Some Christians believe that the Lord actually came spiritually in 70 AD, judged Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple through the Roman army he brought against the Jews. However, having done that, he returned to heaven and rules from there, and he will return sometime in the future in a more glorious physical coming, whereby he will judge the nations. Some even tell us he will destroy and then rebuild the earth, from which he will reign (physically) forever. The alleged proof of such a doctrine begins with the little word “but” in Matthew 24:36: “BUT… of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” – All things before the but occurred by 70 AD, and all things after the but will occur (allegedly) at Jesus’ yet future Second Coming! So… what can be said about this matter? Does the Lord really come twice? Is that what he said he would do?
In order for their doctrine to be true, namely, that the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24 & 25) is a ‘divided’ discourse, separated by Matthew 24:36, – in order for that to be true, Jesus would have had to have known for a fact that he would not have come in glory before 70 AD. Why do I say that? What I mean is, if Jesus came in all his physical glory **before** 70 AD, he would not have been able to do what he claimed he would do in response to what was being done to his disciples in Matthew 24:4-34. According to the physical Second Coming theory, Jesus comes out of heaven to **save** Jerusalem not destroy it, as is the theme in Matthew 24:1-34 (cf. Revelation 20:8-10)!
Moreover, and from a different perspective, I would like to consider the days of Noah, which Jesus claimed would be like his days of his coming:
But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Matthew 24:37-39)
What did God tell Noah about the coming of the Flood? God told Noah that, due to the violence in the earth, he would destroy all life upon the earth with a flood (Genesis 6:7, 13-17). However, Noah had found grace with the Lord and walked with him (Genesis 6:8-9). Therefore, God told Noah to build an ark in order to save himself and his immediate family and to preserve animal life on the earth (Genesis 6:14, 18-21), and Noah obeyed the Lord (Genesis 6:22).
In the context of Jesus’ knowledge as understood in Matthew 2436 (cf. Mark 13:32), what did Noah know in Genesis 6? Well, Noah knew judgment upon mankind was pronounced and coming. He also knew that judgment would come in his generation, because God promised Noah and his family would be saved out of it. There would also be signs for the people living in Noah’s day that would point to the nearness of the flood that would destroy them. So, repentance was offered.
One of those signs would have been Noah building the ark itself. Certainly, this would have sparked the interest of mockers (cf. 2Peter 3:1-3), so Noah’s labor was a sign to that generation. Noah was also a preacher of righteousness (2Peter 2:5). Therefore, the world would have been warned about the coming judgment, just as the spread of the Gospel was a sign to Jesus’ generation (Matthew 24:14). As the time drew nearer and Noah began putting supplies into the ark, and as the animals began filling the ark, the people, had they been repentant, would have known the time was nearer.
When he began building the ark, Noah didn’t know the day and the hour when the flood would arrive. Nevertheless, this was revealed to him, as the day drew near, for in Genesis 7:1-4 God told him to begin boarding the ark, because in 7 days he would bring the rain and destroy all other life from the face of the earth with a flood.
According to Jesus own words, the days of Noah were similar to the days of the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:37). There is, therefore, absolutely no reason why Matthew 24:36 should be considered a dividing verse between what comes before and after it, because, not only couldn’t Jesus tell his disciples the day or the hour of his coming in 70 AD, but no matter how we look at Matthew 24, God has said he would **never** do anything without making his secret known to his servants (Amos 3:7). Therefore, the day and the hour theory is a moot point. No matter which side of the alleged dividing line you are on, God had always intended to eventually reveal the day and the hour (cf. Revelation 1:1)!