Did Jesus mean the day and hour of the end wasn't known then, but it can be known at a later time?


Concerning that Harold Camping guy and his prediction of Judgment day. I read this:

"I am not a Camping follower but would caution all of you who like to bash his teachings on what I perceive to be the two most commonly used arguments against him.

First, Matthew 24:36 is such a pathetic response to refute his claims. People need to learn how to read their Bibles. This verse says that no one knows the day or the hour. But we must remember that Jesus is talking to his disciples nearly 2000 years ago. There was a time in this world when no one knew how to make a light bulb, but someone came to the knowledge of how to make one. Nowhere in the Bible, that I can recall, does it say that no one will ever know. In fact in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6 it says that the believers (vs. 4) will not be caught off guard. Please stop throwing a verse out as an argument without reading it in its context and knowing what it is saying.

Second, claiming that Harold Camping is a false prophet because of his previous prediction is to misunderstand what a prophet is. Camping has never claimed to be a prophet or speak for YHWH. He is doing calculations based on his interpretation of Scripture (I think flawed in many ways, but his interpretation). In fact the title of his book from 1994 was “1994?”. He wasn’t prophesying. He was doing theology, eschatological theology (maybe bad theology, but theology none the less). And his May 21 date is also not a prophecy. He is interpreting Scripture and putting together an end times theology.

Please don’t be so quick to assume someone is stupid or ignorant. Harold Camping is a man who has committed his life to Scripture and perhaps he has arrived in a place that is not true, but if that is the case, our goal should be to debate the points, not assume he’s an idiot."

What do you think of this? Is this person merely twisting the passages around to suit their needs? Thanks, again.

Here's another.

"Then there are the many folks who hang everything on the Matthew 24 verse where Jesus said of that day no man knows but my Father only, but always neglect to take into account the very next verse! “For as in the days of Noah so shall it be…” God did tell Noah precisely the day judgment would begin, the exact day! So He is including that revelation as part of “that day”! God instructed Daniel in writing all about Judgment Day to “Seal up the words until the time of the end”

Do any of you even know there are verses in the Bible like “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter but the honor of kings to search them out.” Also “God will do nothing except He reveals it to His servants the prophets” also the fact that His people will know both time and judgment.

And there is just so much more that is being recklessly ignored by all those that won’t do themselves the service of at least reading the study! Do it please! And why in the world wouldn't anyone of us pray the Lord for wisdom to know anything that is really available to know about all this? Why would anyone not fear this warning and beg for mercy? Even if all you saw it as is a possibility. We ought to be very humble when it comes to God’s Word!

And by the way, consider that it is exactly like God to bring an announcement initially through one man, particularly one not accepted by the theologians of the day. I’ll tell you the more I look into this more convinced I am that it is going to happen! I don’t want it to happen but look at the world! Worse even, look at the churches! If somehow I have been wrong, and I just can’t see how it is possible, I would be so thankful that it didn't happen. I would so much rather face being seen afterward as a fool than for all my family and friends and billions of people to enter into the Day of the Lord without salvation. Sadly, however, it is going to happen. I could not say otherwise in good conscience. May the Lord bless each of you with fear enough to take this more seriously than anything ever."

Isn't there a Bible verse that says somewhere that to believe in a false prophet is a sin? But also, what if we have all misinterpreted the scripture of Matthew 24 where it says no one should know the hour that the Lord comes?

I didn't know Harold Camping was so elderly, so perhaps he believes he is close to death and wants to go out with a bang? I don't mean that disrespectfully. I'm just mulling over all ideas.


As typically happens when someone proves another wrong, the instant response is that one in the wrong is being bashed. It is an empty claim. Mr. Camping made a claim and attempted to prove his point. That claim was put to the test as God directed, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (I John 4:1). Mr. Camping's claim is easily proven to be false, and really, that is what people can't stand to hear.

The claim is made that Matthew 24:36 no longer applies because while people did not know at the time of prophecy, it doesn't mean they can't know later. Notice that the claim isn't based on God saying people would know later, only that in theory people could know and Jesus' words remain true. Yet to imagine a possibility doesn't make it so.

But let's examine the context of what Jesus said:

"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only" (Matthew 24:36).

"No one knows" is in the perfect active indicative tense. Perfect tense refers to something fully completed and impacts those at the time the statement is made. In other words, the wording here is of something that isn't going to change.

"But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:37-39).

There is a reason the person quoted did not give the complete quote of what Jesus said. He took the example Jesus gave and applied it differently than Jesus did. Jesus gave the example of Noah to point out that the world in general did not know until the flood happened, and Jesus stated this will be how it will be when he returns. To point out that Noah did know isn't the point Jesus was making.

"Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming" (Matthew 24:40-42).

The illustration is about life. You never know when someone is going to die. Since you don't know when the Lord is coming, the imperative is that we must remain watchful, expecting him at any moment.

"But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect" (Matthew 24:43-44).

Do you know when your house will next be broken into? Neither do I. And I don't expect the thieves to give me a two day warning either.

"Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing. Assuredly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'My master is delaying his coming,' and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 24:45-51).

The faithful servants are not caught unaware with the master returns, not because they have inside knowledge of when he will return, but because they act as if it will be at any moment, so they are always ready. This exposes the author's claim for I Thessalonians 5:2-6 to be a lie. "For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night" (I Thessalonians 5:2). A thief doesn't give advance warning.

After giving the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus' conclusion is "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming" (Matthew 25:13).

Notice that after Jesus statement in Matthew 24:36 that no one knows when the return will be, he gave a long series of illustrations all with the same message. The author of this quote fails his own recommended test of keeping verses in context.

The author also claims that Camping isn't a prophet, but just someone letting us know what he's learned. This is just a word game. Camping has made claims to know when Jesus was coming in the past. The author admits he was wrong. So why should anyone, by that standard, take his current prediction seriously? "And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?' - when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him" (Deuteronomy 18:21-22). What is even more ironic is the next quote clearly treats Camping as a prophet, but one the author is not certain he can trust. The point is that Mr. Camping is teaching falsehoods and misleading people.

The last quote claims that God has to tell us when. "Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7). Though this is in regards to the destruction of Israel, let's assume that it is generally true. The problem is that God did tell us His plan. He told us that Jesus would return at an unexpected time. Since his followers have been warned in advance, they know to remain on alert. The fact that we don't know the day and hour of the return doesn't mean God hasn't told us enough so we can be ready.

The author wants us to read the study -- surprise! I did. It is a bunch of nonsense from start to finish. To argue that it could be true doesn't prove that it is true. I can and have proven that it is false.

The author is also wishy-washy. While saying he knows it is true, he also says he won't be disappointed if it is false. He illustrates why people need to learn from God, so "that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting" (Ephesians 4:14).

"But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber" (II Peter 2:1-3).

Thank you. I tried so hard to look at what they said logically, but I still got turned around. I guess the hype just got to me. I know I need to study more and more. I want to be like you, able to crumble any hype or claim. I don't like being so easily swayed by my fear. I tried so hard not to fall for it, but my stomach was in knots the entire day, and I could barely eat. You have made me feel better and brought me back to reality once again. I will stop reading all that hype and read the Bible instead, for it only tries to persuade me. Again, thank you.