The Bible mentions seven references to Jesus returning as a thief and seven is God’s number of perfection. The Revelation mentions two of these. One of the verses in Revelation gives the same blessing we see in Luke saying, “Blessed is he who watches.” or for those who the Lord Jesus when He comes finds watching.
The thief reference depicts Jesus’s role in the Rapture. In the Rapture Jesus comes when we are unaware and He takes those of us who are His and He takes us out of the world. And it is as if we are literally stolen from the world.
Many Christians dispute the Rapture. Can it be clearer than when Jesus says in the Revelation to the church at Philadelphia, “I also will keep you from the hour of trial, which shall come upon the whole world.” We also have John talking to the elder and asking of the great multitude around the throne and the elder tells John that “these are they who have come out of the Great Tribulation and who have made their robes white.” Can Jesus be more specific when He gives the illustration of the woman in the mill left standing still or the man left in the field standing still?
This is not a reference to the end of the world return because on that day there will be an earthquake that will divide cities around the globe, and 100 pound hail stones will pound down on men and women. The Bible describes men and women looking to hide in the cliffs of the rocks. Women will not be calmly grinding at the mill or a man standing in the field on that day. We also have Jesus’s comparison of the days of Noah and Lot to the days before the Tribulation. Both of these times the believers did not go through the judgment, but were provided a way out before the judgment struck.
For those of you who do not feel that the Bible is clear about the Rapture consider this: the three wise men went directly to the birthplace of Jesus and greeted him with gifts of Frankincense and Myrrh. How did they know He was there? Micah 5:2 states Christ will come out of Bethlehem. Daniel 9: 25 gives a hint to the timing of the coming of Messiah.
Numbers 24:17 states, “A star shall come out of Jacob.” That is an ambiguous reference to most. The wise men pieced it all together and they knew the star reference referred to a literal star and they followed the star, which is Venus and there are only so many days when Venus passes through and reaches maximum brilliance. The extreme crescent phase of Venus can be seen without the naked eye.
Herod inquired of the wise men what time the star appeared. Now this star stood directly over Jesus’s manger. How did they know from so few references to come to the timing and birthplace of the baby Jesus? The Bible does not call them wise for nothing. Think of it, who would have thought that Jesus would have had a star as a sign of his birth based on that reference? An actual star shining in the sky over His location, it is the same with the Rapture. The passages are there but are not obvious, God expects us to study His Word.
When you read many of the passages minus the ones in Revelation that are Rapture verses they sound like they refer to Jesus’s second coming, but his return at Armageddon is not like a thief. In Daniel and the Revelation God provides the number of days from the Abomination of Desolation to Jesus’s coming at that time and it’s not going to be a big surprise. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that at the end of those days its only just a matter of days before his return and his return is not going to be on that day exactly.
The Bible tells us that no man can know the day or the hour and I believe this is specifically about the Rapture because its date we are really going to be in the dark about. The only way that we can have a hint of it is to be vigilant in watching the signs. In Daniel when the number of days are given. You know right after that His coming is imminent. So there is no secret in the day or the hour at that point because you are going to know it is coming.
At Jesus’s second coming, He also comes in the clouds with armies as King of Kings. He is not coming as a thief at the second coming. He arrives as a King coming to battle. Jesus’s arrival coincides with the cataclysmic end of the world so no one is going to be surprised. At Jesus’s second coming there is not going to be a good deal of men left on the earth.
We know that one fourth of the world’s population dies in war. We have the woes that effect a third of the population and finally the great earthquake and 100 pound hail stones. At that earthquake Tsunamis’ will be unleashed worldwide, huge landslides will occur from the leveling of the mountains, cities will be divided and those who remain will be running for safety in the clefts of the rocks like the Bible describes. This is not a setting for a thief. As Terry James wrote in the article, “ a thief in the night,” the Rapture begins the period of the day of the Lord.
Jesus is coming as a thief and He will come when people are not expecting Him and will take His own out of the earth. Those on the earth will regard the event as if the people were stolen out of here. It is my feeling that the Rapture is going to occur alongside some bazaar natural disaster. When we see God’s throne in Revelation 11:19, you see thunder, lightening great hail and an earthquake. Also around the throne and in our description of God and Jesus we see fire and light brighter than the sun.
When Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished,” immediately there was an earthquake and the sun darkened. We also see in the Revelation when the seventh angel sounds “It is done,” the earthquake occurs that divides the cities around the globe. Around God and big events we see His power and glory in things like thunder, lightening, earthquakes and events in nature. When the Rapture occurs there is something that is going to occur in nature and cause those of us to appear to vaporize or disappear.
Remember when the Rapture happens it might not be so obvious that Christians were removed because there are going to be those who many would think would be Christians going up in the Rapture who don’t, people who they wouldn’t expect going, going up in the Rapture. Simply speaking, there are those who we would not think have accepted Christ, and there are those who we would think have accepted Christ who will not go up so it may not be so obvious as to believers all being taken out of here. We know that that’s what’s going to happen.
When I think of a time in history when people have disappeared I think of the Bermuda Triangle with the disappearance of 50 ships and 20 airplanes in a 50 year period. Freaky was flight 19 on Dec 5, 1945. Flight 19, and a squadron of five U.S. Navy torpedo bombers, vanished into thin air during a routine training exercise, during peacetime.
Before losing radio contact off the coast of southern Florida, Flight 19's flight leader was heard saying, "Everything looks strange, even the ocean," and "We are entering white water, nothing seems right." The aircraft and 14 crew members were never found, and even stranger, the search and rescue aircraft with 13 men sent to locate the missing planes disappeared to. Before excuse me take another in addition to the Bermuda Triangle, just and I’m just pointing out here just strange things in nature. Another odd natural disaster was the Tungusta event in Russia.
And it was a powerful explosion that occurred on June 30 in 1908.
Over 1000 reports and papers later and scientists are still not in agreement to the cause. And have speculated that it was made by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet. And they can’t agree because both, if one happens it causes things and if a comet happens there should have been something else. So no one is agreeing on what the exact cause is because this thing was so strange it does not fit entirely either theory. And they figure this took place about three to six miles above the Earth’s surface.
Different studies have yielded varying estimates of the object's size, in the order of 330 feet. It is the largest impact event on or near Earth recorded in history. The Tunguska explosion knocked down an estimated 80 million trees over an area covering 830 miles. It is estimated that the shock from the blast would have measured 5.0 on the Richter scale. This type of explosion was capable of destroying a large metropolitan area and was about 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Witnesses recorded seeing a bluish light, nearly as bright as the Sun moving across the sky. As well as a flash and a sound similar to artillery fire. The sounds were accompanied by shock waves that knocked people off their feet and broke windows hundreds of miles away.
So it will be with the Rapture, it will occur along with some kind of worldwide natural event and those on the earth will be left feeling like a thief snatched us away and assume we were vaporized by it. Kind of like when the sinkhole swallowed the Florida man who literally disappeared and was never seen again. Scientists will come up with their theories as to what happened. Again I want to state that the reason that I am saying that a natural disaster will happen, is anytime you look at big events in the Bible, there are things that happen in nature to coincide with the events.
So meanwhile study the secrets of God’s word like the wise men and be vigilant on watching the signs of the times, and prepared for when Jesus comes for you in the Rapture as a thief.