A Possible High-Watch Rapture

Having a proper understanding of Matthew 24 will help believers to know when the Lord’s return is, not so much the actual day or hour, but perhaps, when He ‘is near – at the doors!’

Jesus said, “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it (or He) is near—at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” – Matthew 24:32,33

  • The ‘fig tree’ is Israel and its branch has already become tender.  All of the things that we are seeing in the world today speak to this reality. It’s never been like this before, God is revealing Himself to the world and to anyone who is listening and watching with spiritual discernment.

Jesus said that ‘when we see all these things, know that it (or He) is near – at the doors!’  We may not know the day or hour, but we can know when the Lord is close, even at the very doors.  Jesus also said that ‘this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place,’ which in context, included the seven-year tribulation.

Moses defined a generation as 70 years, and if by way of strength, 80 years.

“The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”                                                              – Psalm 90:10

On May 14, 1948 Israel became a nation.

The Prophet Isaiah spoke of this very day and this very event.

“Before she was in labor, she gave birth; before her pain came, she delivered a male child. Who has heard such a thing?
Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children. Shall I bring to the time of birth, and not cause delivery?” says the Lord. “Shall I who cause delivery shut up the womb?” says your God. 10 “Rejoice with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all you who love her; rejoice for joy with her, all you who mourn for her; 11 That you may feed and be satisfied with the consolation of her bosom, that you may drink deeply and be delighted with the abundance of her glory.”                              – Isaiah 66:7-11

Using that date as the starting point of the terminal generation that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24 and adding 80 years, the maximum length in a generation, we come to May 14, 2028. If you subtract seven years from that date, for the seven-year tribulation, which Jesus also included in His discourse, you end up in 2021.

The phase, ‘we fly away’ (Psalm 90:10) is a reference to our death, but for us in this NT era, it’s the Rapture.

Jesus also said that ‘no one knows the day or hour’ of the Rapture, but He gave us Noah as an example:

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 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, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour (day) your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour (watch of night) the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”                                           – Matthew 24:36-44

While some noted Bible teachers and pastors say that this passage is  ‘Rapture-less,’ I would argue otherwise. 

The phrase ‘day or hour’ refers to the two days and 24-hours of some future Feast of Trumpets, the Real Rosh Hashanah, not the one displayed on the Gregorian calendar.  This year, 2021, the Real Rosh is 10/7-9/21.

Jesus describes the time just before the Rapture like it was in the days of Noah, where…

“…in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”       – (vs.38,39) 

  • While some teachers like to ascribe this to the Second Coming of Jesus, it doesn’t fit the biblical narrative that Jesus was speaking.  During the seven-year tribulation, the entire world will be out of sorts, as it were, it will not be doing business as usual as it (relatively speaking) is right now. 

The ark of Noah is a type and shadow of Jesus and the Rapture. The flood is a type and shadow of the seven-year tribulation.  Jesus said that it was relatively  business as usual ‘until the day that Noah entered the ark.’  The Bible tells us that Noah and his family, along with all of the animals, entered the ark in one day.  When God closed the door, the partying stopped, even though the rain wouldn’t begin for another week.

“On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— 14 they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. 16 So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.”                                           – Genesis 7:13-16

  • The phrase, ‘and the Lord shut him in’ is a direct reference to the doors of heaven closing just after the Rapture. We also see this ‘closing of doors’ in the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:

“And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding;

and the door was shut. 11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”                                                                                      – Matthew 25:10-13

  • The phrase, ‘the door was shut’ is similar to God shutting the door on Noah’s ark.  This is the closing of heaven’s door just after the Rapture.  Interestingly enough, it’s still possible to be saved after the Rapture because those five foolish virgins, when they returned to the wedding, had their lamps full of oil, meaning that they were saved, but it was too late for the Rapture. 

The ‘50% theory’ represented here is what some scholars believe to be 50% of the Church, that is, half of the Church is full of people who think that they are saved, but are not, and only at their death or the Rapture will they come to discover this truth. Thank God these precious people can still be saved after the Rapture; this passage proves it.

The week between Noah entering the ark and the flood beginning depicts God’s mercy for people in Noah’s day to repent and make the necessary sacrifices prior to the flood.  This is also depicted in the Rapture occurring before the seven-year tribulation.  The actual seven-year tribulation begins when the man of sin, the antichrist signs a peace treaty with Israel.  This event is what starts the clock on Daniel’s 70th week, (aka the seven-year tribulation.)

So as we enter into this Real Rosh, some dates and times need to be considered:

The term ‘the twinkling of an eye’ is 1/100th of a second, but it also refers to about ‘one hour past sunset.’ 

The Apostle Paul used this phrase, ‘the twinkling of an eye’ in 1 Corinthians 15:56, referencing the Rapture.

The term ‘midnight’ is the middle of the night, the half-way point between sunset and dawn.

Jesus used the word ‘midnight’ in His Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:6)

In the Parable of the Faithful and Evil Servant, the Lord said it this way,

“Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.”                                                              – Luke 12:35-38

  • Jesus challenges us to keep our waist girded, meaning, be dressed for work and at work.  He also says, ‘keep your lamps burning’ which references the Holy Spirit working within us, that is, we are saved.
  • The phrase, ‘open to him immediately’ references the quickness of the Master’s return when He returns.
  • The phrase, ‘will find watching’ refers to the state of readiness the Master wants His servants to be in when He returns for them. 

Jesus said twice in the above passage that we will be blessed if we are ‘watching’ for Him when He returns.

He repeats this again in verse 43

“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. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” 41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has.”                               – (vs.39-44) 

  • On the one hand Jesus said that if we would watch, we would know what hour the thief would come. The thief is a type for the devil. We can guard ourselves and our homes from the attack of the enemy if we watch and not allow him to break into our home or family.  Jesus then says that we can’t know the hour of His return, but that we will be blessed if we are watching, working, and about His business, when the Master does return for us. 

“But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”                                                                     – (vs.45-48)

  • This passage has more to do with those who are not watching for the Master’s return and begin to act in ways that are not consistent with God’s Word and that hurt others.  He will be judged with the unbelievers, meaning, that he is not saved himself.  He knows the Master’s will and Word, but he didn’t prepare properly or conduct himself accordingly; now he will be beaten, suffering for his insolence. 

On the contrary, those unbelievers who were unaware of the Lord’s return, will suffer less than those so called believers who did, yet who still disobeyed. The reason has more to do with a believer being given much by the Master with the expectation of a return for the Master, and not for them to squander.  This can be talents, gifts, money, resources, understanding, calling, and even a simple act of obedience to the Lord regarding a given task or for a person.  We can’t just say that we are Christians, we need to believe that we are by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and asking His forgiveness for our sins and to obey His Word for our lives.

While we don’t know the day or hour, we will be watching, and if these days and times pass, we will keep on watching, and working, till the Lord does come for us.  Don’t give up hope brothers and sisters, Jesus is coming soon!


Encouragemen is a blog written by Pastor Rob Lee, recently relocated to Central Missouri.  He lives with his wife of 32-years, near their three adult children, their spouses, and children (their grandchildren).  Pastor Rob is an Ordained Assemblies of God minister, a former Lead Pastor (25 years), police chaplain, and community advocate.  He continues to serve, consult, and disciple men of God, including those who are in the ministry. 

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