Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The Lord Jesus Christ – The God Who Knows The Day of His Coming

Sam Shamoun

In the following articles and rebuttals,

We discussed what it meant for Jesus to claim to not know the day or hour of his coming, specifically in relation to his coming to judge the inhabitants of Jerusalem, when he is supposed to be God. We showed that the inspired Scriptures proclaim that Christ is God who became man, and therefore experienced genuine human limitations such as hunger, thirst, fatigue etc. And as a true flesh and blood human being, Jesus had to also grow in wisdom and knowledge since, in his waking human consciousness, he did not possess the omniscience that was his by virtue of being truly God in essence.

Hence, as paradoxical as it may seem the Holy Bible teaches that it isn’t a matter of an either/or scenario but rather it is a both/and situation, e.g. Jesus is both omniscient in relation to his Deity and also limited in knowledge and understanding in regards to his humanity.

In this article, we are going to provide additional evidence to prove that Jesus does in fact know the day of his coming, specifically of his return to judge the nations, since the Scriptures are quite clear that he is Yahweh Incarnate, and therefore omniscient.

According to the prophet Zechariah, a day is coming when Yahweh will descend with his holy ones to the Mount of Olives in order to destroy the armies of the nations that come up against Jerusalem:

“Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day HIS FEET will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. For it will be a unique day which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light. And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter. And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.” Zechariah 14:1-9

This is a truly a remarkable chapter to say the least, since not only does Zechariah speak of Yahweh coming out to fight for his people he actually sees Yahweh’s feet touch the Mount of Olives and split it apart! Zechariah further states that Yahweh knows when this day of battle will take place, which is quite significant as we are about to see.

The NT teaches that Jesus will be returning to the Mount of Olives, since that happens to be the place from which he ascended into heaven:

“And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.’ Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.” Acts 1:9-12

The message of the two men, who are supposed to be angels, is crystal clear: Jesus will return in the same manner that he left, e.g. Jesus shall appear in a cloud as he descends to the Mount of Olives when he returns from heaven.

The Christian Scriptures further proclaim that the Lord Jesus will descend with his holy ones, which includes his powerful angels:

“so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His holy ones.” 1 Thessalonians 3:13

“and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.” 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10

“And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’ Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, ‘Come, assemble for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great.’ And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:11-21

This means that Jesus is none other than the Lord God whom Zechariah saw descend with his holy ones to the Mount of Olives, splitting it in half with the touch of his blessed feet!

This helps us understand the feet which Zechariah saw since he was beholding the physical glorified body which the Lord Jesus possesses and shall descend with!

“ For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” Philippians 3:20-21

Since the NT identifies Jesus as the God whom Zechariah beheld and spoke of, Jesus is therefore the God whom the inspired prophet says knows the precise day of his coming to destroy the nations that go up against Jerusalem.

There is simply no way of escaping the logic of this argument as the following syllogism shows:

  1. The prophet Zechariah proclaimed that Yahweh would come to fight the armies of the nations who war against his people in Jerusalem on a day known to him.
  2. The NT identifies Jesus as the Yahweh that Zechariah saw coming with his holy ones to execute the nations.
  3. Therefore, the Lord Jesus knows the day of his return.

As such, this simply provides further confirmation that, as God, Jesus knows everything and therefore knows the day and hour of his return.

So much for the anti-Trinitarian objection to Jesus’ absolute and essential Deity.