Here is the paper she wrote. :)
“YOU ARE NOT IN DARKNESS”
By K.W. Hall
About a year ago I was encouraged to take a fresh look at the end time passages in Scripture using a simple, face-value hermeneutic and following the Golden Rule of Interpretation: “If the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense.” Put another way, “If the plain sense makes sense, you have the right sense.” The context of the passages should be considered as well, and always compare Scripture with Scripture. There will be no contradictions with other passages when Scripture is properly interpreted.
The testimony of the early Church fathers was that the Church would face the unprecedented persecution of Antichrist which Christ spoke of in Matthew 24:
* Tertullian: "That the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God....Since, then, the Scriptures both indicate the stages of the last times, and concentrate the harvest of the Christian hope in the very end of the world."
* Justin Martyr: "The man of apostasy...shall venture to do unlawful things on the earth against us, the Christians."
* Iranaeus: "And the ten kings...shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flight."
* Barnabas: "Take heed, lest resting at our ease, as those who are called of God, we should fall asleep in our sins, and the wicked prince, acquiring power over us, should thrust us away from the Kingdom of the Lord."
* Hippolytus: "Now concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary. That refers to the 1260 days during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church."
* The Pastor of Hermas: "Happy ye who endure the Great Tribulation that is coming."
The popular teaching today however is that the Church will be raptured prior to the Great Tribulation. The men quoted above were much closer in time to the Apostles who received God’s direct revelation concerning the Lord’s return. Are we missing something in Scripture that these men clearly understood?
In my studying over the past year, I have come to understand as the early Church fathers, that the Church will face the persecution of Antichrist. The Lord’s coming (presence) and our gathering is a single, noisy, visible and glorious event. It is not a two phase event beginning with a silent, secret rapture. To my amazement and delight, passages that had often been murky and confusing have now come alive with exhilarating clarity. The greatest blessing of all has been the exponential growth in my yearning for “the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” What a day of rejoicing that will be!
It is important to state from the beginning, Matthew 24:36 says no one knows the day or the hour of Christ’s coming (presence). However, by the time you are finished reading, I think you’ll agree that Scripture clearly teaches we can know when His return and our gathering is near, in fact, right at the door.
To know where to place the Lord’s coming and our gathering on the prophetic timeline is tied to the day of the Lord passages. The key that unlocks the door: The cosmic signs associated with the day of the Lord.
COSMIC SIGN REFERENCED in Joel 2:31:
“The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and awesome DAY OF THE LORD comes.”
Joel says this cosmic sign of the natural lights going out falls prior to the day of the Lord.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4,
“Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming (presence) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the DAY OF THE LORD has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it (the day of the Lord) will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God.”
Taken at face value,
The plain sense makes sense, is it the right sense? Are there any other places in Scripture where this is taught?
This appears to be precisely what Christ is teaching in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24.
Jesus had just come out of the temple. The disciples then come up and point out the temple to Him. Christ tells them that not one temple stone will be left upon another. Later on the disciples approach Him on the
(It will become clear as we move along in our study that when Scripture refers to the end, or end of the age, it is referring to the Day of the Lord.)
The Lord begins with a warning in v. 4: “See to it that no one misleads you.”
Summarizing verses 5-14: He says false Christs will come as well as wars and rumors of wars. There will also be famines and earthquakes. He calls these things the beginning birth pangs. Then comes tribulation. v. 9 “They will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations on account of My name.” (
Next Christ speaks of the abomination of desolation (what
Matthew 24;15: “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through
Why does Christ give instructions to flee?
v.21”…for then there shall be great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall,
v.22 says that the tribulation days are cut short (the Greek word is amputated), for the sake of the elect. (The great tribulation is cut short, not
COSMIC SIGN REFERENCED IN MATTHEW 24
Verses 29-31 tells us what cuts the days of great tribulation short:
“But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
Note the reference to the COSMIC SIGN of the natural lights going out. Here in Matthew the cosmic sign occurs after the midpoint of
You might say that you’ve heard Matt. 24 is for
Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (The day of the Lord.)
The disciples were to teach ALL that Christ commanded them as they made disciples of ALL nations. That would include what was taught in Matthew 24. By way of application, we are to learn these commands and teach them as well. Matthew 24 does include instruction to the Church!
The classic rapture passage, 1 Th. 4:16-5:2 also teaches us that the rapture is a noisy event. There is a shout, the voice of the archangel, and the trumpet of God. We also learn that the dead in Christ are also included in the gathering. When
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain (this word can also mean survive) shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. Now as to the times and the epochs brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the DAY OF THE LORD will come just like a thief in the night.”
1 Th. 5:3: “While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they will not escape.”
Because we have the list of events in Matt. 24 given to us by Jesus that will precede His day of the Lord’s return, we can be prepared so that day will not overtake us:
1. The rise in false christs (v. 5).
2. The rise in wars between nations (v. 6).
3. Famines, pestilence, and earthquakes in various places (v. 7).
4. Antichrist’s desecration of the
5. The period of severe tribulation for God’s people, more intense than any other in history (v.
6. The triple sign in the sun, moon, and stars. (v.29)
So if Christ’s coming and our gathering begins the day of the Lord but cuts short the Great Tribulation, what remains for the rest of
THE WRATH OF GOD!
Isaiah 13 tells us that the day of the Lord contains destruction, God’s burning anger, and the extermination of sinners.
2 Peter 3:10 also describes the day of the Lord’s firey wrath…“the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”
The day of the Lord cannot be taking place when the son of destruction exalts himself in the temple. It must occur later because Isaiah says the Lord alone will be exalted on that day.
The Scripture is very clear that believers are not destined for God’s wrath.
1 Th. 5:9: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Once the elect are raptured, God’s wrath will fall.
I was taught that the seals were God’s wrath. When the fifth seal breaks, John sees under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they maintained. (Rev. 6:9)
Look at the question they ask God in Rev. 6:10: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
The fifth seal martyrs view God’s wrath as yet to come! They recognize their deaths were because of Antichrist’s persecution, the great tribulation, not because of God’s wrath.
We must differentiate between tribulation and God’s wrath. All of
Did you know Rev. 12:12b calls the persecution of the dragon via the beast the “wrath of Satan”?
“… Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
COSMIC SIGN REFERENCED IN REVELATION 6
At the breaking of the sixth seal in Revelation we see again the triple sign of the sun, moon, and stars. We know from Matt. 24 that these signs occur after the abomination of desolation. The great day of the Lord is about to occur!
Rev. 6:12…and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood;
v.13…and the stars of the sky fell to the earth…
v.14…and the sky split apart…
v.15…and the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains…
v. 16…and they said to the mountains and rocks, fall on us and hide us from the PRESENCE of Him who sits on the throne, and AND FROM THE WRATH OF THE LAMB,
v. 17…FOR THE GREAT DAY OF THEIR WRATH HAS COME; and who is able to stand?”
This is the end of chapter six. The natural lights have gone out. The sky splits apart. The presence of God and the Lamb is manifested. Men see the wrath of God is about to fall. The gathering of the elect should occur at this point, correct? Does Revelation give evidence? The first half of chapter seven of Revelation is the sealing of the 144,000 before God’s wrath is poured out.
Rev. 7:2,3: And I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God; and he cried out with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea, saying, “Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have sealed the bond-servants of our God on their foreheads.”
Look what John sees next!
Rev. 7:9: After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches in their hands…
v.14b…These are the ones who came out of the great tribulation…
This multitude can’t be anyone else other than the gathered elect of Matthew 24! They are in their 1 Cor. 15 resurrection bodies. They are wearing robes and holding palm branches. They have come out of the great tribulation which was cut short by the day of the Lord’s coming! (According to 1 Cor. 15:51-53, what occurs in the twinkling of an eye? The changing of our bodies from perishable to imperishable, not the gathering of believers.)
Take note of 1 Cor. 15:22-25: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming (presence), then comes the end…” (the end of the age and the beginning of the day of the Lord’s firey wrath) “…when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.”
In Rev. 8, the seventh seal is broken. There is silence in heaven for half an hour. Look what occurs next.
Rev. 8:5-7: “And the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound them. And the first sounded, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth; and a third of the earth was burned up, and a third of the trees were burned up, and all the grass was burned up.”
Now that is the Day of the Lord’s firey wrath, when He pours out His judgment on unbelievers after He removes His elect from the earth! He alone will be exalted in that day! God’s wrath then continues through the remaining trumpet and bowl judgments. At the end of
COSMIC SIGN REFERENCED IN LUKE 21
Luke 21:25: “And there will be signs in the sun, moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among the nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
v. 26…men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
v. 27…And then they will see the SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory.
I love verse 28:
‘BUT WHEN THESE THINGS BEGIN TO
For the unbeliever the day of the Lord’s coming will be terrifying. Men will cower and hide behind rocks, desiring for the rocks to fall on them, to be hidden from His presence and from His imminent wrath. But for believers, it will be the realization of our dear and blessed hope, a day filled with great wonder, rejoicing, and marveling. When the natural lights go out we are to straighten up, without fear, for our redemption is near and we will soon behold our glorious Savior!
Don’t the following verses come alive now?
1 Th. 1:10: “…and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.”
2 Th. 1:6-10: “For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these shall pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints ON THAT DAY, and to be marveled at among all who have believed…”
When you read the letters to the seven churches in Rev. 2 and 3 it is quite obvious that the Lord is addressing the churches as if they are about to enter into great tribulation. To the church at
When I first realized that I could no longer rest in a pre-trib rapture, great fear overwhelmed me. Since then the Lord has given me a wonderful peace. He willingly gave His life for me. If I am called to be in the generation that enters
I believe the next event on the prophetic calendar is the seven year covenant that is confirmed with
I believe this to be in conjunction with the first seal in Revelation 6:2: “And I looked and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went conquering and to conquer.”
It is interesting to note that seals 1-5 in Rev. 6 fall right in line with the birth pangs in Matt. 24 and the persecution of Antichrist.
If we see the confirming of a covenant with Israel by a ruler who subdues three nations and then seven more fall in line under him, we know then that we’ll have 3 ½ years to prepare for the Great Tribulation, a time of unprecedented persecution. According to Rev. 12:13 it is aimed at the woman (
Rev. 13:7: “And it was given to him to make war with all the saints and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him.”
But we know who ultimately wins in the end and how that victory is accomplished!
Rev. 12:12a “And they (true saints) overcame him (Satan) because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life, even to death.”
2 Peter 3:10a,11b,14: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God…Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless…”
Our greatest preparation should be spiritual. The believer needs to be prepared with Scripture dwelling richly in his heart. God's Word in the heart is the only thing that can provide true peace, joy, and strength. Now, as well as during time of persecution and during the greatest time of persecution that is yet to come.
At some point after the abomination of desolation, the midpoint of
Mark ”… he who endures to the end (day of the Lord) shall be saved (delivered).”
SPECIAL NOTE: I do not believe that the Church has replaced