Why I reject all formulas of Rapture Date-setting
Why I reject all formulas of Rapture Date-setting
"But of that day and hour no one knows..." (Mat 24:36)
"... you do not know which day
your Lord is coming." (Mat 24:42)
"...the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will." (Mat 24:44)
IMPORTANT NOTE for all that follows: What does "day and hour" mean? Mark 13:32-33 actually defines what "day and hour" means. Both terms, whether used separately, or together, simply mean
"the appointed time"
"But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. "Take heed, keep on the
alert; for you do not know when the appointed time is. (Mark 13:32-33)
With this in mind, one of the clearest and most forceful teachings in Scripture is Matthew 24:36 (and parallel passages in Mark and Luke).
"But of that day and hour ["appointed time"] no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Mat 24:36)
Yet, ignoring the above, there persist attempts to pinpoint the date of the Rapture. Most often, it is based on the Biblical Jewish annual Feast schedule, or computed using a variety of mathematical formulas.
For example, an all too common error goes like this:
"Christ will come within the time-frame of the Feast of Trumpets, which in 2023 is on September 15-17. Therefore, it is legitimate to set the date of the Rapture as September 15-17, 2023, because I still will not know the SPECIFIC day or the hour."
(for more on the Feast Of Trumpets, see "SPECIAL NOTES" section & graphs at bottomof page)
I reject these as human attempts to circumvent a clear teaching of Scripture.
Shall we compute our way into knowing what the Father ALONE knows"?
If Jesus didn't know during His earthly ministry, and if the angels of heaven do not know, who among men can compute what the Father ALONE knows?
Any formula, or man-made mathematical “requirement“ cannot override Matthew 24, verse 36--BECAUSE OF VERSE 44!
"For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour ["appointed time"] when
you do not think He will. (Mat 24:44)
1. Not only can we not know the day or hour Christ WILL come,
2. we cannot know the day or hour Christ WILL NOT come.
3. For example, if our formula leads us to say that He will come during the Feast of Trumpets, Sep 15-17, 2023, we are forced to say He WILL NOT come on any of the other 362 days in 2023.
4. Suppose we had made this 2023 Rapture-Date-setting back in 2013. We would have been compelled to say "Christ won't come for the next 10 years or 3650 days. (...so why watch?...relax!)
5. Thus, whenever you formulate the Day, or Days, Christ WILL come, you immediately and automatically formulate ALL of the Days He WILL NOT come.
6. When you declare the Day(s) you EXPECT Him, of necessity you are also declaring the days you DO NOT EXPECT HIM. If you DO NOT EXPECT HIM on ALL of the other Days (Luke 12:40), the command to "Watch" and "be on the alert" becomes irrelevant. In our example, I wouldn't be watching every day for Christ to come at any time. I would be watching for September 15-17, 2023. The "IMMINENT" (any moment) coming of Christ at the Rapture is destroyed--along with the Believers' readiness to be on the "alert" EVERY day.
7. In violation of Matthew 24:44, since I have now "figured out" the Rapture Date, then "I do not think" He will come on any other day. Yet the Bible drives this point home: "the Son of Man is coming at an hour ['appointed time'] when you "do not think" He will." (Mat 24:44
Who can formulate their way out of that one?
The error of Rapture Date-setting is the denial that the things "known only to the father alone" (Mat 24:36) still "belong to the LORD our God" as "secret things"
"The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever..." (Deu 29:29)
What Matthew, Mark, and Luke are telling us is that "the appointed time" is a "secret thing" that belongs "to the Lord our God ALONE", but the things revealed "belong to us and to our sons...". (in this case the things revealed are that we DO NOT know the "appointed time" of the Rapture)
Furthermore, Jesus's command to "keep on the alert" because "you do not know when the appointed time is" (Mark 13:33) is addressed to ALL believers,
"And what I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!'"
(Mark 13:37; i.e., "WATCH!", KJV)
Yes, ALL believers--to those who are "asleep", to those who are "alert", and to those code-crackers, formulators, calculators, feast-day analogists and other Rapture day/hour pinpointers who have found a way to know what "the Father alone" knows.
The teaching that no one will know the day or the hour means that no one will know it right up until that unknowable day and hour when the actual Rapture springs upon us!
In a nano-second, in "the twinkling of an eye"
the Father will reveal that secret day and hour to us
in the Rapture itself! (1 Cor 15:51-52)
That is why I reject all attempts to formulate ways to circumvent the clear facts of Matthew 24:36.
Phase 1 (the Rapture) & Phase 2 of the Second Coming of Christ... "IS THE RAPTURE IN MATTHEW 24?" HERE...
"Such vigilance is the responsibility not only of the Twelve Apostles but also of every believer in every generation during this present Age." (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, John F. Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck, eds., Dallas Seminary Faculty, Victor Books, 1983, Mark 13:33-37, p. 173)
"Mat 24:35-26: 'Don't waste your time trying to guess the time. Be ready all the time, because Jesus could come at any time!'" (Mal Couch ed.; Edward Hindson & James Borland, The Gospel Of Matthew, Twenty First Century Biblical Commentary Series, AMG Publishers, Scofield Ministries, 2006, p. 216.)
"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Mat 24:36
"For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.(Mat 24:44
"...you do not know when the appointed time is"..."And what I say to you I say to all, 'Be on the alert!'" (Mark 13:33,37
“be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at AN HOUR THAT YOU DO NOT EXPECT." (Luke 12:40)
He will come on a day when we do “not expect him.” (Luke 12:46)
DAY AND HOUR = "APPOINTED TIME"
Mark 13:32-33 and "the appointed time" (NASB; KJV = "the time"; NIV = "that time"; "Greek = kairos = an occasion, i.e. set time or proper time)
WHAT WE CAN'T --and CAN--KNOW
The clear teaching of Scripture is that we CAN'T know the day or hour of Christ's Coming ABOVE the earth at the Rapture. But we CAN KNOW the season of His coming TO the earth by the rise and convergence of the signs that signal that the establishment of His earthly Kingdom is near. We not only CAN KNOW the season, but we are exhorted to
RECOGNIZE that the season of His Second Coming to the earth is NEAR.
"...even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door." (Matthew 24:33)
"But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:28
"... encouraging [one another]; and all the more, as you see the day [of Christ's Return] drawing near." (Heb 10:25
BELOW: Israel's Annual Feast Cycle see "SPECIAL NOTES" in the blue box to the Right for explanation
The Feast Of Trumpets... the Rapture or Israel?
The Trumpet Call
& Atonement of Israel
And it will come about in that day… you will be gathered up one by one, O sons of Israel…It will come about also in that day that a great trumpet will be blown; and those who were perishing in the land of Assyria and who were scattered in the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD in the holy mountain at Jerusalem. (Isaiah 27:12-13)
The Feast Of Trumpets does not find prophetic fulfillment in the Rapture, but in the regathering of Israel to their land at the beginning of the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. We read below from Dr. Thomas Ice,
Many believe that the seven annual feasts of Israel, as given in Leviticus 23, have prophetic significance. This appears to be true, but are they fulfilled in relation to Israel or the Church?
...It is correctly noted that there is a prophetic aspect of Israel’s feast cycle. Christ fulfilled the four feasts in the spring cycle at the exact time they [were] designated for celebration of Israel’s annual calendar. This provides clear support for saying that the career of Christ, revolving around His two comings to earth, fulfills the seven annual feasts of Israel. Since His first coming satisfied the spring cycle, it appears certain that events related to His second coming will complete the three fall feasts....they will be fulfilled in relation to God’s plan for Israel and not in relation to God’s plan for the church since the feasts relate to Israel and Israel alone.
...This means that the Feast of Trumpets will be fulfilled not at the rapture of the church but at the second coming when Christ sends His angels to gather the elect from around the world and transport them to Israel for the millennium (Deu 30:4; Isa 11:12; Dan 12:1; Mat 24:31)... Any use of the feasts of Israel in an attempt to date-set is invalid because it pertains to Israel, not the church. (emphasis mine)
(Thomas Ice & Timothy Demy, Fast Facts on Bible Prophecy, Harvest House Publishers, 1997, p. 79-80)
BELOW: Graphic by Bible Prophecy As written—the Rapture cannot be dated by any sign, including the Feast Of Trumpets
Graphic below from Power Point presentations by Bible Prophecy As Written