The Three Days of Darkness
By Pastor F. M. Riley
Revised July 18, 2012
“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.”
“How did three days of darkness (or two days) get into this discussion of the resurrection and rapture?” “Where did Pastor Riley come up with that?” “I’ve never heard of that before!” “Is he introducing some new theory?” “It sounds pretty crazy to me.” “When it doesn’t happen, won’t he look silly?” And on, and on, and on, and on, ad nauseam!
All of these critics claim to be “Bible students,” and they don’t know where the three days of darkness came from…?? Well I’ll just be glad to show my readers. [The critics are welcome to sneak a peak too, that is, if they are not afraid of “learning” something from an ignorant old “outdated” preacher like me].
Any one who seriously studies God’s Word already knows that the term, “three days,” repeatedly occurs over and over and over again throughout the Bible. Many years ago I became intrigued by the many references to “three days” in the Scriptures, and made a complete study of every such reference to be found in God’s word. In the course of that study I noticed that this expression was connected with “darkness” in several places in God’s Word. That led me to make a study of the words, dark, darkness, black, blackness, clouds, cloudy, cloudiness, gloom, gloominess, dim, dimness, night, midnight, etc. All of these words are related in different passages of Scripture. By the time I had studied each of these words, in their context, I was convinced that the coming Tribulation will begin with three days of total darkness over all the earth.
In this study I have neither the time nor the desire to study every one of these words over again with our readers. But I propose to give our readers a few Scriptural examples as an incentive to study these things for yourself. Let’s get started…..
Israel’s exodus from Egypt
We are all aware of the Biblical record of Jacob taking his family down into Egypt. There they were “buried” in Egypt for 215 years. But at the end of that time, the Lord “resurrected” Israel out of Egypt, and carried them on “eagles wings” [Exodus 19:4…a type of rapture?] to their promised land just as He is going to resurrect them out of the Gentile nations of the earth during the Tribulation period. Read Ezekiel 37:1-14. The exodus of the Israelites from the land of Egypt is then a type of both “resurrection” and “rapture.”
It is absolutely undeniable that just preceding the exodus of the children of Israel from the land of Egypt “…..there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days…,” Exodus 10:22-23. Could this be stated any plainer? This three days of total darkness began just four days before Israel left Egypt. Any serious Bible student knows that ancient Egypt was a type of “the world,” and God’s calling of Israel out of Egypt is then also a type of New Covenant believers being called out of “the world.”
The inspired Word of God explicitly states that the things that happened to ancient Israel “were our examples” and that “they were written for our admonition [instruction], upon whom the ends of the world [age] are come,” 1 Corinthians 10:6; 10:11. I also refer our readers to Isaiah 46:9-10 where the Lord explicitly states that He has declared “the end from the beginning,” and also to Solomon’s statement in Ecclesiastes 1:9 which explicitly states, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”
Now it is obvious that when ancient Israel left Egypt they were making an “exodus” from that land. Then isn’t it also obvious that when the resurrection and rapture of God’s people living today occurs, we will be making an “exodus” from this present evil world, Galatians 1:4? You know we will be! Therefore, since Israel’s exodus from Egypt was a type of our exodus from this world, and since Israel’s “exodus” was preceded by three days of darkness over all the earth, is there any good reason why our exodus from this world will not also be preceded by three days of darkness? Think about it!
The Sacrifice of Christ
I think it is more than coincidence that when Christ died on the cross for my sins and yours, His death was preceded by three hours of darkness over all the earth.
We read about it in Luke 23:44, “And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.” The language of the Scripture makes it very clear that this was not an eclipse. An eclipse doesn’t cover or darken “all the earth.” This had to be an act of God Almighty.
This event also occurred four days before the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Is it possible that this three hours of darkness “over all the earth” preceding the resurrection of Christ, typifies three days of darkness “over all the earth” preceding the resurrection of New Covenant believers? Again, think about it!
The Salvation of Saul of Tarsus
Any serious Bible student knows that Saul, one of the spiritual leaders of unbelieving Israel, was saved while on the road to Damascus. The Lord appeared to him in light so bright that Saul’s eyesight was plunged into total darkness for three days. Read about it for yourself in Acts 9:1-18, 22:6-16, and 26:12-18. Saul, whose name was later changed to Paul, then later explicitly stated that he was “one born before the appointed time,” 1 Corinthians 15:8, as a “pattern” [type] “to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting,” 1 Timothy 1:16. It is obvious that Saul was in total darkness for three days just before his salvation in Christ burst upon his restored sight. Since Paul was a “pattern” of those Jews who shall “hereafter believe,” shall there not then be three days of total darkness upon this earth just before the salvation, sealing, and commissioning of the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, of whom Paul was a type, right after the beginning of the Tribulation?
I am well aware that some prophecy teachers want to put the ministry of the 144,000 and the two witnesses in the last half of the Tribulation. Sorry folks, it won’t work. It does not harmonize with the whole revelation of God’s Word at all. I have two Bible studies written out on the ministry of God’s two witnesses and that of the 144,000 that I will be glad to send to any reader requesting them.
Folks, it certainly appears to me that this present dispensation is going to end and the Tribulation is going to begin with three days of total darkness over all the earth, whether some want to believe it or not.
I have had several people write and tell me so dogmatically that Pentecost was totally fulfilled in Acts 2 some 2,000 years ago, and therefore it cannot even be considered in attempting to calculate the time when the Lord will come to resurrect and rapture His people to glory. Oh, is that so! No! It isn’t so, and now I am going to prove it.
Any serious Bible student knows that the Holy Spirit came down upon the Lord’s “church” on the Day of Pentecost, exactly as recorded in Acts 2. As the Holy Spirit was poured out, just exactly as Peter stated in verses 17 and 18, true believers, especially Jewish believers, have since that time prophesied, seen visions, and dreamed dreams, and preached and taught God’s Word [prophesied], over the past 2,000 years of this present dispensation, and such prophesied activity is on the increase today.
Some could even claim that what Peter prophesied in verse 19 has been fulfilled, especially in view of the many terrible wars that have produced “blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke.”
But now tell me, show me, document it for me….when during this entire dispensation has verse 20 been fulfilled? What day or year during this present dispensation has the “sun been turned into darkness, and the moon into blood?” Remember that this is to occur “before that great and notable day of the Lord.” Well, when did it happen?
Now don’t come at me with that “eclipse” stuff. I believe in the eclipses, keep up with them, and have been impressed that many of them have occurred on Jewish holy days over the past ten to fifteen years. But I don’t believe for a minute that is the “force” of meaning in this verse. Was the three days of darkness in the land of Egypt an eclipse? If it was, why is there no record of a three day eclipse occurring in past history which plunged the entire earth into total darkness? Well…?? Was the three hours of darkness “over all the earth” when Christ was suffering and dying on the cross an eclipse? If it was, why is there no historical record of a gigantic eclipse that literally plunged “all the earth” into darkness? Was Paul’s three days of total blindness caused by an eclipse? Come on folks! Quit hem hawing around and trying to explain away God’s Word. Romans 3:4 is still in the Bible!
Peter’s prophecy that states “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come,” has not been fulfilled at any time in this present dispensation and our readers willing to deal honestly with God’s Word know it. Then if this prophecy is to be fulfilled in this present dispensation, just like the rest of the prophecies for the “dispensation of grace” have been, then it must be fulfilled “before that great and notable day of the Lord [Tribulation] begins. Hello! Are you listening?
It is obvious that verse 20 of Peter’s prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, whether some like it or not.
A Thief in the Night
Now listen to these inspired utterances from God’s Word:
“But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up,” Matthew 24:43.
“And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through,” Luke 12:39.
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night,” 1 Thessalonians 5:2.
“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief,” 1 Thessalonians 5:4.
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away [pass by; go past; fly past] 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,” 2 Peter 3:10.
“…..If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come upon thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee,” Revelation 3:3.
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame,” Revelation 16:15.
Folks, each of these seven passages in God’s Word clearly suggests that the Lord is coming in the night. In the last passage the Lord clearly identifies Himself as the thief. No, He is not coming to “steal,” but in similar manner as a thief comes, to take out of Satan’s kingdom what rightfully belongs to the Lord God Himself, and that which is most precious to Him. He purchased His people and His church with His own blood, and Satan has no “legal” right to hold us here against our will, Acts 20:28.
Since these passages clearly suggest that Christ is coming in the night, then how could this happen since the resurrection and rapture is going to occur all over the earth at the same time? We know that while it may be night on one side of the earth, it is daylight on the other side. What is the solution to this? Simple…..
If the whole entire earth is plunged into darkness for three days, then it will be as the blackness of “night” over the whole earth during that entire time. Peter’s prophecy will be fulfilled to the letter. Paul’s “pattern” will be fulfilled. The types and shadows set forth in the Old Testament will be fulfilled, and our Lord will literally come “as a thief in the night” to resurrect and rapture His people to glory. Praise the Lord! Glory to God! Hallelujah! What an awesome God we serve!
Now do you understand why Brother _______ is teaching a period of darkness upon the earth before the resurrection and rapture? Do you understand why I am teaching three days of darkness before the resurrection and rapture? Is this plain enough?
No, I am not way out in left field. I haven’t invented some new theory. I have just taken God’s Word literally for what it explicitly states, believed it, and am applying it to the end-time prophetic picture.
I hope God’s people are blessed by it. If our critics don’t like it, they can lump it, stay mad, or ask God for the grace to get over it. Time is running out, and I no longer have the time to “tiptoe through the tulips.” Is this plain enough?
May God bless every person who is truly seeking to know the whole truth of God’s precious Word is my prayer. I’ll meet you fellow believers in glory in a few more days.
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Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.
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Please address all questions, comments, or correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 184 County Road 108, Harrisburg, Missouri 65256.
I can also be contacted via email at: email@example.com
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