by A.E. Knoch

THE continual emphasis on signs and setting of dates for the Lord's coming, and their failure to materialize, has given the saints an entirely false conception of His descent to the air and our ascent to meet Him there. Instead of going to the only source of information on this theme, the epistles of Paul, they base their credulity on the Circumcision writings, which present an entirely different picture. Paul wrote as if the call of Christ was imminent in his day, when none of the signs given elsewhere were present. And to his consciousness, in his experience, it was, for the moment of his death will seem to him the second of his ascension. And so with us. As far as our soul is concerned, we will go to meet Him in our lifetime or at its end.


     Jews require a sign, and they will get more than the unbelievers want before Christ comes to the mount of Olives. Dates are for unbelieving and believing Israel of the end time, not for those in the body of Christ today. The sins of that day are the clock by which they will be able to measure the time of His advent. Not only will they show that He is near, but will fix the exact number of days until His glorious appearing. Gog cannot come until long after Messiah returns and Israel is under His protection in the land. All the many "identifications" have proven false in the past, so why continue the folly in the future?


     Israel is a nation again in the land. But that is no proof that they are in favor with the Supreme. They will amass enormous wealth, with financial control of the nations, having a kingdom over earth's kings, in Babylon. But all these apparent evidences of divine blessing are the very opposite. They will rouse His jealous wrath, and terrible judgments will destroy all that they have achieved without His aid, and while they reject their true King, Christ Jesus. There are many antichrists. There is one today at the head of unbelieving Israel, who is usurping the rule instead (anti) of Christ. No one can take His place without, at the same time, being against Him, and subject to His dire displeasure and summary judgment. Not, indeed, now, for grace still reins. But, after we ascend, then wrath descends.


     About half a century ago I was much interested in a series of books on "Our Race," which sought to prove that the Anglo-Saxons were some of the lost ten tribes. As my neighbors were Mexicans and French and Italian and Chinese and English, it was hard for me to visualize them as all sprung from a half-tribe of Israel. Only I was a real Saxon. So I was too prejudiced to accept it. Then I delved deeply into the pyramid and its presumed chronology. There is a saying that all who are born in the state of Missouri, are stubborn, and "must be shown," so I could not accept these findings, as they did not seem to be in accord with the Scriptures. Later, when I visited the great pyramid myself and investigated its interior, I was less convinced than ever. But, with my time fully occupied with the Scriptures, I let the matter drop. Time would determine if the chronology is correct or not.


     Time has told. The chronology of the pyramid is based on the length of the passage leading into its central chamber. Each significant point along the way is so and so many pyramid inches from the beginning, and represents a date in human history. I understand that the point where the high-ceiling ascending gallery reaches the level of the entrance to the king's chamber indicates the year 1914, the date of the first world war. I remember reaching that, because then the way is less than four feet high to the antechamber, and the passage was low again till I reached the king's chamber. Passing through it I came to a solid stone wall -- the end. We could go no further. This, some hold, indicates August 20, 1953. By the Bible, they calculate that Israel began with the death of Jacob and lasted until 1883 years to their dispersion, and that the "double" of Isa.40:2 indicates their restoration to favor, or something like this, perhaps the greatest occurrence in human history.

     This is written on the twenty-fifth of August, five days after the end. Nothing of note has occurred, so far as I am aware. The question is, Whither now? We certainly can't proceed in the same direction. There is more than 250 feet of solid stone to stop us there. If we don't want to go all the way back to the surface of the earth, as I was compelled to do, the only way out of this tomb I know of would be to go up through one of the air vents. But these may not admit our-soilish bodies, so we will have to change them to spiritual bodies at His descent, for us, as He will anyway. Then we can go through the stones to ascend to meet our descending Saviour. But this date, like many others in the past, was deceptive. In the words of our own great apostle Paul: "Yet now, knowing God, yet rather being known by God, how are you turning back again to the infirm and poor elements for which you want to slave again anew? Days are you scrutinizing, and months and seasons and years. I fear for you..." (Gal.4:11).

     Having a celestial calling, we cannot set the time for a heavenly occurrence by an earthly chronometer, especially the day, for there are always two days current on the earth. Besides, this would spoil the spirit and alter the object of this, the grandest and most glorious event in our existence. As an undated expectation it is a powerful help to our experience, for the only time we can look for Him is the next instant. The saints in 1840 and 1914 lived abnormal and artificial lives, and disgraced the Lord and His Word, by suggesting to the world that the Lord had not kept His promise, and was not worthy of trust. Let us keep His name and fame foremost always, and avoid everything which might bring dishonor on our gracious Subjector, Al!

     On earth, time is utterly dependent on place, or longitude. Although the land where this is written is much like Palestine and about the same latitude, it is nearly always night when it is day in the holy land. Were we to keep the passover at night, according to the letter of the covenant, we would be observing it when it is day in Palestine, contrary to its spirit. A man once visited me who was traveling around the earth seeking to get the saints to observe the rites according to Palestinian, rather than local time. Alas! What would that avail, seeing that they were observed in the wrong place?

     No locality is given where the new creation took place. There was no apparent change in the earth at the time, but it may be that the destruction of Jerusalem, not long thereafter, was a token of the fact that the primitive was no longer in force. When the city and the temple were destroyed, and the people slaughtered or deported, they could no longer carry out the precepts of the law according to its letter. When the new spiritual creation came into force, the old, or primitive method of worshiping the Deity passed away by the destruction of the building where it must be carried on. No place is needed in this present new creation.

     The celestial luminaries are our time keepers (Gen.1:14). All chronology is confined to the sphere "under the sun," that is, terrestrial, on the earth. In the celestial sphere there are no time keepers, no days nor nights, no months and no years. This is where we belong, in this secret administration. Hence, the time name of the Creator, Ieue, has no direct application now, and all chronological predictions have failed of fulfillment. What data is there in the prophesies of the Scriptures for the saints in Paul's day to know that his evangel would remain in force for two millenniums? It is exceedingly helpful for each believer to live in constant, instant expectation of his Lord's descent and shout.

[Return to main indexpage]