WHY THE FAITHFUL WILL NOT BE SURPRISED
Perhaps the most ignored or disbelieved verse in the whole Bible is 1 Thess. 5:4: "But you, brothers (speaking to the church), are not in darkness so that this day (the Rapture) should surprise you."
Jesus states in Matt. 24:36, 25:13 and Mk. 13:32 that no man will know the day or the hour of his return. God told the Jew the exact time the Messiah was to be cut off in Dan. 9:25-26. Would He do less for the church than He did for the Jew? Heb. 10:25 says we will see the day approaching. God in the last years of the church age has let the church know the year and the month. The bride of Christ is being given time to get ready to meet the bridegroom while the time of the Rapture will remain unknown to the world.
Every event of the 70th week of Daniel and every event of the millennium were calculated by God to begin and end at specific points in time. Only the exact day and hour of Jesus' return will be unknown. 1
The King James translation of the bible gives two limitations to Jesus' return for the church: "the day and the hour" (Matt. 24:36), and "the time and the seasons" (Acts 1:7, 1 Thess. 5:1). The New American Bible translation, however, puts these scriptures in a different light. Acts 1:7 in this version reads "the exact time is not yours to know." 1 Thess. 5:1 reads "as regards specific times and specific moments we (the Apostles) do not need to write to you." The times and the seasons were not limitations in the original Greek manuscripts. 2 This mis-translation has hindered the church for 400 years on the time of the Lord's return for his faithful. Many have not read their bibles closely enough to see by God's word that tradition has been wrong. God has now revealed to man at this time in history all the details of the 70th week of Daniel, the millennium and the new heaven and the new earth. When the 70th week occurs, no man will be able to say it happened by accident.
1 The Jew calls Sept. 12, 1988 the date of Rosh-Hashana. The celebration, however, is 48 hours long and covers parts of three days, from sunset, Sept. 11 to sunset, Sept. 13.
2 There is a Greek phrase used in Acts 1:7 which means specific. The phrase "the times and the seasons" in this passage contains the "specific" mark in the original manuscript which was left out of the King James translation. The New American Bible translation has retained this mark and the passage reads "the exact time is not yours to know." This implies that there are only two limitations to our knowing when Jesus will return for the church: the day and the hour. We will, therefore, know the times and the seasons. The New American Standard translation uses the word epoch, meaning precise date.