"You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come ..." (Luke 12:39-40)

"But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Luke 12:39-40)

Is this a doomsday prophesy?

That is a misinterpretation of Jesus' statement. The notion that Jesus was speaking of some kind of end of the world scenario where he would come riding over the clouds, swooping down to kill everyone except those who are members of their organization is a doctrine intended to scare people into joining those sects that teach this.

It certainly is a great membership recruitment strategy. Just threaten everyone who isn't a member that they will be slaughtered when the end of the world comes. And just in case there is any doubt about when the end of the world is coming - new predictions come out every year or two.

Yes, the necessary part of such a strategy is to convince everyone that this end of the world scenario is coming soon - very soon - perhaps this year, or even in a month or two.

How do we know this doomsday prophesy is false?

We know this 'end of the world' teaching is false because it has been taught for centuries and yet still the end of the world has not come.

In fact, sectarian teachers have been threatening us with this end of the world scenario for at least 17 centuries now. And the end of the world still hasn't come. Just consider the many preachers, priests, cardinals, popes, and founders of sects who have inaccurately predicted the end of the world:

Hilary of Poitiers: 365 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Martin of Tours: 375 to 400 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Hydatius (Bishop of Aquae) 482 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Sextus Julius Africanus: 500 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Hippolytus of Rome: 500 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Beatus of Leibana: 793 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Gregory of Tours: 799 to 800 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Thiota: 847 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Pope Sylvester II: 1000 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Gerard of Poehlde: 1147 AD (predicted doomsday date)
John of Toledo: 1179 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Joachim of Fiore: 1205 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Pope Innocent III: 1284 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Joachimites: 1290 and 1335 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Jean de Roquetaillade: 1368 and 1370 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Amaldus de Villa Nova: 1378 (predicted doomsday date)
Thomas Muntzer: 1525 AD  (predicted doomsday date)
Johannes Stoffler: 1524 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Hans Hut (Anabaptist): 1528 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Melchior Hoffman (Anabaptist): 1533 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Jan Matthys (Anabaptist): 1534 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Martin Luther (Augustinian monk): 1600 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Christopher Columbus: 1658 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Joseph Mede: 1660 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Sabbatai Zevi: 1648 and 1666 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Fifth Monarchists: 1666 and 1673 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Benjamin Keach (Baptist): 1689 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Pierre Jurieu: 1689 AD (predicted doomsday date)
John Mason (Anglican): 1694 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Johan Heinrich Alsted (Calvinist): 1694 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Cotton Mather (Puritan): 1697, 1716 and 1736 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Henry Archer (Fifth Monarchist): 1700 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa: 1700 to 1734 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Camisards: 1705 and 1708 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
William Whitson: 1736 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Emanuel Swedenborg (Lutheran): 1757 AD (predicted doomsday date)
The Shakers (Ann Lee): 1792 and 1794 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly: 1789 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Charles Wesley (Methodist): 1794 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Christopher Love (Presbyterian): 1805 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Margaret McDonald: 1830 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Joseph Smith (Mormon): 1832 and 1891 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Johann Albrecht Bengel (Lutheran): 1846 AD (predicted doomsday date)
John Wesley (Methodist founder): 1836 AD (predicted doomsday date)
William Miller (Millerites founder): 1843 and 1844 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
George Rapp (Harmony Society founder): 1847 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Harriet Livermore: 1847 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Ellen White (Seven Day Adventists): 1850, 1856 and "early 1900s" AD (predicted doomsday dates)
John Cumming: 1862 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Joseph Morris (Mormon): 1862 AD (predicted doomsday date)
John Wroe (Christian Israelite Church): 1863 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Jonas Wendell and other Adventist preachers: 1863, 1874, 1870 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Mother Shipton: 1881 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Wovoka (Ghost Dance): 1890 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Catholic Apostolic Church: 1901 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (Jehovah's Witnesses): 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975, 1994 and others more recent. (predicted doomsday dates)
Margaret Rowen (Seventh-Day Adventist): 1920 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Spencer Perceval (Catholic Apostolic Church): 1926 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Wilbur Glenn Voliva: 1935 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Herbert Armstrong (Worldwide Church of God founder): 1936 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Florence Houteff (Branch Davidians): 1959 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Johann Bischoff (New Apostolic Church): 1951 and 1960 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Jim Jones (People's Temple cult): 1967 AD (predicted doomsday date)
George Williams (Church of the Firstborn): 1969 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Herbert Armstrong (Worldwide Church of God): 1972 AD (predicted doomsday date)
John Wroe (Christian Israelite Church): 1977 AD (predicted doomsday date)
William Branham (evangelist): 1977 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Chuck Smith (Calvary Chapel): 1981 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Pat Robertson (evangelist): 1982 and 2007 AD (predicted doomsday dates)
Lester Sumrall (Pentecostal): 1985 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Edgar Whisenant: 1988 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Elizabeth Clare (Summit Lighthouse): 1990 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Rollen Stewart: 1992 AD (predicted doomsday date)
David Berg (The Family): 1993 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Harold Camping: 1994, 1995, 2011 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Ronald Weinland (Church of God): 2011 and 2012 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Aggai: 1997 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Marshall Applewhite (Heavens Gate cult): 1997 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Archbishop James Ussher: 1997 AD (predicted doomsday date)
James Gordon Lindsay (Christ for the Nations): 1999 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Jerry Falwell (evangelist): 2000 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Ed Dobson: 2000 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Lester Sumrall: 2000 AD (predicted doomsday date)
Jonathan Edwards (Congr. Protestant): 2000 AD (predicted doomsday date)
David Meade: 2017 and 2018 AD (predicted doomsday dates)

Yes, all of these predictions were wrong. Should we now believe their next doomsday prediction? And what about those people Jesus is speaking to here? Doomsday didn't happen during their lifetime. So was Jesus making a false prediction for them too?

No. The reality is that Jesus is not predicting the end of the world as all those above did. It is a misinterpretation and a misunderstanding of the meaning of Jesus' statement and parable.

What is Jesus talking about then?

Jesus is speaking of the time of death of the physical body. The "house" symbolizes the physical body and the possessions of the house represent the things of the physical world - which include wealth, possessions, honor, reputation, fame, accomplishments, family and so on.

The "owner of the house" represents the spirit-person who dwells within the body. This is our identity, as each of us is spiritual by nature - not these physical bodies. Just as the owner of the house is not the house, each of us is not our physical body.

And the "thief" Jesus is discussing represents the death of the physical body. When the physical body dies, everything in the physical world is taken from us. We lose our name, our reputation, our wealth, our family, everything. Everything is lost in one moment.

This is because each of us - the spirit-person who occupies this temporary body - leaves the physical body at the time of death. We leave it behind, and it begins to decompose.

And the reason why the owner of the house does not know when the thief will come is because the thief represents the time of death - and none of us knows in advance when we will die. It comes as a surprise - even for someone who is condemned to death from a disease or by punishment.

The moment of death is never completely known until it happens. The moment of death arrives when the spirit-person leaves the physical body.

This fact has been proven scientifically by studies of hundreds of thousands of individuals who have died clinically and were revived later and describe leaving their physical body and looking down at it. Many accurately describe what was going on around their body even though their physical body's eyes were closed and their face covered.

How could they have described the events taking place around their dead body if they hadn't left the physical body? In fact, there are so many of these cases - now counting into the millions - that it is an understood medical fact that we leave the physical body at the time of death. There can be no other rational and scientific alternative explanation.

What about the Son of Man coming?

"the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him"

Why is Jesus speaking in the third person as he says this? If it were he and he only, why doesn't he say, "I will come at an hour when you do not expect me"?

Wouldn't this be logical? How many people speak of themselves - especially if it is themselves only - in the third person?

This would be akin to a person named Bob saying to someone at the table:

"Can you please pass Bob the peas?" Certainly, he would never say this. Rather, he would say, "Can you please pass me the peas?"

But now if the person is describing a role, rather than himself specifically, this is understandable. Consider, for example, a sergeant announcing to a squadron of troops:

"When you wake up in the morning, the sergeant will be in the barracks with you."

So does this mean that this sergeant person - who is saying this - will be there with each of the men? Certainly, if he is the sergeant of a particular company, he may be there with those troops in their barracks. But if the sergeant is not the sergeant of that particular troop - as 'sergeant' is a role occupied by many - then the particular sergeant who said this statement would not be there - another sergeant will be there in their barracks.

In other words, Jesus is indicating that the "Son of Man" is a role, not simply himself only.

This is confirmed by the fact that David referred to himself as the "son of man" (Psalm 80:17) and so did Job (Job 25:5-6) - and Daniel (Daniel 8:16-18) was called the "son of man" - and God called Ezekiel the "son of man" at least 60 times in the Book of Ezekiel.

What is a "Son of Man"?

The fact is, this is a mistranslation. The phrase, "son of man" has virtually no meaning. Every male is a son of a man. Therefore, it is a ridiculous notion that such a significant role would be translated to "son of man." Only those who don't understand what the role is all about could utilize such an empty phrase. The Greek phrase translated to "son of man" is:
υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου
The word υἱὸς can only mean "son" when speaking of a parent-child relationship, which, according to the lexicon, is "restricted." Otherwise, the word means, according to the lexicon, "used to describe one who depends on another or is his follower."

This would make this word - depending on its context - a follower or servant.

The word ἀνθρώπου is being translated to "man" but this is also a limited translation, as the word relates to "a human being, whether male or female" but also "generically, to include all human individuals" - which means the appropriate translation is "humanity" or "the people."

And the word τοῦ means "of" or "for"

This means the most appropriate translation of the phrase υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου would be 'servant of humanity' or 'servant of the people'.

This context is confirmed, as Jesus specifically taught the need of those who represent the Supreme Being and teach to others to be the servant of others, as he told his students:
"Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant" (Matt. 20:26)

What is a servant of humanity or servant of the people?

From the scriptures - from the ascriptions to David, Daniel, Job, and Ezekiel, and from Jesus' descriptions - we know that the "servant of humanity" is specifically the loving servant of the Supreme Being.

But we know that this particular loving servant of the Supreme Being has a special task. He is sent into the world by the Supreme Being to save others. This is why God said to Ezekiel:
“Son of man [servant of humanity], prophesy against Gog and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says ..." (Ezekiel 39:1)
Thus we find specifically that God is suggesting that Ezekiel represent Him, and carry His message to others. This means Ezekiel is serving others that message. Jesus also confirmed himself in the same role as God's messenger:
“My teaching is not my own. It comes from the One who sent me." (John 7:16)
Note that the Supreme Being has unlimited numbers of loving servants, who perform all types of service to the Supreme Being. Some provide personal service to God, while others provide other types of services.

But a "servant of humanity" provides a particular type of service to God - that of being God's messenger - which is ultimately a service to all of humanity.

Why? Because the Supreme Being is calling us back to Him. He is wanting us to return to our eternal loving service relationship with Him.

He wants us to be happy. Currently, those of us in the physical world living within these temporary physical bodies are empty and alone without our relationship with Him. No matter how many people surround us, we are lonely without our relationship with Him. This is why everyone searches for their "soul mate" in this lifetime. We are searching for a "soul mate" because we know innately that there is someone special for us. There is someone meant for us to love and give our lives to.

Do we have a soul mate?

Yes. God is our Soul Mate. He is the One we have been looking for to love and give our lives to.

But because we are chasing after our self-centered desires within the physical world we have forgotten our relationship with the Supreme Being. In fact, God has arranged for us to forget Him. This is because we wanted to get away from Him, so He simply accommodated our desire to leave Him, and forget Him.

But like the perfect loving person He is, He never gives up on us. He knows that we can only be happy when we return to Him. So He sends some of His loving servants to us to re-introduce us to Him and bring us back to Him.

Let's use an example. Let's say that we have a friend who is a friend of the President of the U.S. And say this friend wants to introduce us to the President. How does this happen?

The friend of the President might invite us to a dinner at the White House. If we decide to come, what will happen? When we are ready to go to the White House dinner, our friend will arrange for a limo to pick us up, and then he will be there at the White House entrance to welcome us so that he can escort us into the White House and introduce us to the President right?

Such a friend would never just invite us to the White House and then leave us on our own to figure out how to get in. In that case, should we try to get in to the White House, the secret service people would probably arrest us?

But such a person - who invites us to the White House - could not act on his own and just invite people. They would need to make sure the President is okay with his inviting us. The President would likely have us vetted to make sure we were prepared to come to the White House - and we weren't some kind of a weirdo.

And it would be the President's authority that would allow our friend to order the limo and make the arrangements to get us into the White House. Our friend's authority to get us into the White House would ultimately be coming from the President, and only because our friend was a friend of the President. Right?

This is also the role of such a servant of humanity who invites others back home to their relationship with the Supreme Being. The servant of humanity works on behalf of the Supreme Being to carry God's message to others, and then advocates for his follower about God. And then becomes available at the time of the prepared follower's death to escort the person back home to the spiritual realm.

Of course, this is not a physical thing. While our minds want to interpret everything on the physical level, and the symbolism used here and used by Jesus is meant to help a person understand a spiritual concept with the physical mind - the point is that for those who follow God's representative - he will advocate for them and then be there to escort them back to the spiritual realm at their time of death. This advocacy element was confirmed by Jesus as he spoke to his followers:
"And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—" (John 14:16)

Who is the 'another advocate'?

This "another advocate" is described in the next verses, as the Holy Spirit, who will remain with Jesus' followers after he was to leave them physically. But then we find here and elsewhere that Jesus stated that he would return to them at the time of death, because of his role as servant of humanity.

Of course, no one is forced to follow God's representative. God gives complete freedom, because love requires freedom.

But for those who choose to follow God's representative, the servant of humanity will be there at the time of death for his followers - to escort his follower back to the spiritual realm where they are reunited with their relationship with the Supreme Being.

Yes - the spiritual realm is a personal place. It is a place of relationships. It is not as though someone is tossed into some void or blurry zone to float around. The spiritual realm is full of relationships. These relationships are all related to the Supreme Being - and each of us has a unique relationship with the Supreme Being.

And God's representative - empowered by the Supreme Being as Jesus was, and thus authorized by Him - will appear before those who follow him, at the time of death, to escort them back to their relationship with God.

This is why Jesus utilized the word ἔρχομαι (erchomai) - translated to "is coming." This word can mean "to come," but also means "to appear" and "make one's appearance" according to the lexicon.

Thus the more appropriate translation of Luke 12:40, as Jesus describes their coming time of death, would be:
"You also must be ready, because the Servant of humanity will appear at an hour when you do not expect him."