Heavenly Wonders[NOTE: It is important to read Scripture verses carefully and in context, paying close attention to words that indicate timing or chronological sequence such as "WHEN". "THEN", "AFTER", "BEFORE", etc.].
So far we have seen from the Bible that the Apostles were not expecting the Lord to return at any moment and did not believe that the Rapture was imminent because they knew that Jesus had told them of things that would have to happen BEFORE His return. For example:
Peter's death (Jn 21:18-19); The destruction of the temple (Lk.21:6; Mt. 24:2; Mk. 13:2); and Preaching the Gospel in all the world (Mt.28:19-20).
And, we know that, according to Scripture, there are a number of things that must occur, BEFORE
The Day of the Lord (God's wrath) comes upon the world. As we have seen:
(1) Elijah the prophet must come first (Malachi 4:5, 6; Matthew 17:11)
(2) We will be aware of the nearness of the Lord's Coming/Rapture saints (I Thessalonians 5:4, 5).
(3) The "falling away" (Daniel 11:31; II Thessalonians 2:3)
(4) The "man of sin" must be revealed (recognized for who he is) (Matthew 24:15; Daniel 9:23)
These two significant events (The apostasy & the man of sin -Antichrist- revealed) must take place
before the Day of the Lord (God's Wrath) begins (II Thessalonians 2:3) (I Thessalonians 5:9).
The fifth thing that must occur before God's wrath (The Day of the Lord) begins is the heavenly
wonders that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:29-31:
"IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 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 the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
These wonders in the heavens, accompanied by the Lord's Coming to rapture the church and the beginning of the Day of the Lord, happen almost simultaneously during the same day! The prophets of old also foretold these heavenly wonders which would precede the Day of the Lord:
"Behold the Day of the Lord comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land
desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the
constellations thereof shall not give their light. the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the
moon shall not cause her light to shine."(Isaiah 13:9, 10)
"The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great; for He is strong that executes His word; for the Day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?"(Joel2:10, 11)
"And I will show wonders in heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and the terrible Day of the Lord come."(Joel 2:30, 31)
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; forth Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened; and the stars shall withdraw their shining."
(Joel 3:14, 15)
(Joel 3:14, 15)
Peter, also quoting Joel, attested to the fact that these heavenly wonders will occur just before the Day of the Lord:
"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 into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE that great and notable Day of the Lord come."(Acts 2:19, 20) confirming that the Day of the Lord has not yet occurred and that when it does it will be preceded by these significant wonders in the heavens. These same wonders in the heavens will occur at the opening of the sixth seal according to Revelation 6:12, 13: "And I beheld when He had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth".
This significant passage of Scripture identifies the timing for these wonders to occur which most scholars agree must be placed after the middle of Daniel's Seventieth Week (The so-called "tribulation period") and after the great tribulation (Matthew 24:29), well into the second half of this notable seven year period called the 70th Week of Daniel.
So, when will we be raptured? Not before all of these prophesied events that we have seen so far occur. Will we know the day and the hour? No, but we will be aware of the approximate season by watching for these events that must occur before the Lord will come to rapture His church
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