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Thank you for sharing, Newbie. Good comments.
I would suggest that the Bible verses (Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32) — the common ‘no man knows’ texts — are both mis-translations, and that James White offered an alternative translation to help repair some of the misconceptions. (The translation he cited was an obscure one though, and I have not been able to find it for myself.)
But the day and the very hour of Jesus’ return WILL be announced prior to the event, and I believe that Matt 24:36 points to THAT announcement.
However, time-setting was, and still is, a big problem for us, and again I would suggest that it is for this reason that Mrs. White uses the “normal” translation of Matt 24:36, to warn our people off of the “enchanted ground” of setting dates for Jesus’ Second Coming.
The companion text to Matthew 23:36 is Mark 13:32 —
“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
The fact that “the Son” is included in that verse, should bring some caution, because if the Father is privy to something that the Son is NOT aware of, then their “one-ness” and equality is brought into question. The Son almost becomes subordinate to the Father [in terms of His awareness,] and this is something I cannot accept.
Newbie, I also like you reference to the 144k “in number”.
I hold to the view that the 144k is a literal number, and that this implies that true Christian faith will be very rare in the world.
“Our Saviour asks the question, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” ( Luke 18:8), implying that true faith would be almost extinct.” (Heavenly Places p.105.)… Almost extinct.