Mark 13:10-13; Luke 21:10-19)

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Is “the end” really a description of 70 AD? I think not. Not even close.

Was the “gospel of the kingdom” preached in all the world at that time or even shortly thereafter? No. Again, not even close. Granted, the Apostles (and especially Paul) had a very good run, but they barely got beyond the nations bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Sure, Andrew was said to have gotten as far north as the lower parts of the former Soviet Union, Thomas was said to have made it as far east as India, Matthew went and as far south as Ethiopia, and we know that Paul was making a go for as far west as Spain. So, is this a literal fulfillment of the gospel being preached in “all the world?” Certainly not by 70 AD it wasn’t! And I would contend that even to this day it hasn’t been proclaimed in “all the world.”

I was a missionary for six and a half years. Our best researched indicated that there were still huge numbers of people groups all over the Earth who have never even heard the name of our Savior, much less anything about His message. With this in mind, any notion of a Rapture happening before the Gospel is preached “in all the world” to “all nations,” is out of the question. You’d be contradicting Yeshua Himself to declare otherwise. He said He’s not coming back until we’ve done our part first. And last I knew, there were still about 5 billion people who either have never heard or who still need more discipleship to even understand the message.

Let’s continue…

The Abomination of Desolation
(Mark 13:14-23; Luke 21:20-24)

15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

This most definitely does not fit 70AD! Was it a terrible time for the Jews in the land of Judea back then? Sure. Absolutely. Was it such a great tribulation as was never seen before nor will ever be again? No way! The two World Wars we had in the twentieth century were infinitely worse than what happened in 70AD. Even some of the smaller wars were too. And we’ve yet to see the full measure of horror World War III is going to ultimately produce. So, sorry, but I just cannot accept that this was supposedly fulfilled with the destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem before the end of the first century.

The Return of the Son of Man
(Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:25-28)

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

How anyone can suggest this was fulfilled in 70AD is beyond me. What record do we have of Yeshua returning in the clouds and the sun and moon being darkened and the stars falling from Heaven before the end of the first century? What record do we have of “all the tribes of the earth” mourning when they saw Him in the clouds? What record do we have of angels gathering all the children of Israel and followers of Yeshua up before now? I see no record of any of this in history. None. So, you have to turn pretty much everything from about verse 9 and following into “poetry” and “allegory” in order to even remotely support any notion of all of this having been fulfilled already. Sorry, but I’m definitely going to have to side with the Futurists on this issue. But as stated in my previous blogs, I do not buy the pre-Trib Rapture arguments many of them present.

The lesson of the Fig Tree
(Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33)

32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

So… let’s consider the fig tree analogy. Yeshua is saying that when you see certain signs in that particular variety of plant life, you know that Summer is on the way. After giving an analogy all of them would have easily understood, He then said that likewise, when people see all of the above mentioned signs, the end would be very near. In fact, those who do see all of these things taking place, would be the generation that would not pass away before the end comes.

Please note: He said ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL about “Israel becoming a nation” anywhere in the above text! That’s Hal Lindsey (and many others like him) talking here, not Yeshua!! So, everyone trying to apply this text to a count-down clock beginning in 1948 is seriously applying eisegesis (inserting their own ideas) unto the text. 1948 and the re-establishment of the nation calling itself “Israel” has nothing to do with any statement made by Yeshua in the Olivet Discourse. Don’t believe me? No problem. Please go back and re-read verses 1 – 34 and see if you can find any mention of Israel becoming a nation again being described here. You’re not going to find it, but I’ll wait if you want to try anyway. 

Welcome back. OK… sorry to disappoint you. I know. I know. Dumping traditional (and profitable) thinking can be painful sometimes. But the text says what it says and we should not add to it what it does not say. At the beginning of Matthew 24. the disciples specifically asked the Son of God what the signs of His coming would be, and therefore, we must take note of two striking omissions:

  1. No mention of millions of people flying up into the sky before the days of tribulation
  2. No mention of Israel needing to be re-established as a nation

Oops! Well, let’s just say there’s good reason why countless modern “prophecies” concerning the Rapture and His return have failed time and time again – and will continue to fail so long as they hold to false premises like these.

Something else perhaps worthy of consideration is addressing the claim that Yeshua was talking about Israel as the fig tree in Matt. 24:32. Proponents of this view will cite passages such as Jeremiah 24 as justification for this metaphor. To me this would contradict Paul, who referred to Israel as the “cultivated olive tree” in Romans 11, but let’s go with it anyway. If Israel is allegedly the “fig tree” spoken of in the parable Yeshua gave in Matt. 24:32-34, and He is saying we are to learn the meaning of this parable, then the only precedent we have associating Yeshua with a fig tree was Him cursing it on His RETURN into Jerusalem three chapters prior in…

Matthew 21:
18 Now in the morning as he RETURNED into the city, he hungered.
19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
20 And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

In Mark’s account of this story, the cursing of the fig tree happened just after Him riding into town on the donkey, being hailed as King and prior to Him cleansing the Temple of the money changers.

Mark 11:
11 And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.
12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:
13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

15 And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;
16 And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the temple.
17 And he taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.

The fig tree in Matthew 21 and Mark 11 was cursed because it pretended to be something it was not. It looked ready for food, but it was all a show. It was “ahead of it’s time.” At first, this bothered me. How could Yeshua curse something that He made to produce fruit just because it wasn’t at that specific time? The Scriptures said Yeshua was hungry. He saw a fig tree in bloom, but there was no fruit because “the time of figs was not yet.” Isn’t that like getting mad because there is no snow in Summer? So, I looked up the harvest times for figs. This is what I found:

Indeed, many fig varieties have two distinct harvests. The first harvest, which happens in June, is called the breba crop. The fruits of this harvest tend to be less sweet and more acidic than the flavorful main crop, which is larger and lasts longer.

***

The fig harvest is at its peak in September, but some figs may be available as late as November.

Source: http://www.cuesa.org/food/figs

The above cited website says that figs are in season: June, July, September and October (or even as late as November). If this is true, Yeshua was there in roughly the April-ish time-frame, as this was the first month of the Hebrew year, the month of Passover, at the start of Spring. Ah… now this makes more sense. He was hungry. He saw a fig tree showing off signs of fruit several months early (for the first harvest) and several seasons early for the main harvest. In short, it was a counterfeit, that had no ability to satisfy our Savior. Not good. Thus cursed.

So, whether it be that He was NOT referring to Israel being reinstated again as a nation in Matt. 24 (as I believe to be the case) or He was (as many others believe), I can’t see how anyone can look at this analogy as a good thing and something we should be excited about in reference to the Last Days. From my reading of Scripture, I see 2/3rds of that place being killed and 1/3rd “going through the fire” (Zech. 13:8,9) and Yeshua telling those who are in Judea to get out of there in the Last days (Matt. 24:16). For more on this, see the notes and videos I’ve posted here: http://www.quest4truth.net/Archived-Shows/quest4truth-episode-11

OK. Now it’s time for the big one everyone likes to quote concerning the Rapture:

Be Ready at Any Hour
(Genesis 6:1-7; Mark 13:32-37; Luke 12:35-48)

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

What day and hour does no one know except the Father? Read it again. What’s the preceding subject? The day Heaven and Earth pass away! It’s right there! Yeshua was making a definitive statement that all He had just prophesied was absolutely true and would play out precisely as described. Even though Heaven and Earth will one day pass away, His words will not. Then He says that the day this prediction (of Heaven and Earth passing away) is to happen is reserved for the Father’s mind alone. When taken in context we see that it has nothing whatsoever to do with the Rapture!!

He then begins to give some other analogies to drive His story home for the disciples:

37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Some have tried to say this has nothing to do with the Nephilim as myself and others have claimed. Well, for those who feel this way, I would ask the following:

Why the days of Noah? There have always been wars, rumors of wars, famine, earthquakes, etc. all throughout history. So, what made the days of Noah different? Well, when you go back to Genesis 6 – specifically the first 4 verses – you see an activity that has never happened before nor since, which resulted in the creation of unnatural hybrids known as the Nephilim, which in turn led to nothing but “evil continually” (vs 5), violence (vs 11) and the corruption of all flesh (vs 12).

If you deny the above explanation, why do you imagine YHWH will destroy the whole world for doing what He created us to do (eat, drink, and get married)? You would have to have a pretty whacked and seriously skewed view of YHWH in order to imagine those things being the reasons for Him wiping out the whole world with a Flood as well as bringing about the horrors of the Last Day Judgements.

As for Noah being an example for a Rapture, well, that’s just patently absurd. Did Noah, his family or animals fly up into the sky to be with Yeshua? No. Of course not. They were all preserved on the earth in a place of safety in order to ride out the storm, which was the wrath of YHWH being “poured out” by the waters of the Flood.

Now having said that, Yeshua does describe this as a sudden event. As people were doing their thing (in the context of Genesis 6), the Flood came and took them all by surprise. But who did it surprise? The good guys or the bad guys? Noah knew about it well in advance and in fact preached that people might repent for 120 years in the hopes they would stay the wrath to come! No one listened to him, so they were the ones caught by surprise – as in the bad guys, not the good guys!

Yeshua then brings us back to the descriptions of the Last Days, having set the stage with the parallel to those of the days of Noah…

40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

In the days of Noah, who was taken away and who was left behind? Bad guys were wiped away in the Flood. Good guys were left, preserved in the ark here on Earth! Remember: Which goes first, the wheat or the tears?

Matthew 13:
24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Yeshua told us the tares (bad guys) will be reaped first and burned, then the wheat (good guys) will be gathered together. How many times does our Saviour have to tell us, we get gathered together to Him in the END, not the beginning?

John 6:

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

We know Paul said in 1 Thess. 4 and 2 Thess. 2 that we will meet Yeshua in the clouds when we are gathered to Him in the Rapture. Well, going back to the Olivet Discourse given above, we saw that Yeshua tells us when this gathering happens and when He’ll be in the clouds:

Matthew 24:
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

So, what are we to make of all this business about Him coming “as a thief in the night” then? Well, let’s go back to the final verses of Matthew 24:

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

People will focus on these verses along with the following words of Paul and say, “See! We were right. No one knows when He’s coming back, because He said He’s coming as a ‘thief in the night’ at a time we will least expect…” But is that really what Yeshua and Paul were saying?

1 Thess. 4:
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Paul said we would NOT be Raptured until the dead in Christ rise first! There’s a pretty huge sign I would think is going to be hard to miss. When we see all of the dead in Christ rise first, that will be a pretty recognizable event for us to know what’s about to happen next. Beyond this, I’ve already dealt with most of these issues in my Why the pre-Trib Rapture is a false doctrine and How many firsts, seconds and lasts are there anyway? blogs, so I won’t go over it again here. I will instead continue with Paul’s writing in the very next chapter, because it is necessary for us to address the whole “thief in the night” issue…

1 Thess. 5:
1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Here Paul said that he had no need to tell the Thessalonians about “times and seasons.” Why? Because they already knew! How do we know this? Well, for one thing, Paul kept the Torah. And the term “thief in the night” is actually an interesting idiom that goes back to the Torah, which reveals the times and seasons of YHWH. In fact, our Torah portion for yesterday’s Shabbat (3/26/16) was the tie-in for this whole “thief in the night” routine. By focusing only on the New Testament, we Christians have lost so much in terms of our understanding of God, His Son and the ultimate plan for mankind. But Paul was intimately aware of what the Torah said. In fact, he likely had it memorized. So, such idioms would have been well known to him and those he would have taught (using Moses and the prophets – see Acts 28:23-31). The following is from an article I wrote back in 2011 dealing with this issue:

The story of the night priest (Lev. 6) and the “Thief in the Night”

By studying the Torah (as the First Century Believers did), we can learn a lot – including the meaning behind the oft quoted, “thief in the night” idiom. It comes from the Book of Leviticus:

TorahLeviticus 6:
8 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
9 Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it.
10 And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and his linen breeches shall he put upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire hath consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar.
11 And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes without the camp unto a clean place.
12 And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings.
13 The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out.

Notice the repeated statements that the fire must not go out! This was a command of God. So, the priests had to take it very serious! A tradition was therefore developed involving the priest of the night watch and the High Priest. Early in the morning, before dawn, the High Priest would return to the Temple to prepare everything for the daily sacrifices. He did so in a stealthy manner in order to “check on” the night priest to ensure he had done his job right.

Consider what this on-line source has to say about this issue:

The high priest would begin to walk around the temple looking for the priest. If the priest was found to be asleep, the high priest would go over to the altar and gather some of the orange hot coals from the altar in a fire pan and bring them over to the sleeping priest and gently place them under the sleeping priests’ garments.

FYI, these weren’t fire retardant garments the priests wore either. It is said that the priestly garments after being soiled were actually taken off and tore into strips and were used as wicks in the menorah in the temple. So they lit up pretty easily. So the garments of the sleeping priest would soon be ignited in flames and the only thing that the slothful priest could do is shed all the garments and go home burnt, wounded, shamed, and naked. This was an important lesson to the priest. [emphasis mine]

In the above passage of Leviticus, we learn that the priests are to put on (highly flammable) linen clothes, with garments that clung close to their body. This was serious business! And this is what Yeshua means to emphasize in the time of Great Tribulation when He said,

Revelation 16:15 “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”

From reading the Torah, we can get a much greater understanding of lots of things concerning the Messiah, including some of the idioms used in reference to the Last Days, like coming “as a thief in the night.” The obvious implication is that we are to be awake, sober and alert so that when our High Priest, King and Bridegroom returns, we are ready for Him….

{Continued on my blog: http://www.babylonrisingblog.com/RaptureRiddle2.html}

Paul reveals this to be the case when he continues where we left off in…

1 Thess.5: 
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

We are to remain awake, keeping the fire burning so-to-speak. If we do, Yeshua will not come to us as a thief in the night! That’s what Yeshua was saying in Matt. 24:42-46. He only comes unexpectedly as a thief to the sleeping, slothful, disobedient and drunk. So, unless you fit those categories, you probably should claim 1 Thess. 5:4,5 and stop saying that “No one knows the day or the hour of when He’s coming, because He’s gonna come as a thief in the night.” 

That said, there is something else to consider, regarding the times and seasons – as well as another possible meaning for the phrase “no man knows the day or the hour” – and that is the extreme probability that Yeshua is going to return on a very specific Appointed Time of His calendar. It is called Yom Teruah, a.k.a. “The Day of the Awakening Blast,” or the Feast of Trumpets – Yom HaDin, “Day of Judgement,” Yom HaZikkaron, “Day of Remembrance” and Yom HaKeseh, “Day of the Hiding or Hidden Day.” This “moed” is found in the Torah’s book of Leviticus:

Leviticus 23:
23 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.
25 Ye shall do no servile work therein: but ye shall offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD.

Because this day is marked by the new moon, which according to some must be sighted as a crescent and to others it is determined at the conjunction, which is not seen. It is not within the scope of this blog to debate which view is correct. Suffice it to say, in either case, no man knows the exact moment of either occurrence. Thus, two witnesses are to observe the sky to determine when the new moon has occurred and thus the new first day of the seventh month begins. This is why the idiom, “no man knows the day or the hour” is sometimes applied to Yom Teruah. Even though I believe the context of Yeshua’s use of the phrase is given in the previous verse concerning the day Heaven and Earth passes away, I still think this is something else worthy of consideration.

Regardless, Paul continues…

1 Thess.5: 
8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

What do we need armor for if we’re never going to see battle?

Now – as many are quick to point out – it is true we are not appointed the wrath of God. But where is the wrath and when is it to be poured out?

Revelation 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

Revelation 16:
And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

The wrath of YHWH is NOT the Tribulation period! The wrath is in the Bowls of judgment, which get poured out on the LAST DAY of it – the same day we are raised up according to Yeshua (John 6:38-44). Yes. We are not appointed to the wrath contained in the Bowls, which are to be poured out on Babylon. That is why we are told to “come out of Babylon.

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

It is a conditional promise Paul was giving in 1 Thess. 5:9. We are not the ones appointed the wrath of YHWH, Babylon is. But if you choose to stay there because you love your X-mess and Ishtar Day and all of its other trappings, well, you will get what is not appointed to you. That’s why the voice from Heaven pleads for you to get out of there!

But this also begs the question, If all the Christians (His people) have already been taken out at the beginning of the Tribulation, why is He calling them to come out at the end of it? Some will say, “Well, there are Tribulation saints who will get saved after we’re gone.” But I can’t see how they can say that, when most of the pre-Tribbers I know also believe the “restrainer” Paul spoke about in 2 Thess. 2:1-10 is the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit and the Church have been removed, who’s left behind to preach the message and how can people be saved without the Holy Spirit? The whole thing makes no sense at all. And if I allowed Scripture to interpret itself, I would say that Michael is the restrainer anyway. He is the guardian/protector of the people of Israel. At some point (I believe in the middle of the Tribulation Period) he leaves his military post on Earth to go fight a war in Heaven:

Revelation 12:
7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The parallel to this would be in Daniel 12:

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

He’s not just “standing up.” He’s rising and taking a stand against the Serpent. When he leaves and casts the Dragon down, “all hell breaks loose” here on Earth and we see the start of the time that “never was” before nor shall be again. It’s a perfect fit.

IN SUMMARY:

  • In context, Yeshua’s statement regarding “this generation shall not pass away” has nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of the nation state of Israel in 1948, but rather the people who see all the signs given in Matt. 24:1-33 will be the generation that will see the end of the world come to pass.
  • In context, the primary reference for “no man knows the day or the hour” has nothing to do with the Rapture, but rather the day Heaven and Earth passes away. The possible exception to this may be a reference to the Feast of Trumpets, in which case, while the exact day and hour may not be known, you can know the “signs and seasons” right up to within about a two day window.
  • The pre-Trib Rapture view is not supported by any example in Scripture. Rather, we see over and over again how YHWH preserves the good guys in times of judgement on the Earth as the bad guys are wiped away. We have numerous examples for this, plus the point-blank statements of Yeshua concerning the tares going first and Him raising His own on the LAST DAY.
  • The phrase, “thief in the night” is an idiom. The only ones He comes to in this fashion are the slothful, sleeping, disobedient, drunkard, foolish ones who are not keeping watch, knowing the times and seasons. Paul states point-blank in 1 Thess. 5:4-6 that we “…are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”
  • Michael is the restrainer Paul wrote about, not the Holy Spirit. This is confirmed by Rev. 12:7-9 and Dan. 12:1, which uses the same words as Yeshua to describe the Last Days as a time, the likes of which the world has never seen before.
  • Rob Skiba