Sequence Of Prophecy

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What About I Thessalonians Chapter 5?

Paul, in I Thessalonians chapter 5, was referring to Jesus coming again in the event that we call the Rapture. As we continue this chapter (I Thes. 5) keep the subject of I Thessalonians 4: 13 - 18 in mind. It will help you to understand I Thessalonians chapter 5.

Paul starts out by saying,
"But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you." (I Thes. 5: 1)

Paul had been talking to them about the coming of the Lord, otherwise, he would not have made that statement. The "times and the seasons" in the above verse, I believe, have to do with the signs, and the other things that are quoted in the New Testament concerning the coming of the Lord in the Rapture. And Paul does not have to rehearse those things at this point because the Christians have already been given that information concerning Jesus' return.

I want you to know that Paul wrote about the day of the Lord (I Thes. 5: 2). But he was not talking about the Old Testament Day of the Lord as some think. Nor is it the tribulation period (the 70th week of Daniel). He's talking about the Rapture. The Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, is in Heaven in chapters 4 and 5 of Revelation.

Paul says,
"For yourselves (you, the Christian believers) know perfectly [well] that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." (I Thes. 5: 2) (Read "Jesus is Coming, in the Rapture, As a Thief, but to Whom?". It talks about "thief".).

This day of the Lord is in connection with the Rapture of the Church. It will come as a thief "unannounced" to those who do not know Christ as Savior (Matt. 24: 42 - 44). They will not be expecting it to happen. However, it is not supposed to take the Christians by surprise, only the people who are lost (unsaved) and probably the Christians who don't study God's Word enough will be surprised. Those Christians who do not study the Scriptures will recognize the Rapture when it takes place, but they will not be expecting it to happen. Believing Christians are watching, waiting and studying His Word so that day, the day of the Lord, which is referring to the Rapture, does not take them by surprise. It is true that no man knows the day or hour (Matt. 24: 36) (the Bible says so), but they are to know the times and seasons (the signs that point to His coming and the prophecies concerning His coming).

The Christian believers can know the times and seasons. That's because they can see the signs that Jesus gave to His disciples in Matthew 24: 4 - 8, which are happening now as never before. And they can also see the signs, etc... that the other New Testament writers wrote about. Do not confuse Acts 1: 6 and 7 with I Thessalonians 5: 1. The Apostles asked the question, saying, "...Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom of Israel?". And Jesus replied, giving the answer, saying, "...It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath (has) put in His own power.". The times and seasons in Acts 1: 7 have to do with restoring the kingdom of Israel. I am sure there also were other things that they are not to know. However, I Thessalonians 5: 1 is referring to the times and seasons (signs, etc...) that have to do with the Rapture to which Paul, and the other Bible writers, wrote about concerning the end times. The Christians are to know the times and the seasons (those things that have to do with end time prophecy such as the signs in Matthew 24: 4 - 7, 8, etc...) that I Thessalonians 5: 1 is referring to (also I Thes. 4: 13 - 18). (See also Matt. 24: 33 - 34, 36 - 41, 42 - 43, 44, Titus 2: 13, Phil. 3: 20 - 21, I Cor. 15: 40, 42 - 44, 51 - 54, I Thes. 1: 10, II Thes. 2: 1 - 2, II Tim. 4: 8, I Pet. 5: 4, Rev. 22: 12.).

By the way, the part where it says, in I Thessalonians 5: 2, "...the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." does not mean that the Lord is coming at night. It will be midnight on one part of the earth, noontime on the other side of the earth because of the different time zones. Some places will be daytime, in other places it will be nighttime.

These chapters and verses are pertaining to the Rapture.

"So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it (the Rapture) is near, even at the doors." (Matt. 24: 33). (Read Matt. 24: 42 - 44, Luke 21: 28.). And we are to "" and "...wait for His Son from Heaven...". That is Jesus coming in the Rapture (I Thes. 1: 10, 5: 6).

It would be good for us to read Matthew 24: 42 - 44 as well. It will help us to understand I Thessalonians 5 and II Thessalonians 2 also.

"Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come."
"But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch (hour or time) the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered (allowed) his house to be broken up (into)."
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man (Jesus) cometh (will come)." (Matt. 24: 42 - 44)

Now, let's continue with I Thessalonians 5: 3.

"For when they (the people of this world, mainly the unsaved) shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction (The sudden destruction is referring to the tribulation period, the 70th week of Daniel.) cometh upon them, (the children of the night, the children of darkness, the unsaved), as travail (pain comes) upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."

When the Rapture happens they (the unsaved) will not escape the tribulation period, the 70th week of Daniel. That is what follows the Rapture. It is true that verse 3 is referring to the tribulation period, but only to show that this is what happens after the event called the day of the Lord, or, in this case, the Rapture, takes place, and how it (the tribulation period) will come upon those who are the children of the night, the children of darkness, following the Rapture. This "day of the Lord", in I Thessalonians 5, is referring to the coming of the Lord in the Rapture though it may be hard for some to understand. You have to keep I Thessalonians 4: 13 - 18 in view, otherwise, you may not realize that this is talking about the Rapture.

"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day..." (I Thes. 5: 4)

What day is that? That's "the day of the Lord" when Jesus comes in the Rapture. Go back to I Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 2 where it mentions "the day of the Lord." That's the day it's referring to, and that's the Rapture. Don't forget Matthew 24: 42 - 44. This is talking about the time when Jesus returns in the Rapture, and so is I Thessalonians 5: 1 - 2, 4 - 11. Let's continue with that verse.

"...should overtake you as a thief." (I Thes. 5: 4)

We are to know when His coming is near (Matt. 24: 33).

"Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness."
"Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch (for the Lord's return in the Rapture) and be sober." (I Thes. 5: 5 - 6) (See also 1: 10.). (Read II Thes. 3: 5, Titus 2: 13, Heb. 9: 28, and I John 3: 2.).

"For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night."
"But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation."
"For God hath (has) not appointed us to wrath (I Thes. 1: 10), but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,"
"Who died for us, (Rom. 5: 6, 8 - 9), that, whether we wake or sleep, we (the dead and the living) should live together with Him (Jesus)." (I Thes. 5: 7 - 10) (Read also I Thes. 4: 13 - 18.).

I Thessalonians 5: 10 is referring as to whether we the believers are alive or dead (at the time of Jesus' coming) we will live together with Him (Jesus) having all (the dead and the living) received our raptured spiritual bodies. If we are going to live with the Lord we will have to first go to Heaven to be with Him.

"Jesus said unto her, (Martha) I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:" (John 11: 25)

This is speaking of those who died in Christ.

"And whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die...." (John 11: 26)

This is speaking of those who are alive when He comes in the Rapture (I Thes. 4: 16 - 17). To be caught up or to be caught up-ward means to be raptured (Rev. 4: 1).

"Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing." (I Thes. 5: 11, NASB) (See also I Thes. 4: 18, NKJV.).

We are to comfort one another with these things that have to do with His coming in the Rapture.

"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (I Thes. 5: 23, NKJV)

That is what Paul was speaking of. He is talking about the coming of the Lord. And I am telling you that I Thessalonians 5 is referring to the Rapture.

The people who believe in the pre-wrath theory have taken this chapter, I Thessalonians 5, out of its context.

I believe that the above view is the correct one. However, there are some individuals who think that the day of the Lord in I Thessalonians 5: 2 is referring to judgment. If this day of the Lord were in connection with judgment instead of the Lord's coming, it would have to be referring to the tribulation period itself. For that is what Paul was talking about in I Thessalonians 5: 3. In either case, whether the day of the Lord is referring to the Rapture or, the tribulation period itself, the outcome would be the same, the Rapture will take place first.

  All Rights Reserved Glen A. Duitman

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