Question 3: Speaking of the return of the Lord, it is written in Matthew 24:36: “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” No one can know when the Lord Jesus will return, so how do you know that the Lord Jesus has returned already? It really seems inconceivable to us!
The Bible reads: “But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Mat 24:36). Some brothers and sisters take this to mean that the Lord has not come back. They don’t believe the Lord now has already come back. Actually, such reasoning doesn’t make sense. For the Lord comes to save man. If the Lord does not let man know of His coming, then how can men follow Him and believe in Him? How can God accomplish His work of salvation? If we always hold to this statement, then won’t we be waiting forever for the second coming of the Lord? So, what does this verse really say? In fact, when we read this verse together with the preceding few verses, it becomes clear. Matthew 24:32-36 states: “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near: So likewise you, when you shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Truly I say to you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” We all know these verses speak of the sign of the second coming of the Lord, and from “it is near, even at the doors” we know the Son of man is already at the doors. But when He will enter, the day, the moment He will enter we really do not know. That is to say, “that day and hour” no one knows. Further, no one knows when “the Son of man” (God incarnate) will come among men, meaning that no one knows the day, the moment of God’s arrival. The angels of heaven do not know, man does not know, only the Father (the Spirit) knows. Just as Almighty God says: “At the break of dawn, unbeknownst to any, God came to earth and began His life in the flesh. People were unaware of this moment. Maybe they were all fast asleep, maybe many who were watchfully awake were waiting, and maybe many were praying silently to God in heaven. Yet among all these many people, not one knew that God had already arrived on earth” (“Work and Entry (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).