Paul Henebury in his recent post is replying to my comment on one of his previous posts. His link with the reply follows; and my response is below this link. Tomorrows post will also respond to other of his observations of my own concerns, so this may be an ongoing dialog. If so it will prove beneficial to parties interested in the Rapture debate.
The Apostle Paul speaks of the coming of the Lord (the Day of The Lord) in 1St Thessalonians 5: as a thief in the night — why did the Holy Spirit use Thief in “the Night”? The prophet Joel had stated as did Jesus that this terrible Day of the Lord’s coming would Come following signs of the darkening of the sun moon and stars. Jesus in Revelation 6 speaks of this event (His Coming) when He is revealed in wrath, as a time when men would see Him and call out for the rocks to Fall on them to hide them from His wrath. Again there as in other portions of Scripture, His coming is preceded by the sun moon and stars failing to shine properly before this event. Jesus even inserts His coming as a thief at the time of the Armageddon battle when the final rebellion of the nations is occurring. So why does the Rapture passage in 1 Thess 4&5, referrer to the darkness on earth as a thief in the night? If it is not clear; then consider. Jesus coming is to be during a time of darkness on the earth. If the sun moon and even the stars are not properly shining: as stars are falling from the sky where they will if fallen shine no longer; these events are producing a darkness throughout the earth, and Jesus reports His coming to gather His own to be either within or immediately following that time of total darkness upon earth. It is Jesus who is telling us that this thief like Coming is revealed in Rev. 16, as His coming as a thief. It with its darkness occurs in conjunction with Armageddon.
God, in fact, when speaking of the Day of the Lord most always references Jesus sign of a sun and moon not giving forth light and stars not shining. Isa 13 is but one reference:
Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation; And He will exterminate its sinners from it. 13:10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash forth their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light. 13:11 Thus I will punish the world for its evil And the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud And abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. (NASB1995)
Interestingly these events of total darkness where they occur signify the coming Day of the Lord.
The day of the Lord is a cruel day where evil men are destroyed from earth. Isn’t that what Paul says?
1 Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 5:3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. (NASB1995)
Paul makes it clear that they will not escape this dark day. Interestingly, these evil men are still there having escaped God’s Thumos (wrath) and other judgments throughout Tribulation. But, when the Lamb actually pours out His Orge wrath that you and I are promised to escape, and yes the evil men of this beast system and their Antichrist are vanquished to the lake of fire, as the Lord comes to receive us. Then when the Lamb sets His foot on the earth with His brethren at His side, there is still a judgment to come of the mortal nations, but, His brethren, who were not with Him in Bozrah, are then present with Him. This is key because these same brethren, who are to always be with Him following the rapture are not there when He begins pouring out His wrath. Why? —consider:
Isaiah 63:1 Who is this who comes from Edom, With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, This One who is majestic in His apparel, Marching in the greatness of His strength? “It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.” 63:2 Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press? 63:3 “I have trodden the wine trough alone, And from the peoples there was no man with Me. I also trod them in My anger And trampled them in My wrath; And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments, And I stained all My raiment. (NASB1995)
Paul’s telling of the day of the Lord’s coming as a thief in the night for us in resurrection and rapture is not presenting a different teaching from all these other Scriptures where this day is to come following darkness produced by Sun, moon and stars not shining, but it is further confirmation of these facts. For the earth lay in total darkness when Jesus comes as a thief. And though we are absent when He begins to pour out His wrath on the nations gathered for Armageddon, yet we will be present with Him when He returns wearing those same blood stained garments as He wore there at Bozrah. For where the Eagles are there we will be gathered unto Him as He continues to pour out His wrath at His coming.
In my opinion confusion exists in Doctrine either because we refuse to or just won’t connect the threads of truth within Scripture.