According to the biblical narrative, Moses, acting as the messenger of God, warned Pharaoh about the upcoming darkness if he refused to free the enslaved Hebrews. However, Pharaoh remained obstinate and disregarded the warning. As a result, the entire land of Egypt was plunged into a thick darkness that devoured
Matthew 12:40 “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
A few hours after His death, and before nightfall, Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb
Matthew 27:57 -60 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
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10 Days Of Darkness In The Bible
Our last study was about the rapture of the Church - the next great event that will take place. This aspect of the Lord’s coming is the “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13); it is to be our daily prospect and anticipation, and the cry in our hearts should be Revelation 22:20!
But the coming of the Lord into the air to remove all His saints will be a most terrible and solemn time for the world, for the unbeliever, for there will then break upon the world a period of great distress, suffering and warfare. This fearful and dark time is called the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22, 29-30; Mark 13:24; Revelation 7:14); “the day of the Lord” (Isaiah 13:9; Joel 2:1; Amos 5:18,20; Zephaniah 1:14-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; Revelation 6:12-17). It will be the darkest period of the world’s history, in comparison with which the cruelties of the Assyrians, the fearful sieges of Jerusalem, the tortures of the Inquisition, the campaigns of Napoleon, the bloodshed of two World Wars, and the atrocities perpetrated under the Nazi regime will fade into insignificance. It will be the darkest night before the dawning of the day of millennial glory, for when ”the day of the Lord! culminates in the fearful battle of Armageddon and the Great Tribulation has run its course, the Lord will return to set up His glorious kingdom, and this will begin earth’s golden age!
Paul refers to this time of sorrow and judgment in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12. Notice three truths:-
1. The coming of the Lord FOR His Saints
This is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (as we saw in our last study), but in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Paul has more to say.
- (1) What will it mean to the unsaved?
- It will be a time of surprise and alarm; in verse 2 we are told that the Lord is coming ”like a thief in the night” - suddenly and unannounced. See also what verse 3 tells us! We hear much talk today of “peace and safety”, but it is at such a time as this that there will be great sorrow for the unsaved.
- There will be absolutely no escape (verse 3) - every Christian will have been removed from the earth; just as in Noah’s day those who were outside the ark remained outside (God had shut the door), so when the Lord comes, those who do not belong to Him will be left behind (Genesis 7:16).
- (2) What will the coming of Christ FOR His Saints mean to the Saved?
- He may come at any moment (verses 2,4,5). If He comes as a thief, unannounced, it means that we cannot fix the date (Matthew 24:36); but we are prepared when He does come, as verses 4, 5 and 8 remind us.
- The believer has an escape (verses 9-10). As we think of the dark days ahead for this world and for the unsaved, we may thank God that a way of escape has been made (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
2. The coming of the Lord WITH His Saints.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:6-12 we read of the time when Christ will return with His people in judgment to set up His earthly kingdom and millennial reign.
- (1) What will it mean for the unsaved?
- The Lord will come in mighty power (verses 7-8). At His first coming He came in weakness, was cast out, mocked and crucified; how different it will be when He comes in glory (Matthew 25:31).
- He will come in judgment (verse 8). Remember that this is God’s revealed truth of what is going to happen at some not very distant future time.
- He will come to punish and banish those who do not belong to Him (verse 9). Think about these solemn words prayerfully and compare Matthew 25:46.
- (2) What will it mean for the saved?
- The adjustment of all injustices (verse 6). The wicked seem to prosper and get away with it, but look up Psalm 73:12 and 17.
- The Lord will be glorified in His saints (verse 10). When we return with the Lord we shall be a spectacle to the whole world of what the grace of God has brought about in us!
- Those who have won souls to Christ will rejoice (verse 10). This is surely indicated here - look up and compare 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.
3. Happenings on the earth between the comings of the Lord.
Two most dreadful things will happen after the Church has gone and before the Lord returns in power (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12):-
- (1) The Holy Spirit will be removed from the earth (verse 7). He is at present resident within the Church and lives in all believers, and is here in the world to restrain sin and evil.
- (2) The Antichrist will be revealed and will reign on the earth. He cannot be revealed until the Holy Spirit is taken away, but once He has been removed this fearful, powerful and sinister figure - a great statesman and a religious leader, but a deceiver - will be energised by Satan, and will be the Devil’s counterfeit of Christ (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5, 8-12). These will be dark days indeed!
Finally, what should be our attitude as we await these events?
- (1) We are to rejoice that we are the Lord’s (verse 13).
- (2) We are to look forward when we shall be with Christ (verse 14; 2 Timothy 2:12).
- (3) We are to stand fast (verse 15). We must not be disturbed as conditions worsen - look up 1 Corinthians 15:58.
- (4) We are to comfort and encourage ourselves in the Lord (verses 16-17).
- (5) We are to ”rescue the perishing”. Our cry should be - 2 Corinthians 5:20.
What the Bible says about Day of Darkness
(From Forerunner Commentary)
|Amos 4:6-12What are we to think of the disasters this nation has been experiencing of late? If they are not direct signs of the apocalypse, what are they? What God says to Israel through Amos.Between verses 7 and 12, God mentions sending them drought, blight and mildew, locusts, plague, military defeat, and divine punishment for sin, yet after every disaster, Israel still refused to repent. So, God warns them in verse 12 that He would bring on them a major judgment—His wrath, their Day of the Lord, a day of “darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18-20).This passage suggests that the disasters we have recently seen are warnings to the nation that God is aware of its sin and the people’s drifting from Him. He is trying to get their attention so that they realize that they need to repent and return to Him. These disasters, then, are precursor judgments and threats, prods to motivate repentance and a restored relationship.The ultimate judgment of God comes later, and Christ’s return happens according to the prophecies recorded in Scripture. They are straightforward—not esoteric, not discernible only to biblical numerologists or experts of some mysterious Bible code. The prophecies will be fulfilled in real, visible, unmistakable events.Richard T. Ritenbaugh|
The End Is Not Yet
|Amos 5:18-20“Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! For what good is the day of the Lord to you?” (Amos 5:18). It is always a prophet’s responsibility to remind the people that the future is inextricably bound to the present. What one does today affects the course of events as time marches on.Malachi asks, “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears?” (Malachi 3:2). No such doubts assailed these people at all. They were confident that things would be all right. They felt they would march right through the day of their judgment because they were His chosen people.But when Amos looked at his times, he became frightened. “It will be darkness, and not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him; or as though he went into the house, leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him” (Amos 5:18-19).There is no escape! People, living in their complacency, think that everything is fine. But the day of judgment will come upon them unexpectedly, and in utter hopelessness they will start running for their lives. They will escape one terror only to confront another! And just when they think they are finally safe, they will receive a mortal wound!But, the prophet is not yet finished! “Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:20). Wailing and inescapable judgment are followed by darkness. In their complacency, the people think it logical to conclude that, since everything is presently all right, they must have overcome those things which plagued them. With that behind them, they think their future is full of gladness and good times. Amos disagrees! He accuses them of feeding themselves false hopes. When God comes, he says, He will be their enemy!John W. Ritenbaugh|
Prepare to Meet Your God! (The Book of Amos) (Part Two)
|2 Thessalonians 2:3-4This passage outlines a basic sequence of events: Christ’s return is preceded by the appearance of the man of sin, who is preceded by the “falling away.” As we look forward to that Day of both darkness and light, we should watch for this falling away to help us stay focused on the surety of Christ’s coming.We are immediately presented with a challenge, however, because the Bible contains few supporting scriptures to help us understand exactly what Paul means. The Greek word translated as “falling away” is apostasia, which Strong’s Greek Dictionary defines as “defection from truth.” This word is used in only one other place:When he had greeted them, he told in detail those things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord. And they said to him, “You see, brother, how many myriads of Jews there are who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law; but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs. (Acts 21:19-21)The word apostasia is found in verse 21, in the mention of “forsak[ing] Moses.” A rumor was circulating that Paul was teaching people to fall away from—to defect from—the truth revealed through Moses, which underscores Peter’s observation about how easily people could misunderstand Paul’s teachings (II Peter 3:16). Acts 21 gives us a second reference for the usage of apostasia, but it tells us little about what Paul had in mind when he warned of the falling away—a specific and definitive falling away.A closely related form of this word is apostasion, which means “separation.” In the three places it is used, it is translated as “a certificate of divorce” (Matthew 5:31; 19:7; Mark 10:4). In that related form as well, we see the concepts of falling away, forsaking, and defecting.Apostasia is also found in four places in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint (Joshua 22:22; II Chronicles 29:19; 33:19; Jeremiah 2:19). In each case, the predominant theme is a king (or the whole nation of Israel) rebelling against—forsaking—God and turning to an alien belief system. Applying that to the prophesied “falling away,” we can understand that the truth forsaken in the end times is not truth as an abstract concept, but truth that relates to God.David C. Grabbe|
The Falling Away