THE DAY OF THE LORD: A DAY OF DEEP DARKNESS. There is a spiritual darkness that is now descending upon the World, the Church, the mind and spirit of the individual. That darkness shall become intense as we approach the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. When God brought Israel out of Egypt, the Exodus was implimented within a coat of thick darkness:
22 And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a THICK DARKNESS in all the land of Egypt three days (Exodus 10).
The prophet Zephaniah prophesied that another day of thick darkness would come one day when God's people would again experience deliverance:
15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and THICK DARKNESS, 16 A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. 17 And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung (Zephaniah 1).
The Apostle Paul proclaims this truth in his first epistle to the Thessalonians, telling the Church that that they were not in spiritual darkness, but were of the children of light. His exhortation was that they, and we today, be sober and vigilant in such times:
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.We are children of light in Jesus Christ because it was He who entered the darkness for us in order to bring us out. This spiritual darkness was represented by a physcial darkness at the time of His crucifixion:
Luke 23:44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
It was Jesus as the light in the darkness that John the Baptist had proclaimed, and in His resurrection and ascension to the Father Jesus received the glory He had with the Father before the world began. This was for our benefit, and He shall return again in the midst of THICK DARKNESS to again save His people from the shadows of death.
Luke 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, Luke 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
2 Pet 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which 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. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
Paul, too, gave witness to this picture of His coming when he told the Thessalonians,
2 Th 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; 10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Jesus described that day in this way:
Luke 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
THE DAY OF THE LORD: A DAY OF WRATH AND GLORY. Ezekiel prophesied the darkness that would one day come:
7 And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. 8 All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD (Ezekiel 32).
But it was Jesus Himself who prophesied that He would return in POWER AND GREAT GLORY in the midst of this thick darkness:
29 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: 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 the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24).
And so shall it be, as described by John the Revelator in Revelation 6:
12 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; 13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. 14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
And so shall our hope be until we stand in His glory at His side in the clouds.