JESUS IS COMING AS A THIEF in the NIGHT


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JESUS IS COMING AS A THIEF IN THE NIGHT !


Now I do not know about you, but I was taught by the pre-tribulation doctrine that Jesus was coming SECRETLY as a THIEF in the NIGHT to gather together from all over the world faithful believers to ESCAPE the coming time of GREAT TRIBULATION, and that we must always be READY, because no one knows the day of the hour of our Lord's return.

BUT is the teaching of a PRE tribulation rapture of the church a SOUND BIBLICAL teaching?

Does Jesus coming as a THIEF in the night mean that Jesus is coming SECRETLY to snatch away the believers from the earth in order to ESCAPE that time of great tribulation?

Let us take a CLOSER look at all the verses in the Bible where Jesus is coming as a THIEF and see what the CONTEXT of these verse teach us.

Please take a look at Matthew 24:43,44


BUT KNOW THIS, that IF the good man of the house had KNOWN in what watch the THIEF would come, he would NOT have suffered his house to be broken up.

THEREFORE be you ALSO ready: for in an hour as you think not the Son of man COMES.”


In other words IF we as believers WATCH, then we WILL KNOW the hour when the Son of man comes.

Please take a look at Revelation 3:3 where Jesus gives STRONG WARNING to those who DO NOT WATCH!


Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. IF therefore you shall NOT WATCH, I WILL come upon YOU (speaking of ONLY those who are NOT watching) as a THIEF, and YOU (again speaking of only those who are NOT watching) shall NOT KNOW what HOUR I will come upon YOU.”


The word of God clearly shows that Jesus is COMING as a THIEF in the night, BUT Jesus is NOT coming upon the faithful believers who are WATCHING and obeying his gospel as a THIEF to SECRETLY steal us away in the night as some falsely teach. But rather the word of TRUTH clearly and plainly teaches us that Jesus is coming as a THIEF upon those who are NOT WATCHING and who are NOT READY for his coming.

I want you to notice that the pre-tribulation doctrine also falsely teaches that no man can NEVER know the day or the hour of our Lord's return, but the word of TRUTH teaches us that IF was are WATCHING then we will know that day and the hour and Jesus will NOT come upon those who are watching and ready as a THIEF in the night. Let me explain what I mean. Please read Revelation 3:3 again and read it as if the OPPOSITE where as equally true.


Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. IF therefore you shall NOT WATCH, I WILL come upon YOU (speaking of ONLY those who are NOT watching) as a THIEF, and YOU (again speaking of only those who are NOT watching) shall NOT KNOW what HOUR I will come upon YOU.”


In other words, IF therefore we do NOT watch, THEN Jesus will come upon us as a THIEF and we will NOT know the day or the hour.

HOWEVER the opposite of this is equally as true.That is to say, IF we ARE WATCHING and we ARE READY by keeping our lives free from sin, then Jesus will NOT come upon us as a THIEF and we WILL KNOW the HOUR that Jesus will COME upon those who are NOT WATCHING as a THIEF. Please read the study called "RAPTURE: NO MAN KNOWS the DAY nor the HOUR" for a deeper understanding that we can know the day and the hour of the coming of Jesus, but for now please read 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11. For now I will focus on verses 4-6 which says,


But YOU, brethren are NOT in darkness that THAT DAY (speaking of the DAY of the Lord or the WRATH of God) should overtake YOU as a THIEF.

5. YOU are children of the LIGHT, and children of the day: we are NOT children of the night, nor of darkness.

6. THEREFORE let us NOT sleep; BUT let us WATCH and be sober.”


In other words, the word of God clearly instructs and WARNS us to WATCH, to be sober, and to pray to escape THAT DAY when Jesus will come as a THIEF , because Jesus is coming as a THIEF only upon those who are NOT WATCHING. You can do a word search on the word THIEF for yourself and you will find NO WHERE in the word of TRUTH that Jesus is coming as a thief in the night to SECRETLY steal away believers BEFORE the time of great tribulation.

The Bible teaches us that at the RAPTURE of the church, the EVENT of being CAUGHT UP in the CLOUDS to MEET Jesus is the AIR taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 that the saints are gathered TOGETHER. In other words, the dead in Christ rise FIRST and THEN we which are ALIVE and remain unto the COMING of Jesus are caught up TOGETHER with the dead in Christ and take to MEET Jesus in the AIR.

So then, where does Jesus gather his PEOPLE together? Does he take them back to heaven for seven years as many of us have been taught? Where does Jesus take those faithful believers who are WATCHING and looking for his return and who are keeping themselves pure and without spot or blemish. In other words, those believers who are living their lives WITHOUT SIN as Jesus did are caught up in the AIR and then are gathered together by the army of angels to MEET Jesus, but WHERE are we taken to meet Jesus in the AIR?

Please take a look at Revelation 16:15,16 which reads,


Behold I come as a THIEF, Blessed is he that WATCHES and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked. And they see his shame.

And he GATHERED them (those believers who are WATCHING and living without sin) TOGETHER INTO a PLACE called in the Hebrew tongue ARMAGEDDON.”


I want you to picture a ball or a sphere, which will represent the earth. Now picture this ball or sphere with a bunch of pins sticking out of it all around the entire surface of the sphere. The heads of the pins will represent all the believers who are being caught up into the AIR or sky above the earth. Now all these believes will be scattered over the entire heavens, the sky or atmosphere from one end of heaven to the other, but Jesus will be at ONE SPECIFIC POINT in the AIR or sky, or the first heaven. So in order for all of us to MEET Jesus in the AIR at this SPECIFIC point or PLACE that he will be in the AIR, then we will FIRST have the need to be GATHERED TOGETHER into that specific place where Jesus is waiting. Therefore Jesus will send HIS ANGELS to gather together his people, his CHOSEN ONES, his ELECT from one end of heaven to the other end and take us to MEET with Jesus in the AIR over a SPECIFC PLACE called in the Hebrew tongue ARMAGEDDON.

Now the word "MEET" means that the one, who is meeting another, goes to a specific place to meet the other person and then continues on with that person to where ever they are going. In other words, we go up to MEET Jesus, who is on his way to a specific place. Therefore when we go up to MEET with Jesus we will then CONTINUE on WITH him to wherever he is going.

So again where is Jesus GOING? What did Jesus COME AGAIN this SECOND TIME to do? That is right! To EXECUTE the WRATH of Almighty God. So we MEET Jesus in the AIR to continue on WITH Jesus to execute vengeance of Almighty God with him at the battle of Armageddon. This is what the WHOLE word of God teaches.

Now I want you to read Revelation 16:1-21 again in it's entirety and pay CLOSE attention the the undeniable fact that when Jesus comes as a THIEF that he is going to GATHER TOGETHER his people first BEFORE Jesus executes vengeance and WRATH upon the wicked that takes place BETWEEN the sixth VIAL and the seventh VIAL. So in other words, the first SIX VIALS have already taken place BEFORE Jesus comes as a THIEF in the night to GATHER TOGETHER his PEOPLE, who are WATCHING and have KEPT themselves pure and spotless, to a place called ARMAGEDDON to help execute the vengeance and WRATH of God at the battle of Armageddon upon the ungodly and the disobedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ.


This GATHERING TOGETHER of God's people is the RAPTURE of the church, which the word of TRUTH teaches is the HARVEST at the end of the age that the SON of MAN puts in his sickle to REAP. There is only ONE HARVEST TIME mentioned in the Bible for the RIGHTEOUS that takes place before the 1000 year reign, which is then immediately followed by the treading of the WINE PRESS of the wicked at Armageddon. Now the valley of Jehoshaphat that is called the valley of decision is outside the city of Jerusalem. Even the pre-tribulation teachers say that the valley of Jehoshaphat is a prophecy of the battle of Armageddon.


Now if we KEEP 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 in the CONTEXT of where it is found and we CONTINUE to read the verse that follow in the next chapter we are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 that Jesus is coming as a THIEF in the night.


For yourselves know perfectly that the DAY of the Lord so comes as a THIEF in the night.”


Now some interpret this to mean that Jesus is coming SECRETLY like a THIEF in the night to take the church out of the earth and up to heaven for seven years to ESCAPE the time of great tribulation. But what do the scriptures tell us about Jesus coming as a THIEF ? Please notice that Jesus coming as a THIEF is called the DAY of the Lord. Please read the study called "THE GREAT AND NOTABLE DAY OF THE LORD", for a deeper understanding that the DAY of the Lord is NOT the time of GREAT TRIBULATION as many of us have been FALSELY taught by those who teach the pre-tribulation doctrine. But for now please take a look at 2 Peter 3:10 which says,


But the DAY of the Lord will come as a THIEF in the NIGHT; in the which (or at which time) the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”


Jesus coming as a THIEF in the night is called the DAY of the Lord, where Jesus is coming to execute the WRATH of Almighty God, and NOT to SECRETLY steal away believers back to heaven for 7 years as some FALSELY teach. The DAY of the Lord IS the WRATH of God. So therefore the WRATH of God comes like a THIEF in the night.

And this great and notable DAY of God's WRATH will NOT come until there appear SIGNS in the SUN, MOON and the STARS. Acts 2:19,20 in very explicit about this undeniable fact. So in other words, Jesus in NOT coming as a THIEF in the night UNTIL there appear these SIGNS in the SUN and the MOON and the STARS.


And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and FIRE, and vapor of smoke:
The SUN shall be turned to darkness, and the MOON into blood,
BEFORE that great and notable DAY of the Lord COME:”


Now I want you to CAREFULLY read Matthew 24:29-31, which CLEARLY and PLAINLY teaches us that these SAME SIGNS in the SUN, MOON, and STARS appear IMMEDIATELY AFTER the time of GREAT TRIBULATION, which proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that the time of GREAT tribulation is NOT the WRATH of God or the DAY of the Lord.


IMMEDIATELY AFTER the TRIBULATION of those days (speaking of the time of GREAT TRIBULATION) shall the SUN be darkened, and the MOON shall not give her light, and the STARS shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken;

30. And THEN shall appear the sign of the SON of MAN in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall SEE the Son of man coming in CLOUDS of heaven with power and great glory.

31. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a TRUMPET (or with a trumpet and a great voice) and they shall GATHER TOGETHER his elect from the FOUR winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”


Please notice the SIGNS in the SUN, MOON, and STARS that we are PLAINLY told in the books of ACTS will appear BEFORE the WRATH of God, the DAY of the Lord that comes as a THIEF in the night occur or appear IMMEDIATELY AFTER the GREAT TRIBULATION. So therefore the GREAT TRIBULATION and the WRATH of God, which is called the DAY of the Lord are NOT ONE and the SAME event.

Please take note of the exact order that these events occur. FIRST comes the ABOMINATION of DESOLATION, which begins the time of GREAT TRIBULATION, which lasts for 3 ½ years and NOT seven years like many of us have been taught.

Then IMMEDIATELY AFTER the GREAT TRIBULATION of those days there will appear SIGNS in the heavens and in the earth beneath, the SUN, shall be darkened, the MOON shall be as blood, or not give her light, the STARS of heaven shall fall.

THEN and only then shall Jesus come again to FIRST RAPTURE the church and only the church, which is defined as those who confess Jesus and the savior and who are found to be watching and faithful when he comes. In other words, the dead in CHRIST shall rise and then we which are alive and remain, in other words all the faithful Christians who are left alive or have survived and have remained alive shall be changed TOGETHER with the dead in Christ, the SAINTS which God will bring WITH him when he COMES, and we shall ALL be caught up TOGETHER from one end of heaven to the other to MEET the Lord in the AIR and continue on WITH Jesus to the place called Armageddon to execute vengeance or the WRATH of Almighty God.


In other words, in 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 right after telling us about the RAPTURE of the church in the preceding verses of 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 the word of TRUTH CONTINUES to say,


BUT of the times and seasons, ( BUT the times and seasons of WHAT? What Paul just got through telling us of course, the RAPTURE of the church) brethren, you have NO NEED that I write unto you (WHY? Think about WHY do we have NO need that Paul write and tell us of the TIMES and SEASON of the RAPTURE that he just got finished telling us about, WHY?)

2. For (or BECAUSE) you KNOW PERFECTLY (that is to say, you ALREADY KNOW perfectly) that the DAY of the Lord COMES as a THIEF in the night.(so Paul is telling us that the RAPTURE of the church occurs or takes place AT the SECOND COMING of Jesus, the DAY of the Lord. Or more precisely that the RAPTURE of the church takes place, or occurs AT the time Jesus comes again the SECOND time to execute the WRATH of Almighty God. But right BEFORE Jesus executes the WRATH of God immediately AFTER the time of GREAT tribulation the church is CAUGHT UP to MEET Jesus in the AIR where we ESCAPE the WRATH of God.)

3. For when THEY shall say, Peace and safety: (or crying and pleading for peace and safety) then shall sudden destruction comes upon THEM, as travail upon a women with child; and THEY shall not escape.

4. But YOU, BRETHREN (the church) are NOT in darkness, that THAT DAY (speaking of the DAY of the Lord) should OVERTAKE YOU as a THIEF.

5. You are the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not the children of the night, nor of darkness.

6. THEREFORE let us not sleep, as do others; but let us WATCH and be sober.

7. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunk, be drunk in the night.

8. But let us, who are of the day, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

9. For (or because) God has NOT APPOINTED us to WRATH, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

10. Who died for us, that WHETHER we wake (live or remain alive) or we sleep (die in Christ), we should LIVE TOGETHER (be made alive and changed together and be) with him. (If you are a Christian who is faithfully following the words of Jesus to walk in righteousness and not live in sin, then it does not matter if you remain alive or you are martyred for your faith in Jesus as the Son of God who died for your sins, because you will be resurrected and be given eternal life AT the SECOND coming of Jesus.)

11. WHEREFORE COMFORT yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do.”


Please notice that we are NOT told that to COMFORT one another with these words means that we are going to be raptured BEFORE the time of great tribulation in order to escape the great tribulation. This is MAN'S INTERPRETATION of what this verse means. However, the CONTEXT clearly shows us that our COMFORT is in the fact that if we should die in Christ before he comes again we are assured that we will rise again and live with him.

The beginning of this ENTIRE passage of scripture OPENS in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 with words of COMFORT for those who are worried about their brothers and sisters who have DIED in the Lord and were afraid that these brothers and sisters missed out on being able to live with Jesus. Paul reassures them and us that if Jesus died and was raised again, then so shall those who DIE in the Lord be raised again WHEN Jesus comes again the SECOND TIME. This SAME passage of scripture ends with these same words of COMFORT that whether we LIVE or whether we DIE we shall all live TOGETHER with the LORD.


Plain and simple dear child of God the CHURCH is going to go THROUGH the ENTIRE period of GREAT tribulation and we are to COMFORT one another with THESE words that whether we LIVE or whether we DIE we KNOW that when the Lord comes again the DEAD in Christ shall RISE from the dead FIRST and then we which have survived and have remained ALIVE unto the coming of the Lord shall also be CHANGED or given ETERNAL LIFE and we shall be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER to meet our Lord in the AIR at the place called in the Hebrew tongue ARMAGEDDON where the WRATH of God will be poured out upon the ungodly and the disobedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ.


         Here is a drawing that I made to teach a Bible study on the end times at church. I could not find one anywhere on the Internet at the time so I improvised and made my own drawing. It is a drawing showing what the Bible itself teaches will take place it the ORDER that they will occur.



         Keep in mind the the church age CONTINUES right on THROUGH the ENTIRE period of Great tribulation right up to the SECOND COMING of Jesus. The above drawing does not make this clear, but the word of TRUTH clearly teaches that from the day of Pentecost to the SECOND COMING of Jesus is the church age. 
          In truth there has been great tribulation pretty much all throughout the entire church age, but in the last 3 1/2 years there will again be Great tribulation in the Middle East such has never before. The Bible say that those in Judea and surrounding countries should FLEE to the mountains for safety. The word "mountain" is also used to speak of kingdoms, so this verse could mean for those Israel and surrounding countries to FLEE to other more distant countries for refuge and safety when they see Jerusalem SURROUNDED by ARMIES.

        To me there is no doubt that these ARMIES will be MUSLIM armies seeking the wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Please read the study "ISLAM IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST!". So when you SEE Jerusalem SURROUNDED by Muslim ARMIES then look up forth your redemption draws near. According to what I myself have come to understand this war against Jerusalem when she is SURROUNDED by ARMIES will last for 3 1/2 years, which in the time of GREAT TRIBULATION spoken of by Jesus in Matthew chapter 24 referring back to Daniel the prophet.


And here are some links to other related studies on WHEN the RAPTURE of the church will take places. The word of TRUTH clearly and plainly teaches us that the rapture of the church will take place AT the SECOND coming of Jesus. For SOUND BIBLICAL PROOF please read the following studies.

"THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS"

"THE GREAT TRIBULATION"

"WRATH of God VERSE the GREAT TRIBULATION"

"RAPTURE: NO ONE KNOWS the DAY nor the HOUR"

"THE IMMINENT RETURN OF JESUS"

"WHO IS THE HINDERER?"

"THE GREAT AND NOTABLE DAY OF THE LORD!"

"RAPTURE: ONE TAKEN AND ONE LEFT"

"MATTHEW 24:1-31 EXPLAINED!"

"250 REASON for the PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE???"

"THE TWO WITNESS: WHO ARE THEY?"

Then the following studies will also help you overcome the time of great tribulation.


"HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE GREAT TRIBULATION"

"ISLAM IS THE MARK OF THE BEAST!"


Thanks for reading. May God bless you richly as you continue to seek the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.

Your brother in our lord Jesus Christ,

Mark.

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