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[Taken from the Prophecy Papers  by Walter R. Dolen
 Copyright © 1977-2003 by Walter R. Dolen and/or BeComingOne Church]

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PR7: End of the Age

If we won't know the Day, Why Watch?
As in Noah's Day
End on a Holy Feast Day
Feasts of Israel Pre-Figured
Which Year?

End of the Old Age; Beginning of the New Age

pr448» The disciples came to Christ in private and asked, "tell us, when shall these things be [the destruction of Jerusalem]? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world [age]?" (Matt 24:3) The disciples asked Christ when the age would end, and when his return would be. Christ then gave them some signs of his coming (Matt 24:4-44).

Father Only Knows the Date?

pr449» But notice with these signs, Christ said, "but of that day and hour [of his return] knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt 24:36). And again he said, "therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes" (Matt 24:44).

We Will Know the Date

pr450» From the two just quoted verses and other verses people conclude that no one will know the date of Christ's return. But this overlooks many other verses that tell us we will know the date of His return. Those who say we do not know, or will never know the date of His return are overlooking scripture that proves we (meaning the Church) will know the date. But the Church will only come to know the date for sure some 3 ˝ years before the date.

pr451» We'll show several reasons why Matthew 24:36 and 24:44 are taken out of context with other scriptures that say we will know the date of the end of the age.

Principles of Biblical Study

pr452» First we must know a very important principle on ascertaining the doctrines of the Bible: "Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little" (Isa 28:9-10).

pr453» To understand doctrine one must study all the details of the doctrine found throughout the Bible. You must take a line here, and a line there from the whole Bible and put it together in order to understand it. But shall one just take any line here, and any line there, to ascertain or figure out doctrine? No, they should take the lines pertaining to each doctrine. But further they should examine all the scriptures on any one subject before putting the verses together. And the only way to do this is to study the whole Bible. If we want to know what the Bible says about the nature of God, we must study every scripture pertaining to God. If we want to know what the Bible says about the return of Jesus Christ, we must study every scripture pertaining to His return.

Christ Given All The Power

pr454» In order to understand the mistaken notion that we will not know the date, we want you to note the following fact:

  • When Christ spoke about only his Father knowing the date (Matt 24:36), he was still a man not yet resurrected to God. If you understand who Christ is now, you will understand how significant this fact is in understanding Christ's words (see God Papers). But even if one does not understand who Christ is now, or does not want to believe it; he will have a hard time discounting a statement made by Christ after he was resurrected to God: "All power is given unto me [Christ] in heaven and in earth" ( Matt 28:18; see Luke 10:21-22).

pr455» Christ has been given all the power of his Father. If Christ has all the Spiritual power of his Father, then he must also know the date.

Christians to Receive Power

pr456» Notice in Acts 1:7-8, Christ was speaking to the apostles after his resurrection to the Father, "And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power." But Christ was given all his Father's power (Matt 28:18), therefore Christ has the power to know the times and the seasons -- to know when the end of the age is. To continue in Acts 1:7-8: "But you shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you." On the Pentecost the power was given to the disciples to know (Acts 2), for at that time they received the Holy Spirit. Therefore the apostles could know the date after they received the power of the Spirit.

Christians to Receive Knowledge

pr457» Notice, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when this, the Spirit of truth, is come, it will guide you into all truth ... it will show you things to come. This [the Spirit of truth] shall glorify me: for it shall receive of mine, and show it unto you. All things that the Father has are mine: Therefore said I, that it [the Spirit of truth] shall take of mine, and show it unto you" ( John 16:12-15).

pr458» These verses clearly say that the Spirit will show the apostles all that is Christ's. The Father had the power to know the times (Acts 1:7), but Christ was given all the power of the Father (Matt 28:18), for "all things that the Father has are mine" said Christ (John 16:15). Through the Spirit and scripture Christ will show us about the things to come (John 16:13).

Church Knows Hidden Secrets

pr459» Notice the scriptures about the Church knowing the hidden secrets. The Church will know because the Spirit shall reveal it through the scriptures:

  • "For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifested; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad" (Luke 8:17).
  • "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in Spirit, and said, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in your sight. ALL THINGS are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knows who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal Him" (Luke 10:21-22).
  • "Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known" (Matt 10:26).
  • "For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear" (Mark 4:22-23). This indicates that the secrets will be known.
  • "Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them" (Isa 42:9).
  • "I have much to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak of his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you" (John 16:12-15, NIV).
  • "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my Name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you" ( John 14:26, NIV; see 1 John 2:27). The verb translated in the English as, "I have said," is an aorist verb, which is a verb of action, not of time. Thus, this Spirit will remind ("will put into the mind" -- Greek future verb) Christians of what Christ says (or said, or will say). As John 16:12-15 indicates, Christ did not at that time give all the truth to them, but said that in the future the Spirit of truth would lead them into all the truth. In the book of Acts it shows Christ revealing new truth to them (Acts 15:7 cf 10:28 & 10:1-33 & 11:7ff; Acts chap 15 -- the teaching that physical circumcision was not needed; etc.). And the one who comes in the Spirit of Elijah will eventually lead the Church into all the truth (see "Two Witnesses" paper [PR8]).

Spirit Reveals Hidden Wisdom and Knowledge

Spirit Reveals

pr460» The secrets will be revealed through the Spirit (John 16:12-15). And, "but we [of the Church] speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory ... But God has revealed them [the hidden wisdom] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God ... Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual" ( 1 Cor 2:7, 10, 13).

Times known

pr461» One of the things that the Spirit will teach is the time of the end of the age. In Acts 1:7 it speaks of the power to know "the times and the seasons" and this power the Father has. But then in the very next verse (Acts 1:8) it says, "you shall receive power." They were to receive the power of the Father -- His Spirit. It is through this power of the Spirit that ALL THINGS would be revealed because what the Father had was given to the Son (Matt 28:18; John 16:15; etc.). And the Son was to show these things to his servants (John 16:15, 13; Matt 11:27; Luke 10:22; 8:17).

pr462» The New Testament Church did know the typical end of the age: "but of the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you" ( 1 Thes 5:1). Why? "And that, knowing the time" ( Rom 13:11). They knew the times. This doesn't mean they knew the date of Christ's return, although they could have known it even then. More than likely they knew that this was the evil age and that the new age was fast approaching. But further they knew that there was an antitypical rest or Sabbath (Heb 4:1-10). And they knew God's days are counted as l,000 years (2 Pet 3:8). Also they knew the typical sabbath rest was on the seventh day of the week. Thus they could have easily have figured that the antitypical rest or sabbath was the seventh l,000 year "day." And through the chronology of the Bible they could see that Christ appeared near the 4,000th year of man. Thus, they could have figured up that the date of Christ's return was still about 2,000 years off (see Chronology Papers).

Daniel's Vision

pr463» Notice what Daniel was told about the prophecies given him, "but you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end" (Dan 12:4).

pr464» Daniel's prophecy is locked up until the time of the end of the age of evil. Thus at the time of the end of the age is when the appointed time of the end of the age will be revealed. All secrets are to be made known before they happen per the verses we have already quoted. And at the time of the end is when Daniel's book will be opened completely, for at the time of the end is when all things shall be restored (Mal 4:5; Amos 3:7; Matt 17:11; see "Two Witnesses" paper [PR8]).

Mistakes of Others' Interpretation

pr465» We will return to Daniel in a moment after we go over a couple of parables. These parables are put forth by some when they attempt to prove that we will not know the date of Christ's physical return. We will show that these parables are taken out of context.

pr466» First before we go over these parables note the following facts:

  • What Christ said in Matthew 24 is also written about in Mark and Luke.
  • The parable he spoke in Matt 24:44-51 was uttered by Christ before he repeated it to the disciples on the occasion mentioned in Matthew 24. (Luke 12:40-48) Thus at the time it was repeated to the disciples, the disciples had already heard it. We will explain why this is important in a moment.
  • There is evidence in studying Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that Christ repeated the same parables or teaching almost everywhere he went. When an account of any parable is given by one writer, it may be retold only in part. We must compare each parable or teaching with all accounts of the same parable in order to understand the full extent of the words Christ used to explain these parables. For example, Matthew in writing about a parable may have left out a certain sentence that Christ spoke pertaining to the parable, while Luke in his account may mention this missing sentence. Therefore we must put both accounts of Matthew and Luke together in order to understand what Christ said. If we don't do this we, in effect, are taking Christ's words out of context.

pr467» Now let's look at what is written in Matthew 24:37-51. It is very important that we comprehend what we are about to study. These verses, if taken alone, are out of context with what Christ said. Christ spoke these parables on many occasions, like any minister today repeats and repeats things, so Christ in his ministry repeated his parables.

pr468» Further in any one book on the sayings of Christ, each author gives the story from a different view point, and at times leaves out important sayings of Christ. But each thing each author (Matt, Mark, Luke, and John) says is true, yet to find out all the things Christ spoke of concerning a parable, one must compare all the books that mention the parable to get the full information. We need the full information because we don't want to take Christ's words out of context.

If we won't know what day the Lord comes back, why watch?

pr469» This is the Basic question of which we will now answer. First lets look at Matthew 24:37-51:

  • Mat 24:37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. [38] For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; [39] and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. [40] Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. [41] Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. [42] "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. [43] But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. [44] So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. [45] "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? [46] It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. [47] I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. [48] But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,' [49] and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. [50] The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. [51] He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Correct the Translation

pr470» Matthew 24:37-51 basically shows us that as in the days of Noah, so will be the days before the return of Christ -- people will be engrossed in the every day things of life and will not be looking and noticing the times (notice Mark 13:33-34; Luke 21:34-35). Then in verse 42 Christ said, "watch therefore because you do not know on what day your Lord will come." Let's translate this verse directly from the Greek text, using the Greek Lexicon published by Zondervan, and Thayer's Lexicon:

  • The word "watch" is in the second person plural. Therefore should have been translated, "You be watchful," or "you be awake," or "you be attentive."
  • The word translated "because" in the NIV or "for" in the KJV can just as well be translated, "that." In fact in the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible, out of 1298 times this Greek word (hoti) was translated, it was translated "that" more often than any other English word: 492 times translated "that"; 205 times translated "because"; and 145 times translated "for" ( The Niv Exhaustive Concordance, Greek word #4022, p. 1766).
  • The word translated "hour" in the KJV should have been translated "day" and is translated "day" in the NIV. See footnote f for Matt 24:42 in the Interlinear Greek New Testament by G.R. Berry, Published by Zondervan in 1969.

Therefore a correct translation of Matthew 24:42 from the Greek is:

  • "you be watchful therefore: that you do not know what day your Lord will come."

As in Noah's Day so at the Coming of the Lord

pr471» Christ was warning that in the time of Noah before the flood people behaved as always until the flood took them away, and so will it be at the end of the age: "and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man" (24:39). He said at His return it would be the same with people not recognizing the times. He warns them not to be like those in Noah's day: "you be watchful therefore: that you do not know what day your Lord will come."

pr472» It was because Noah knew what time the flood would come that he prepared the ark. Christ was merely telling them to be careful so that they won't be like those of the flood who did not prepare themselves for the flood like Noah did. He wasn't saying that all would not know the time of his coming, but he said that they should not be in the position of not knowing the time of his coming because then they would be like those dying from the flood.

pr473» After this Christ went on and told about how happy will be the servant who is doing His work when He comes, and the future weeping of the unfaithful one or ones who are not doing God's work, but eating and drinking. The parallel here is that Noah was the faithful servant who knew the time of the flood and prepared the ark, but those who did not know, but kept on as always, were destroyed by the flood.

Wicked Servant Will Not Know the Time

pr474» Christ wasn't saying His true servants would not know the date, but that the unfaithful ones, or one, would "say in his heart, My lord delays his coming" (Matt 24:48). Inside his mind, the unfaithful servant will not believe the date or time of Christ's coming like those who did not believe Noah's warnings of the flood. "The master of that servant [wicked or unfaithful one] will come on a day when he [the wicked one] does not expect him [Lord] and at an hour he is not aware of" (Mat 24:50).

pr475» Matthew 24:44 should be correctly translated as, "and because of this [V. 43] you be ready: that in such an hour as you suppose not, the Son of man will come." In other words, be careful that you don't suppose wrongly about the time of His coming. Why? You will be like those who were destroyed by the flood, if you do not know the time.

Christians Not Asleep

pr476» Now we will show you an important verse that qualifies these sayings of Christ. If you look in Robertson's, Harmony of the Gospels, you see that Christ said some more things after he spoke what was recorded in Matthew 24:42. After Christ warned them about being watchful for his return, Christ adds, "lest coming suddenly he [Christ] find you sleeping" (Mark 13:36).

Christians not Asleep

pr477» But notice Paul's words about true Christians:

  • "But of the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they [non-Christians] shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them [like the flood came on those who did not believe Noah], as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape [like those of the flood did not escape]. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you as a thief. You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober" (1 Thes 5:1-6).

pr478» If we are of the day, if we are of the children of light, if we are faithful servants; then we will not sleep and be drunk with the world's way. We will know the times so that we will not be destroyed like those of the flood.

All Must Watch

pr479» After Christ said be watchful "lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping," he said, "and what I say unto you I say unto ALL, watch" (Mark 13:37). Christ was not only speaking to his apostles at that time, but he was speaking to all, to all mankind. All mankind must be watchful lest they be asleep when Christ physically returns and the flood of it all takes them away to destruction.

pr480» Notice the confirmation on our last statement. Christ in Luke 12:37-40 is again speaking about watching. He was speaking to the disciples. "Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest you this parable unto us, or even to all?" As Mark 13:37 said, "what I say unto you I say unto all, watch."

Thus a close study of what we have put forward proves the true Christians will know the time of the end of the age, but others will not perceive the time.

Times of the Gentiles

pr481» In Luke's account of what Christ told his disciples about the time of the end of the age, Christ said Jerusalem would be "trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" (Luke 21:24). And Paul said that physical Israel would be blinded to the truth, "until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in" (Rom 11:25). This physical blindness of physical Israel also applies to all the other peoples, because they do not have the New Mind.

pr482» What are the times of the Gentiles? In context of Luke's writings, Christ will come right after the fullness of the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24-27). In the truest sense of Paul's writing, Israel's blindness will not cease until Christ physically returns. Therefore the times of the Gentiles must be fulfilled before Christ returns, then Christ shall immediately return.

pr483» What are the times of the Gentiles, and when will they be fulfilled? When we answer this question we will know when Christ shall return.

End of the Times on a Feast Day

pr484» In Colossians 2:16-17 we read, "Let no man therefore judge you in food, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: which are a foreshadow of things to come." The holydays Paul was speaking of are enumerated in the Old Testament. These holydays are foreshadows of things to come. Notice the pattern of some holydays or ceremonies:

Festivals of Israel Pre-Figured the Real Events

1. Sabbath
Type: Six days of work; one day of rest (Lev 23:3; Gen 2:1-3)
Anti-type: Six 1000 year-days, then a Sabbath of rest (2 Pet 3:8; Heb 4:1-10; Rev 20:4; NM 16)
2. Passover
Type: Passover lamb (Lev 23:5; Exo 12:5-6)
Anti-type: Christ the real Passover Lamb of God (John 1:29; 1 Cor 5:7)
3. Sheaf of First Fruits
Type: Sheaf of barley was waved before the BeComingOne to be accepted for the people after the weekly Sabbath (Lev 23:10-11; "on the day after the Sabbath" - Lev 23:11)
Anti-type: Christ ascended to his Father after the Sabbath on the first part of Sunday (Col 1:15, 18; 1 Cor 15:20, 23; CP 4; NM 16)
4. Pentecost
Type: Feast of Weeks after Wheat Harvest (Lev 23:15-22)
Anti-type: Not fulfilled perfectly yet, only in an imperfect way when the New Testament Church was given the Spirit on the first Pentecost after Christ went to his Father at the time of the sheaf of first fruits (Acts 2; NM 16).

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 Those of the world said: "We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man's [Christ's] blood upon us." 

But Peter and the apostles answered:
"We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:28-29)

"All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility ... But the peculiar evil of  silencing the expression of opinion is, that it is robbing the human race ... If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error." (John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, Chapter 2)

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