“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.“ (Matthew 24:36-37 KJV)

These two verse of Scripture are used by many Christians to describe the Rapture of the Church, The Bride Of Christ. Am I saying there is no Pre-Tribulation Period Rapture? I am NOT saying that! In fact, The Pre-Tribulation Rapture is FULLY SUPPORTED in Scripture. I am saying that the passage of Scripture in Matthew 24:35-37 is not about the Rapture. This may come as a surprise to many because many pulpits teach Matthew 24 completely out of context and fail to understand that in Matthew 24 Jesus is talking to the Jewish peoples, the nation of Israel. You see, the church did not even exist when he told this to His disciples.

The first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation Period may be hard times but the last 3 1/2 years is called The GREAT Tribulation. All hell will break lose on the Earth. In Matthew 24:29 is reads,

“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:” (Matthew 24:29 KJV)

Because verse 29 is obviously discussing events after the Tribulation Period then the reference to the “days of Noah”,  later in verse 36, is also not about the Rapture as many are teaching today. The reference to the Days of Noah is being addressed to the Nation Israel just before the Second Coming. Jesus continues telling the Disciples about what will happen AFTER the Great Tribulation and just before Christ returns at the Second Coming – not the Rapture in verses 30-31 saying,

“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. 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.” (Matthew 24:30-31 KJV)

Jesus says “AND THEN” as in after these things He just spoke about happening. That is pretty clear right? Matthew 24 is NOT about the Rapture. It is addressing those alive after the 7 Year Tribulation Period and is addressing the Nation of Israel.

Who is the elect the angels are gathering?

First, when you look at the Rapture verses in 1 Thessalonians 4, no where is it showing angels gathering the elect from the the four winds of HEAVEN. Instead it says that Jesus Himself will give a SHOUT and believers will be raised from the dead, and those still alive who are believers will be changed and that we will meet Him in the air. It also shows that only believers will see Christ and that it will happen in a ‘twinkling of an eye’ (faster than a blink) . But here in Matthew 24, we see something different. We see angels gathering the elect. We see that the whole world will see Him coming. So this event is NOT the Rapture. It is about the Second coming as Jesus stated clearly in verse 29.

Who are ‘the elect’ mentioned here then?Well, in Daniel 12:1-2 we see a prophecy that is not about those Raptured. It is specifically for the time AFTER the Tribulation Period. It is the same time as spoken about by Jesus in Matthew 24.

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.  And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” (Daniel 12:1-2 KJV)

Notice the Elect are collected from the four winds (The Earth) , from one end of HEAVEN to the other. This is speaking about the fulfillment of the prophecy in Daniel 12. Old Testament Saints will be resurrected at this time and reunited with their new glorified bodies, as will those martyred believers from the Tribulation period.

These are those in Old Testament times and who were martyred in the Tribulation Period for their testimony, who have come to faith and belief in Christ.

Not all people will be saved in the Tribulation Period. Lots will! But most in fact will believe the Antichrist is the Messiah returned to Earth in the Tribulation. Many will fall for the great deception of the Tribulation period. This deception is likely some kind of explanation for what happened to those raptured previously. Yet there will also be a great number of people who will heed the 144,00 evangelized Jews and the 2 witnesses from the Tribulation period and will believe that Christ is Lord and will return. Most will be killed for their belief on Christ by the Antichrist (who will be Adolf Hitler on steroids). These are the ‘elect’ spoken of in this verse.

God will have His angels gather these believers saved in the Tribulation Period and relocate them to Israel in preparation for the 1000 year reign of Christ on the Earth. He has His angels gather them from where they are currently scattered all over the Earth and in Heaven. In contrast, Angels do not gather the believers at the Rapture. At the Rapture we are quickly snatched up into the cloud to meet Christ in the air. The gathering by angels and relocating them to Israel here is not about the rapture.

What Did Jesus Mean By Not Knowing The Day Nor Hour Then?

It is important to not just read Matthew verse 36 without reading the verse just before it. Again context is everything. Up until verse 34, Jesus is answering the question the disciples had of when will the Second Coming happen. At the time Jesus was telling His disciples this, they had no knowledge of the Rapture. Information about the Rapture came later through the Apostle Paul and was revealed AFTER Jesus Ascended. Again, this answer of Jesus was for the Nation of Israel and Jewish peoples – not for the church which did not even exist at the time of Jesus answering them. The church has been Raptured 7 years prior to all this.

Remember that God is treating and fulfilling promises to Israel as well as to the Church Bride. We cannot mix this together as some do today with ‘Replacement Theology’. That is a very wrong teaching. In Matthew 24, Jesus is talking strictly to the Jewish peoples and the Nation of Israel. In the end times, Israel will become a nation again and that has already happened and been fulfilled in 1948. The BIG sign that the end times have begun. That is how close we are to the Rapture folks. Very close!

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.“ (Matthew 24:36-37 KJV)

First, Jesus says here that at the time of His telling the disciples this, no man knoweth, no angels knoweth, but the Father only knoweth. Jesus Himself at the time of telling this does not seem to know the exact date either. Jesus was still in human form and His knowledge was limited. We see this in many Scriptures. Jesus only did what the Father told Him to do and say. However, NOW Jesus does know the exact day and hour. He is risen and with the Father. The very start of the book of Revelation tells us this.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.” (Revelation 1:-2 KJV)

So Jesus knows now! He has been preparing a place for believers for 2000 years now! (John 14)

Some are teaching that this must be about the Rapture because it references the ‘Days of Noah’ and that the Ark was a foreshadowing of the Rapture. Well, that is true. But here it does not reference the Ark as the Rapture. The Second Coming is the focus of attention and the the focus is surely on those left behind, not those saved in the flood. Some also say this must be about the Rapture because after just going through the horrific Tribulation period, people will not be just going about as ‘business as usual’.

But just a minute here. Let’s look at what happened in Noah’s day. Noah was warning people that when his grandfather died that a flood will come. Noah knew the time the flood would come. God told him. Did Noah go about as business as usual or did that make him work at building the Ark and preach this truth to the people, while everyone else scoffed at him? You see, the day the flood came did not surprise Noah. It surprised everyone else!

We know today that when a specific event happens in the Tribulation Period, we have the exact date of the Second Coming. We do not know the date today because the Rapture must take place before the Tribulation Period begins. It is what triggers the Tribulation Period beginning. But once the Tribulation Period starts, the 144,000 Jewish Evangelist for Christ will know the exact date of Christ’s return. We know exactly the day that the Second Coming will occur and it occurs exactly 1,260 days after the Abomination of Desolation during the Tribulation Period. And it occurs exactly 1,290 days after the Antichrist issues the decree to stop the Jewish sacrifices at the Temple. That is a very time specific prophecy from Daniel. So for the believing survivors of the Tribulation Period, they are anticipating the Lord’s coming on a specific date!

But what about the unsaved survivors who were worshiping the Antichrist and his beast system of Government? They think the Antichrist; IS CHRIST already come. They are not looking for the Second Coming. The day of Christ’s Second Coming will come as a shock to them. After The Tribulation, the unbelieving world will be trying to get back to business as usual. The Tribulation hell they went through, which they will think were natural disasters almost destroying the entire world, are seemingly over. But then they will see Jesus coming. He is not returning in a flash like the Rapture. The whole world will see Him coming! Verse 30 shows this,

“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.

This is another proof that Matthew 24 is about the Second Coming and NOT the Rapture. The Rapture happens fast; faster than an eye blink! The Second Coming is something the world sees coming.  It will take them off guard just like it took those in Noah’s day off guard that did not believe Noah or God.

The rain started at the time Noah said it would and God shut the doors of the Ark. It took a while for the waters to rise enough for their panic to set it didn’t it? But as the Lord approaches Earth from space, they will know that they were wrong. They accepted the Mark Of The Beast and there is no way of escape now. They will no doubt think that ‘the Christians were right, and we were wrong!’

“38For 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.”

Now it is clear from verse 39 this is the case. Jesus says they KNEW NOT UNTIL THE FLOOD CAME. And what happened? God ‘took them all away’. The Rapture is God taking believers to Heaven. Here at the Second Coming God will ‘take them away’ in judgement and death as He did in the days of Noah. This is talking about the the Sheep and Goats Judgment explained in more detail in Matthew 25:31-46.

While answering the question about when the Second Coming would occur, Jesus answers them and then tells them that this will happen with CERTAINTY and tells the disciples,

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Some teach this verse is telling us we cannot know the time of the Rapture. However, is that what is really being said here in proper context? I ask you this, ‘when’ will Heaven and Earth PASS AWAY? Is that to happen at the rapture? Not according to the Scriptures. There is still the Tribulation period and another 1000 years with Christ ruling on Earth right? That event was described by Peter as a time the people on Earth will not know.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3:10 KJV)

This event happens at the END of the 1000 year reign of Christ on Earth. The Great White Throne judgement of non believers happens and the believers in Christ see the NEW heavens and the New Earth God creates for us. This current Earth and Heavens will burn!

Jesus is just telling the disciples that my answer to your question about WHEN the Second Coming will happen is as true as His Words NEVER passing away.  Heavens and Earth will pass away (there’s a major event!) but not Jesus words. Not the Word of God! Every word of God will be fulfilled to the exactness that only God can orchestrate.

Wait a minute.. did you miss verses 32-34?

What is that all about if this is not about Israel becoming a nation nor the rapture as many are believing today? First let’s compare two different Gospels of the same event when Jesus was asking the disciples about when the Second Coming would happen:

“Now learn a parable of THE FIG TREE; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” (Matthew 24: 32-34 KJV)
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“And he spake to them a parable; BEHOLD THE FIG TREE, AND ALL THE TREES; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:29-32 KJV)
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There are no contradictions in the Bible, only misinterpretations. Here we see that both Matthew and Luke are writing about the same event, yet Luke does not just mention the FIG TREE and he also mentions ‘ALL THE TREES’. So this makes it clear that these verses in Matthew are not about Israel becoming a nation in 1948. There are in fact other Scriptures that foretold of Israel becoming a nation again and they were fulfilled in our generation. (Amos 9:14-15,Ezekiel 37:10-14,Isaiah 66:7-8,Jeremiah 16:14-15 and others!) So understand that Israel becoming a nation is most certainly foretold for the End Times, and it exists again today! We are in the End times, make no mistake about that!

Jesus is just telling them in plain language that you see signs before summer comes right? Trees start to bud and leaves start showing and you KNOW “Here comes summer!” Right? Well, Jesus is saying the same thing. When you see these signs I just told you about, know that the Second Coming is near. Again, this is talking to the Nation of Israel and the Jewish peoples after the Tribulation Period because of the context Jesus provided in Matthew 24:29 and just before Christ Returns to Earth.

It is not a prophecy for the Bride of Christ and those already Raptured. After all, we will be the ones returning WITH Christ at His Second Coming.