Thanks for the interesting comments.
@Lisaleenie: my cat is named William, but the current picture is a generic picture since I could not find my original. Close enough for the purpose here though.
Back to the topic. It is interesting that while the specific time for the rapture appears to be a secret held only by the Father, the times associated with the tribulation are provided, i.e., 1260 days, 1290 days, etc. WHy do you suppose these times are given but the one that is most important for the believer is withheld.
I have seen some very complex reasoning over the years starting with the years 1897, 1948 or 1967 based on analogy with the events associated with Noah's Ark, as suggested by Jesus in Matthew. If it is to be a secret, then why does the Father give us the Noah's Ark clue? Some seem to take the provision of the clues as a motivation to try to decipher the rapture timing and date.
Perhaps the actual date cannot be found using the set of clues He provided, by either us humans or Satan. The purpose of the clues may be to keep everyone guessing and awake and watching with the knowledge that no one will figure it out and it will indeed be a surprise.
I saw a web site where a list is presented showing all of the missed dates for the rapture extending into the distant past, by very able and informed persons of their day, both lay people and theological experts. Of course, the point of the site was secular and meant to show that such a belief is fantasy.
The interesting thing about this puzzle is that there is no scoring except 0 or 100% accuracy. If someone comes up with a very reasonable date that seems to take all known data into account, it seems that such a guess would be somehow better than a wild guess based on one or two facts by a novice.
Apparently, all known predictions have failed by a substantial margin so the closeness to the actual date making the prediction rated higher than others does not work out. They are all way off the mark.
Somewhere out in time is one specific date, known only to the Father when He will send His Son to get the Bride. We can and do grade every guess by how well it satisfies all of the known conditions and constraints based on the Bible prophecies and analogies. I have seen some in the recent years that I thought met all of these condition, and still they were not accurate.
Why? It may be that there are some as yet undiscovered conditions that need to be satisfied and are not met by any of the recent guesses. Or perhaps all of the known conditions are being met, but the time scale is not correct because of changes in the calendars over the centuries.
Certainly Satan has been busy messing with the calendar over the centuries and I wonder if anyone can possibly untangle the mess he has made for anyone trying to align all of the known prophetic timing clues onto a common, and Hebraic, time scale. The Bible of course provides some clues in that a day can be a year (2 Peter) and vice versa.
However, we do know that in a global sense we are in the time of the end and the rapture. Why? You know the reasons: Israel returned to the homeland, the control over Jerusalem, etc. These are historical facts that once were only prophetic predictions in Zechariah, etc. They came to pass in time.
Even the time of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was predicted from the rebuilding of Jerusalem, 483 years in the past. This happened, it is history. Perhaps this and a few other prophecies that have occurred can be used to determine the timeline that aligns the various calendars correctly so that we can use it for future predictions?
It is good that most persons who are definitely a part of the Bride are now used to these missed dates and are not put off by it at all, they are simply accepting the errors in human reasoning and know that such efforts in no way affect the validity of the prophecy concerning the rapture.
Some day we will experience that day in all of its awesome grandiose wonder! The way to compute the date may still be a mystery, never to be solved. But that will be OK since we will not need to predict when the actual date is known!
That is all I can think to say about this interesting topic for now. Your continued commentary is welcomed!