Can We Know When Judgment Day Is? (45 minutes)
(Page 2 of 2)
Now that we have looked at the phrases " knows no man" and " neither the son" on Page 1 of "Can We Know When Judgment Day Is," and have shown that neither of these mean that God's people cannot know the very day, but indeed when looked at closely in context have revealed just the opposite, there are what I will call the Wise Man Will Know passages, which also teach that God's people will know the very time of Judgment.
First of all, let's look at Ec. 8:5 which states, "Who so keeps the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man's heart discerns both time and judgment."
In the Bible, "a wise man" is anyone who has Christ dwelling in them or who is saved, for Christ is the very essence of wisdom, which is why, for example, we find the following verse through the Apostle Paul to the Christians which states, " We are fools for Christ's sake, but ye are wise in Christ" (1Cor. 4:10), and, once again, why only 5 of the virgins in the parable of the 10 virgins as recorded in Mt. 25 were wise: it was because only they who had true salvation as represented by that they had the oil for their lamps, which tells us they are the ones who had the Holy Spirit and salvation, while the other 5 foolish virgins did not. Furthermore, if we are saved, then we have the mind of Christ according to 1Cor. 2:16 which states, "we [that is, the saved believers] have the mind of Christ." So what this passage is teaching us is that the saved will discern both time and judgment, and, to discern, is one and the same as knowing, so this is the same as saying, the saved will know both time and judgment. Now to know the time in the Bible can give reference to knowing the hour as these terms are often interchangeable because an hour in the Bible does not have to mean an hour as in 60 minutes, but rather it simply can mean a period of time. And, to know judgment is not only to know the nature of judgment itself, but also to know ultimately and finally the very Day of Judgment. Therefore, the true believers will know the day and hour, which means time, of judgment. This clearly supports what we have already concluded in other studies: that the true believers or saved people of God can and will know the time of the judgment of God. We see this also in Daniel 12:9-10 after God told Daniel "to go thy way, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end," He further said through Daniel that "none of the wicked will understand, but the wise shall understand." Once again, it is the wise or saved people who "will understand," and as we have seen consistently so far in our studies, the wicked or the unsaved of the world will not understand - they will be swept away in the judgment; they will not know the time. I think it is of some value to note that even as it was the wise men who knew the exact time when Jesus came to earth the first time, so also it will be the wise ones, or people of God, who will know when Jesus comes the second time in judgment.
The Evil & Wise Servants Compared
Now yet another place in scripture where the wise are revealed as knowing the very time of judgment is in the parable of the Evil and Wise Servants as recorded in Mt. 24:45-51. There we read,
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 comes 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 delays his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards;
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks 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.
In this passage and as I just read, we are told, "if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My Lord delays his coming; And shall begin to smite [or beat] his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards; the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of." Notice the use of the words day and hour here. By this verse we are most clearly told that the "evil servant," which certainly gives reference to the unsaved, will NOT know the day or hour of the Lord's coming. But, in context and in contrast to the evil servant, this most certainly infers that the "wise servant" can and will know the day and hour , for this parable is comparing and contrasting the evil servant to the wise servant. As we have already learned, a "wise servant" is one who is saved and has Christ, the very essence of wisdom, dwelling in them - this is the only reason why they are considered wise.
So this passage is another clear support for the fact that the true believers, or saved ones, can and will know the exact day and hour of Christ's return in judgment, but the evil or unsaved will not, and this itself is a judgment against them, for it is because they are evil or unsaved that the Lord will "come in a day when he looks not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of." It should be noted here once again that this evil person is called an "evil servant" of the Lord. This can be none other than virtually all the people who are identified with Christ in some way, which is normally due to some type of affiliation with a so-called Christian church or denomination, and who claim and think they are followers or servants of Christ, but they are not.
Now notice what keeps this "evil servant" from knowing the day and the hour of his lord's coming: it's because he says "in his heart, my lord delays his coming." Now spiritually speaking, "to say in [one's] heart, my lord delays His coming" is to say today that spiritual Judgment Day did not take place in 2011, but it is some other or yet many years down the road. For example, many churches today hold to the false dispensational pre-millennial view of a 1000 year reign of Christ on this earth, and then after that, judgment and the earth's destruction takes place; therefore, to them, judgment must be at least 1000 years away. They and others are looking for an earthly seven year tribulation period before this 1000 year reign instigated on by a human political-religious man who is the antichrist, but who they cannot yet confirm without speculation has even yet appeared on the scene. Therefore, Judgment Day to them must be yet many years away no matter how you look at it.
Then, there are also those primarily, it seems, in the reformed tradition who hold to what is called the post-millennial doctrine. For them, there is no literal 1000 year reign on earth, but the 1000 year period they correctly see as spiritual and lasts from the time of the cross throughout the entire church age period, which, according to them, goes to the very end of the world, and during this church age period the world is going to be Christianized to the point of Christianity completely ruling or overcoming the world, then the end will come after this. But since the world is still obviously far from complete Christianization, the world must go on for many more years, perhaps hundreds or even thousands of years. In this camp are normally also those who call themselves Preterists who falsely see all the end time teachings of Mt. 24, and all its parallel passages, as having already taken place in the first century, and so they must deny the many end time truths given in these verses. The result is, they must deny that spiritual Judgment began on May 21, 2011 , and that the End of the World is right at hand.
Then, finally, there are those who are called amillennialists scattered about who believe as I once believed, and, humanly speaking, are probably closer to the end time truths than most others. They do not believe in a literal 1000 year reign, but that the 1000 year reign is symbolic of Christ's spiritual reign during the church age period as do the postmillenialists, and, as do we, but they do not believe that this earth needs to be so greatly and completely Christianized as do the postmillenialists before the end will come. Therefore, humanly speaking, they should be the most likely to see that we are right at the end of all things, and the truth of the end of the church age, May 21, 2011 and that the End is right at hand. But they do not see the truth because God has blinded them as He brings judgment against the churches in which they still abide. They have not obeyed the command to come out of their church, and so are not able to see all the things which God has been revealing during this time of the end, but rather are under God's judgment convinced that we cannot know the time of Judgment Day and Christ's return.
Now Due to false teachings such as all these, they must all deny that May 21, 2011 was the beginning of spiritual Judgment Day, and the End of the World is right at hand . It is as if they are saying in their heart, "my lord delays his coming." Note also that this evil servant in the parable begins to "smite [or beat] his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards." We begin to understand what this means in a scripture such as Isaiah 29:9 where we read about God's judgment on Israel which represented the churches of our day, He says,
Stay yourselves, and wonder; cry ye out, and cry: they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink.
10 For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered.
Notice that to be drunk here is not in reference to literally being drunk, for "they are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink." But being drunk has to do with being asleep or blind to many truths of the Bible, " For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered." Therefore, spiritually speaking, we can say that to "smite [or beat] [one's] fellowservants" is to lead and encourage them astray through false teaching, which leads them all to death because it cannot save them - It's like beating them to death. And, To "eat and drink with the drunkards" is to be intoxicated by false gospels and false teachings in the judgment of blindness and deception.
Sadly, this evil servant is a clear picture of the churches of our day. The Bible teaches that the church age is over, the true believers have either already been forced out of the churches or have and are obeying the biblical command to come out of them, and judgment rests upon all the churches as Satan has been ruling them ever since May 21 of 1988, but the churches and those in them will not stomach any of this. Instead they continue to lead the people astray in this and many other false doctrines and gospels, which lead the people in them to death. Because "judgment must begin at the house of God" (I Pet. 4:17) and has already begun, the churches are being fed "strong delusion that they should believe a lie" (II Thes. 2:11); they do not know that they are beating their "fellow servants" and making them spiritually drunk, and the unsaved believers or "evil servants" love it that way. They love "to drink with the drunkards." They love to go to church where "Satan dwells, the synagogue of Satan" (Rev. 2:9 and 3:9).
So, in summary, what we have learned in this study is that a wise man, which in the Bible refers to God's people, will know the Day of Judgment . It is they who will understand all of this, but the wicked or unsaved will not understand.
The Goodman of the House
Here we are told to "Watch therefore: for you know not what hour your Lord does come," and this is pretty self explanatory, namely that Christ's disciples to whom He was then speaking to about 2000 years ago did not know the hour or time of His return. But immediately after saying this, Christ says something that is quite enlightening. He says, "But know this, that if the good man 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." Now in the Bible, the only one who is good is God Himself as Christ said to the rich man in Mt. 19:17, "there is none good but one, that is, God." But because in the Spirit God dwells inside His true believers or saved ones, they also can be considered good. So what this passage is teaching is that if the true believer "had known in what watch the thief would come," which in this context is the Lord coming as a thief to destroy in judgment, "he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up."
The logical question that arises from this is: why would God first tell His disciples that they "know not what hour" Christ comes, but then immediately after that say, but " if the Goodman [who represents the true believers] had known in what watch the thief [who represents Christ] would come, he would not have suffered his house to be broken up" ? Can you see it? Clearly God is encouraging the true believer or saved person to "watch" for the exact time and hour of Christ's coming, and why would He do this if there wouldn't come a time in which His people could know the exact time of their Lord's coming in Judgment? This is all in perfect agreement with what we have already come to learn, that during the 1955 years of the church age from 33 A.D. to 1988, Christ's disciples did not know and could not know the time of their Lord's return in Judgment, for it was hidden as Daniel made known, " until the time of the end," but nevertheless, they were always commanded to "watch," that is to keep studying and obeying the Bible, because at the end of the church age, which was at the time of the end, and which we now know began in 1988, the scriptures would begin to be unsealed and opened up so that now the details of the end could eventually be discovered. This is exactly what has been happening.
Now someone might now say, doesn't Christ come as a thief in the night or as a surprise making it impossible to know the very time? Well, we have already had enough evidence to answer this question in the negative for God's people in the previous studies in the series, but let's take a look at a couple passages which should settle this issue once and for all, and add even further support to the conclusion that we can know the time of Christ's return. Probably the most enlightening scripture in this regard is 1Thes. 5:2-5 where we read,
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes 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.
First notice the emphasis on the word " day." It is not saying that Christ does not come as a thief to the true believers because they will know the general time or season in which their Lord comes, and for this reason Christ does not come as a thief or as a surprise, but it infers they will know the very day, for" ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness." Indeed, there is clear warrant here to ask the following question: How can the children of the day not know when the day is? Or saying it quite simply, How can the children of the Day not know the day? That would be tantamount to asking, how can Christ who is called the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, not know the exact day of the end? Obviously, He would and does as we had previously learned, and, likewise, how can the children of the day not know when the day is? Obviously, they would, and, in fact, will when it is the Lord's time to so reveal it.
But, one might argue that to be children of the day simply means to be children of the light of the gospel or the Bible. It does not mean they will know the exact day of Christ's coming. And I would say, look carefully at the verse in question, it says, " Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day;" not only the children of light, but also the children of the day. Now God isn't saying the same thing here twice that God's people are children of the truth or light, and then saying they are the children of the truth or light once again by saying they are children of the Day. No, rather, God is saying that God's true people are not only children of the truth, but they are also children of the Day because they will know the very day of their Lord's coming. This is why Christ will not and cannot surprise them as a thief. Let me say again because I think this should be made a slogan sent around the world, how can the children of the day not know the day? Think about it, how can the children of the day not know the day?
Now as we consider further, there is another reason in addition to knowing the very day of Christ's return why Christ could not possibly come as a thief for the true believers. John 10:10 states, " The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy;" therefore, if Christ would come as a thief in the night for His own people, He would be coming to steal, and to kill, and to destroy them, and we know that that cannot be; for they have been saved from this coming wrath of God. But, on the other hand, this is not true for the unsaved; for them, Christ will come as a thief and as a surprise in the night to steal, and to kill, and to destroy them. So, if Christ is coming as a thief for you, you are in big trouble with God. Unfortunately and sadly, this is what many are saying, especially in the churches of our day: They are saying that we cannot know the day of Christ's return because He comes as a thief. Sadly, this reveals through what they are saying their own fate: Christ is coming for them to steal, and to kill, and to destroy as " sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
It is of great significance that the unsaved are saying "peace and safety" before "sudden destruction comes upon them." This lets us know that the unsaved being focused upon here are all those who are identified with Christ in some way, which normally means they are in the churches, but who are not saved. We say this because the definition of "peace and safety" in the Bible has to do with the "peace and safety" from the judgment of God which one comes into only by salvation in Jesus Christ. So, sadly, the ones who are saying "peace and safety," which is the same as saying, we are saved, or at least, we believe we are on the right pathway of salvation, are all those who for the most part are in the churches, and to whom Christ will come as a thief in the night to bring "sudden destruction" upon them. This is all in perfect accord with the fact that according to the biblical calendar, God's judgment has come upon all the churches and congregations of the world ever since May 21 of 1988, for "judgment must begin with the house of God" (I Peter 4:17), and that ever since then all the true believers have been commanded to come out and to stay out of all the churches in escape of God's judgment upon all the churches as He blinds them all, not only to the very time of Judgment, but also to many other doctrines and truths of the Bible as they are fed a strong delusion by almighty God Himself that they might believe a lie (2Thes. 2). All those still remaining in the churches will be killed and destroyed by the coming of the Lord in Judgment, for, to them, He comes as a thief, which is exactly what they believe and are teaching, and so are declaring their own fate.
In this, the words of our Lord as recorded in Mt. 7:22-23 suddenly come into sobering clarity,
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.
Watch , and you will know the hour
Yet another scripture which supports that the true believers can and will know the very time of judgment is Revelations 3:3 where we read,
3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Again, as I just read, "If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon thee." This clearly infers that if we do "watch," then we will know the "hour" or time that Christ comes in judgment. So once again, it is clear that there are those who can and will know the time of Christ's coming. Furthermore, we know that the only ones who really "watch" - that is, continue searching the Bible for the time of Christ's coming, repenting, learning and obeying the Bible - are the ones of whom God is saving, for only they are enlivened by the Spirit of God which makes them to remain faithful. So once again, we must realize that the ones who can and will know the time are the true believers. The false believers, on the other hand, of which there are many, will not know the time, and Christ will come upon them as a thief and as a surprise just as they are saying, and by believing this, they are without realizing it, "in darkness" as we had learned previously in 1Thes. 5:2-5.
Now we need to understand that God in this passage is speaking not only to the church of Sardis of the first century, which is the church being addressed in this verse of the book of Revelation, but God is also speaking to the churches and congregations of our day, for He says in the same context and chapter while speaking of this church in verse 6 , "He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches," plural. Because God's uses this plural word, "churches," when He is addressing the church of "Sardis," singular, it is clear that not just the singular church of "Sardis" is being addressed, but so are all the "churches." For we know that God uses all the seven churches of Revelation chapters 2 and 3 to open up to us God's view of how all the churches and congregations would be during the entire church age from 33 A.D. to 1988. This is why He tells us of only and exactly seven churches in the Book of Revelation because the number seven is symbolic in the Bible of God's perfect completion of whatever He has in view, and here it refers to God's perfect complete view of how all the churches would be during the church age. It's like pulling back the curtain to see the bare bones of what exactly the New Testament churches would be like, and to anyone who has carefully studied these seven churches, there is not much good at all said of them as a whole. The churches of our day have not continued watching, so "I [Christ] will come on thee [them] as a thief, and you [they] shall not know what hour I will come upon thee [them] ," and the churches by saying that they cannot know the time are fulfilling this verse and prophecy without even realizing it. Yes, Christ does come as a thief in the night, but only to the blind and unsaved; not to God's true people, but to the vast majority of all so-called Christians who are now virtually all in the churches. So if you believe that you cannot know the time of Christ's return in Judgment, because He comes as a thief in the night, you are holding to a most dangerous position.
God Does Nothing But He Reveal It to His Servants
Amos the prophet put it all like this: "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He reveal His secret unto His servants the prophets." This tells us that God does not bring major judgments of destruction without first revealing them to His servants the prophets through whom God then uses to warn the people with an exact time for destruction so that the people might turn from their evil ways. This shows how loving and merciful God really is! As God says, "I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live" (Ez. 33:11).
Now as a testimony to the way that God so mercifully works, we see Him always reveal both time and judgment to the people before He is going to destroy them as seen throughout history. In fact, I have not been able to come up with any example in the Bible when God did not first warn the people of His coming in judgment with an exact time. We have already shown that God revealed the exact time for the flood to His servant the prophet Noah when He said in Genesis 6: 3, " And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years." And as the time got closer God said to Noah, "And yet seven days and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights," who in turn declared it to the people. But God also revealed the exact time for the destruction of the city of Nineveh as recorded in the Old Testament book of Jonah 3:4 where we read, " Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown." And, God revealed the exact time for the destruction of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah as recorded in the Old Testament book of Genesis when He revealed it to Abraham and then Lot: "And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do" (Gen. 18:27). So, we see that God always warns with the exact day of judgment throughout history, and I could go on and on and on about this with a multitude of biblical examples. Like I said, I have not been able to find a judgment in the Bible in which God did not first give warning of the exact time.
Now given what we have learned, if the examples and patterns of how God acted when He brought judgments in the past is by revealing to His people both the exact time and judgment, why would He not reveal both the exact time and judgment to His people in the present? Obviously, logic dictates that He would, and so does scripture. As it is written, " Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (Heb. 13:8). And this is what we have already found again and again, which gives further support for our conclusion. And this up girding of our conclusion that we can know the time of judgment as exampled in the past is further verified by Christ Himself when He makes such statements as, "as it was in the days of Noah," or again, "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot" (Lk. 17:28). And, I Co 10:11 reads: " Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." These are all powerful admonitions for us to go back in history to see how God will work in the future. And when we do, we must conclude that we can know the very time of judgment because God has always revealed these things to His people - it should be expected. What an incredibly merciful God that we serve who reveals these things to sinful human beings that we all might seek God and be saved.
Now let's sum things up in the We Can Know series from page 1 and page 2. We started out by showing that the phrase, No Man Knows when carefully viewed in the context of Mt. 24:36 and the context of the Bible such as in I Cor. 2:10-11, does not mean absolutely no one can know. Just as in the days of Noah, there were those who knew, and these were all those of whom God revealed it to and saved. The phrase No Man Knows simply means that no person in and of themselves, in their natural, fleshly or human nature, separate and apart from the Spirit of God, can know, just as it was in the days of Noah. In His human nature while yet on earth, viewed separate and apart from His Spiritual God nature, not even Jesus Himself could know. But in his God nature, Jesus has always known, and certainly in His now glorified state, He absolutely knows. In other words, such knowledge cannot come from, or originate from human beings in and of themselves whether it be from the sinful flesh of mankind, or the sinless and perfect flesh of Jesus Christ. This is simply what God is attempting to emphasize by saying, No Man Knows, neither the son. As we learned in Acts 1:7, " it is not of you [that is, it cannot come from human beings whether sinful or sinless] to know the times and seasons." But, on the other hand, those who have been given the Spirit of God through salvation in Jesus Christ can know once it comes time for God, the Holy Spirit, to so reveal it to them at the time of the end. Jesus, when viewed in the fullness of who He really was as both God and man, has always known.
We then answered those who say Christ comes as a thief in the night with 1Thes. 5:2-5 and Revelations 3:3, which both clearly teach the Christ does not come as a thief for the true believers, but only for those who are not true believers. Most of these false believers are found in the churches and congregations of our day, which are all under the judgment of God and so blinded by God to many truths of the Bible, including this truth: that the believers can know the very time of Judgment. These false believers tell us that Christ comes as a thief and as a surprise, so you cannot know the exact time. But, unfortunately and most sadly, by saying these things, they are fulfilling scripture, namely that Christ will be coming as a thief in the night for the unsaved to steal, kill, and destroy them even though they really believe they are saved and are saying, we have peace and safety with God.
We must disagree, therefore, with all those who say we cannot know the time of judgment and the end of the world. The Bible most certainly teaches that we can and will know. Nevertheless, we will acknowledge that there are various scriptures which at least on the surface seem to teach that no one can know, but when we more carefully examine the contexts of these verses both in the immediate contexts as well as the wider context of the entire Bible, they are found to be referring either to the fact that none of the unsaved or none of the false believers can know, or simply referring to the true believers before the time of the end during the church age from 33A.D. to 1988 when it was not yet given to anyone, including them, to even be able to know. After it became the time of the end, God unsealed or opened up our understanding to these things, which things have always been present in the Bible, but were a mystery until now, so that now we know that the very time of judgment spiritually came upon the world on May 21, 2011 and the End of All Things is right at hand. The details of all this are many more studies in themselves, but let me assure you that it is all in the Bible even as we have just learned we can know the day of judgment. It simply takes some mining to get to the gold, and the Holy Spirit who, if you are really a child of God, "will guide you into all the truth . . . And He will show you things to come" (John 16:13).
There is much good information on this topic in the audio section here.