In our study of Mark we are in Mark 13:34-37; where Jesus commands His disciples and by extension all believers to be alert and watching for Him to return.
Last time we noted that the word translated "watching" is the present linear tense of the Greek word "gregoreuo" that means to be keep on being vigilant and watchful in order to be prepared for the owner to return.
Jesus applies this parable to all of His disciples. They all are all responsible to keep watch, to be alert because no one knows when Jesus who represents the owner of the house will return.
The night represents the time of Jesus' absence on this earth in the devil's world. (Rom. 13:11-14;)
He can return at any time, so they should be constantly watching in view of the danger that He would find them sleeping or distracted and not prepared when He comes unexpectedly.
This vigilance is not only the responsibility of Jesus' disciples but by extension every believer in every generation of the Church Age. Believers are commanded be watching and expecting His return even though only God knows exactly when it will occur.
Mark uses a reference to the four watches corresponds to the Roman system of watches during the night. The evening was 6-9 P.M.; the midnight watch was 9 P.M. till midnight; the third was midnight till 3 A.M; and morning was 3-6 A.M.
The names of the watches were derived from their termination points. This system is different from the Jewish system where the night was divided into three watches.
Jesus last word in verse 37 is the present active imperative of "gregoreuo" that is a mandate to "keep on watching."
This brings us to a study of the doctrine of the imminency of the Rapture or Jesus return for the church that occurs via exit resurrection and the doctrine of Awareness.
We will first take up the doctrine of the imminency of the Rapture. While the word "rapture" is defined as the act of being transported, it is also defined as the state of being "rapt" or carried out or away of oneself.
These definitions do not apply in this situation because the word "rapture" is the English transliteration of the Latin word "rapturo" that is the translation of the Greek work "harpazo" is used in a technical theological sense for the "catching up" or sudden exit of the royal family of God from the earth. 1Thes 4:17;
The Greek word "harpazo" means to be suddenly snatched and carried away. It is the root word for the word "harpoon" that is used to snare large fish or whales.
In the same way that a whale or large fish is suddenly caught and snatched out and away from the water Jesus will come and the entire church will be suddenly caught up in the exit resurrection or "rapture" and be carried away into heaven with Him.
Since the Church or royal family of God is the first spiritual building to be completed, it is resurrected next in sequence following the resurrection of our Lord. It is the second echelon of the first resurrection that follows after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1Cor 15:23;
Christ was resurrected, has ascended, and is presently seated at the right hand of the Father as part of His strategic victory in the angelic conflict.
The church that comprises Jesus' battlefield royalty is the only royalty that has no direct genetic connection to Him. God interrupted the Jewish Age with the Church Age to call out and provide a battlefield royalty for Him. Rev 1:6;
The Church Age is that period of human history when the royal family of God is being formed up on earth, Eph 1:22-23;Eph 2:16; Eph 4:4-5; Col 1:18, 24, Col 2:19;
Once royal family of God is completed, the Church is resurrected as the body of Christ to become the bride of Christ.1Thes 4:16-18; 1Cor 15:51-58;
During the Tribulation, the final seven years of the Age of Israel, the Church is in heaven being prepared to be Jesus' bride. During this time every believer will be evaluated and rewarded at Judgment Seat of Christ. 2Cor 5:10;
Jesus promised the exit resurrection in, John 14:1-3; "If I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself."
The rapture is described as being imminent. Imminent means impending, or threatening to occur. It does not imply any specific time element so it does not mean immediately.
When used to describe the rapture it is used technically to describe the fact that no prophecy has to be fulfilled before the rapture occurs. The rapture will occur whenever the last member of the Church, body of Christ believes and is saved.
During the course of the Church Age when the last person who has positive volition to the person of Jesus Christ is saved the rapture occurs leaving only people with negative volition on the earth.
This means that locked in negative volition and the exit resurrection will launch the Tribulation and the King of the West will be revealed. 2Thes 2:6-12;
The Church Age is the only dispensation that has no prophecy. This means that It only has historical trends. The Church Age began on Pentecost with fulfillment of the prophecy of the baptism of the Spirit. Acts 2:4;
Jesus prophesied this event in the upper room and again just before He ascended 10 days before it occurred. Acts 1:5;
The Church Age terminates with the Rapture, which was also prophesied. There is no prophecy between these two events which is one of the reasons why the Church Age is described as the dispensation of the mystery. Col 1:25-28;
There is no prophecy to be fulfilled during the Church Age so that no one knows exactly what will happen during the Church Age except for God.
This makes the Church the age of potential. Potential for maximum blessing and prosperity from God as we have been blessed with in the USA as well as potential for maximum adversity and discipline as happened with the Jews of Jesus generation.
These up-trends and downtrends are determined by the people's volitional choices regarding the truth of God's Word. Belief and acceptance of the truth results prosperity and up-trends of history. Unbelief and rejection of the truth results in adversity and downtrends of history.
This is why our nation has been blessed while others have not and now that we have joined with those who have rejected truth in unbelief we are becoming partners with them in adversity and loss of freedom.
The more believers reject God's Word the more government tyranny is asserted under the principle of as goes the believer so goes the client nation.