“hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand“Revelation 6v16
The day of the Lord
1st Thessalonians 5v1-5, 2nd Thessalonians 2v1-8, 2nd Peter 3v8-14, Daniel 9v26-27, Zechariah 14
References to the day of the Lord are found throughout the prophets, including Zephaniah 1v14, Joel 1v15, 2v1, Isaiah 2v12, Malachi 4v5. Our consideration here is at best an overview of this period.
The day of the Lord is clearly not a day of 24 hours; rather it describes a period of at least 1,007 years – we could call it the ‘longest day’!
In 1st Thessalonians 5v1-5, Paul describes the day of the Lord as beginning with a period of ‘night’ followed by a period of ‘day’. We are children (sons) of the day. As we have noted previously, we shall not see the ‘night’ period of the Day of the Lord with God’s wrath on the Earth; we shall be in heaven, the Lord having returned as our deliverer from the wrath to come (1st Thessalonians 1v10, 5v9). We will experience the ‘day’ period of the day of the Lord, being manifest with Christ in glory and reigning with Him (Colossians 3v4, 2nd Timothy 2v12).
We look briefly at eight events within the period of the Day of the Lord.
1. The emergence of a Satanically empowered world leader (2nd Thessalonians 2v1-3)
- The prince that shall come (Daniel 9V26)
- The little horn (Daniel 7v8)
- The man of sin, the son of perdition (2nd Thessalonians 2v3)
- The first beast (Revelation 13v1-10)
2. The initiation of Daniel’s 70th week (Daniel 9v27)
- For one week of years (7 years), the Roman prince will make a covenant with many (in Israel). This seems to be a form of peace treaty, guaranteeing the security of Israel and temple service, including sacrifices (clearly, there is then a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem).
3. Sudden Destruction (1st Thessalonians 5v1-5)
- In spite of claims of ‘peace and safety’ sudden destruction comes.
Revelation gives the sombre details of the outpouring of God’s wrath on this ungodly world. From Revelation 6 onwards there are waves of judgments (seals, trumpets, vials),
‘hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand’ (Revelation 6v16).
4. The midst of the week (Daniel 9v27, 2nd Thessalonians 2v4, Revelation 13v15-17)
- The Roman prince causes the ‘sacrifice and oblation to cease’ (Dan 9v27)
- The man of sin evidently visits Jerusalem personally and sits ‘in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God’ (2nd Thessalonians 3v4).
- Upon his departure, the false prophet (second beast of Revelation 13) sets up an image to the ‘man of sin’ (Revelation 13v15-16). Men are caused to worship this image and receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 13).
- This initiates the period designated by the Lord as the ‘great tribulation’ (Matthew 24v15-29), which is the second half of Daniel’s 70th week, a period of 3.5 years. This period is described variously, a thousand two hundred and threescore days (Revelation 12v6), forty-two months (Revelation 13v5), ‘a time, and times, and half a time’ (Revelation 12v14).
5. The nations gathered against Jerusalem (Joel 3v2 – Valley of Jehoshaphat, Zechariah 14)
- Amassing of the armies of the nations against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14v2)
- The capture of the city (v2)
- Pillage of houses and rape of women
- Deportation of half the population
- Remnant remains in Jerusalem
6. The Coming of the Lord (Zechariah 14v3, 2nd Thessalonians 2v8, Revelation 19v11-21)
- The Lord fights against the nations gathered at Jerusalem (Zechariah 14v3, Revelation 19v11, 2nd Thessalonians 2v8)
- His feet shall stand on the mount of Olives (Zechariah 14v4)
- Great geological events (Zechariah 14v4-5)
- Plagues consume the armies of the nations (Zechariah 14v12-15)
- The beast and false prophets taken and cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19v17-18)
- The rest of the armies slain (Revelation 19v21)
- Satan bound and imprisoned for one thousand years (Revelation 20v1-3)
7. The Millennial Reign of Christ (Zechariah 14, Revelation 20v3-7)
- The duration is clearly specified as one thousand years – (Revelation 20v3, 4, 5, 6, 7), ‘they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years’
- Jerusalem will be the earthly centre of Divine administration (Zechariah 14v8-11)
- Living waters go out from Jerusalem (Joel 3v18, Ezekiel 47v1-12)
- The Lord is king over all the Earth
- Geological changes to the land of Israel
- Jerusalem safely inhabited (Zechariah 2v3, 8v3)
- Nations expected to attend the annual feast of tabernacles at Jerusalem
8. The close of the day (2nd Peter 3v8-14)
- Peter speaks of two days, the day of the Lord and the day of God (which we might call the eternal day).
- Peter focuses on the events at the close of the day of the Lord, which are arguably even dramatic than those at its commencement.
- The relativity of time (2nd Peter 3v8) – a day is as a thousand years with the Lord, and a thousand years as one day.
- The Lord keeps His promises (2nd Peter 3v9) – apparent delay is not slackness, but longsuffering.
- The heaven shall pass away with great noise (2nd Peter 3v10)
- The elements shall melt with fervent heat
- The earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.