In Matthew 24:36 the Lord said, “Concerning that day and hour, no one knows, not even the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but the Father only.”

According to the context of this word, Matthew 24:32-44, that day and hour refers to the day and hour of the rapture of the overcomers into the secret section of His parousia (coming) in the third heaven.

That day and hour no one knows but the Father only, who keeps that day and hour in Himself as secrecy.

However, the year of the appearing of the public section of His parousia (coming) to the earth can be figured out according to the last week (seven years) of the seventy weeks revealed in Daniel 9:24-27.

According to Daniel’s prophecy, at the coming of the last week, Antichrist will make a firm covenant with Israel for seven years, and in the middle of the seven years, he will break that covenant and persecute the people of Israel and the remaining believers (v. 27).

When the believers see the coming Antichrist making a covenant with the Jews for seven years, we can figure out, by the prophecies in Matthew 24:15-44, 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8, and Revelation 6—16, the year of the rapture of the overcomers, which will probably be in the first half of the fourth year of the last week, and the year of the rapture of the majority of the saints and of the two witnesses, which will be the last year of the last week.

We can even figure out the day of the rapture of the majority of the saints and the two witnesses, which will be the last day of the last week, as we have seen already in this chapter.

In Matthew 24:32 the Lord gave us some signs that we may know the period of His parousia, which will be in the last part of the last week.

The Lord said, “Learn the parable from the fig tree: As soon as its branch has become tender and puts forth its leaves.” The fig tree here symbolizes the nation of Israel, which was condemned by the Lord to be dried up in Matthew 21:19, and the branch becoming tender and putting forth its leaves signifies the restoration of the nation of Israel, which has taken place already.

By this kind of sign, we have to realize that we are now in a time that is very close to the last week of the present age.

Hence, we have to be more on the alert to get ourselves prepared for the Lord’s parousia (coming).

Witness Lee, The Apostles Teaching, excerpted from chapter 9

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