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The Day of the Lord

By: Scott Morton

This article is an introduction to a topic that has caused confusion and controversy in Christianity. There is much written in the Bible on this issue, so this article will be covering some basic information in order to introduce the Day of the Lord. Many people have an interest in things of prophecy and want to be able to say they are currently going through this time. Other say this time is not going to happen for a long-time. The Bible is very clear about what the Day of the Lord is:

Zephaniah 1:14-18

The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. [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. [18] Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

In this passage, it can be seen that the Day of the Lord is not going to be a time that people will want to be a part of. It is described in Verse 15 as a day of wrath, trouble, distress, wasteness, desolation, and darkness, among many words to describe it. This is not what is promised to the members of the Body of Christ. We are told that we are not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10). This would mean that there is something that is going to happen to where wrath is going to be poured out and the Body of Christ will not be part of this.

God will be pouring out His wrath on individuals who have gone against the purpose of the prophetic program. Israel was supposed to be prepared to have the kingdom of heaven established upon the earth. Instead, they stumbled at every opportunity that was presented to them. They would not accept the ministry of the prophets in the Old Testament, they rejected the Lord Jesus Christ during the earthly ministry (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and rejected the ministry of the Holy Ghost through Stephen during the early Acts period. This would have set the stage for the culmination of the prophetic program, which is why Jeremiah records this:

Jeremiah 30:6-9

Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? [7] Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. [8] For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: [9] But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

God refers to this as being the time of Jacob�s trouble. This shows the tie in with the prophetic program, as the things that are ties in with Israel (Jacob) are part of the prophetic program and do not have anything to do with the Body of Christ. It is important to note that this is speaking of the same timeframe. The Day of the Lord is the time of Jacob's trouble.

This passage also shows what the ultimate purpose of the Day of the Lord is. It is to have the entire earth and heaven worshipping God. This is the culmination of the reconciliation that God has spoken of. He had created the heaven and the earth (Genesis 1:1). There is a rebellion that occurs in both areas, as Adam falls on earth and Satan leads a rebellion in heaven. The plan of God (which had been set in place before the foundation of the world) included the reconciliation of both of these places back unto Himself. This leads to what Paul states about the issue of the worship:

Philippians 2:10-11

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; [11] And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

When the Day of the Lord is completed, the next event will be the establishment of the kingdom upon the earth. Paul is referring here to the timing of this, as all those people who are being referenced will be bowing down to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the sign of acknowledging who He is that is being made reference to here.

Is the whole 70th week the Day of the Lord?

I am sure that there are those who are reading this article that think the above question is an absurd one. They would say of course it is, as God removes the Body of Christ before any of these things could possibly come about. The first reference that we have to the 70th week of Daniel comes from Daniel 9:

Daniel 9:24-27

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. [25] Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. [26] And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. [27] And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

In this passage, Daniel is showing the things related to the completion of the prophetic program. He lists out several things that are going to be accomplished as part of these events. He states that these things will be accomplished:

To finish the transgression

To make an end of sins

To make reconciliation for iniquity

To bring in everlasting righteousness

To seal up the vision and prophecy

To anoint the most Holy

These things that are listed clearly show the time of the Day of the Lord is going to be with the prophetic program. Not only is the prophetic program going to be completed with this, but it is going to finish up the transgression against God. This is an important time in God's program, as this is going to lead to the reconciliation of the earth back unto God.

The original question that started this section asked is the whole 70th week the Day of the Lord. The 70th week is what is pointed out in verse 27 of the text. There is a period of time that Israel is clearly worshipping God according to the law program. They are performing the sacrifices outlined in the book of Leviticus. In the middle of this week, the sacrifices are caused to cease.

Each of these weeks is a period of seven years. This would mean that Israel is going to be worshipping God in this manner for the first 3.5 years and then something is going to happen related to the second 3.5 years. There will be a change that is going to happen that is going to impact Israel and will line up with what is discussed in the book of Matthew:

Matthew 24:1-3

And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. [2] And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. [3] And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

The disciples start by asking a simple question. They want to know when the sign of His coming and the end of the world is going to be. They know that the Day of the Lord is going to have to happen and then the kingdom was going to be established. This is because Israel had rejected the offer of the kingdom during the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. If they had accepted this offer, there would not have been an issue of the Day of the Lord having to happen. However, this day was going to come and they wanted to know what the sign of the day coming was going to be.

The Lord Jesus Christ starts to list out the signs of the end of the world, and also what would signify His coming. As He is laying these things out, we can see how He is laying out the 70th week of Daniel, as these things will coincide with what is seen in Revelation 6:

Matthew 24:4-8

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. [5] For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. [6] And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. [7] For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. [8] All these are the beginning of sorrows.

The things listed here in these verses are called the beginning of sorrows. These coincide with the first four seals being opened in Revelation 6. The believing remnant of Israel would be able to look at these things and would then be able to say that the beginning of sorrows had occurred and then they would be able to look for the next events that would occur.

The midpoint of the 70th week has not occurred yet according to this passage. We see that happening later on as the timing is continuing:

Matthew 24:15-22

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) [16] Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: [17] Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: [18] Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. [19] And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! [20] But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: [21] For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

The Lord Jesus Christ points out the midpoint of the 70th week, as this is when the abominations of desolation occurs. The Antichrist will cause the sacrifices to cease and will then sit down in the temple declaring himself to be God. This is a clear event that is going to trigger some things going on. The believing remnant is told that they are to flee at this time. They flee because the great tribulation is going to be occurring at this time. This is a short period of time, as indicated by verse 22 of the above passage. They are not going to know when this time is going to end, as the Lord Jesus Christ indicates that this period of time is going to be shortened. There is even a clear reasoning for this shortening to happen, as there would not be an flesh surviving if there had not been something occurring to shorten this time.

The time is being shortened for the sake of the elect. The elect here in this passage is the nation of Israel. We can see that this is who is being made reference to in Isaiah 45:4. They are called the elect because the nation has been chosen for a specific purpose. The nation is going to be used by God to establish the kingdom on earth with them in order to reconcile the earth back unto himself.

So far, none of these passages in Matthew show the events that could be described as the Day of the Lord. The things that would precede this had been listed out for the nation of Israel by the prophet Joel:

Joel 2:28-31

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: [29] And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. [30] And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. [31] The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Joel lists some clear things that are going to happen prior to the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before this could even happen. So far, these things have not been listed out in Matthew. The Lord Jesus Christ has not said that these things are going to have happened yet, and we are already past the middle of the 70th week. He does not even state that these things are going to happen until we get to the following part of Matthew 24;

Matthew 24:29-31

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. [31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

It is clear that verse 29 is indicating the events found in Joel 2:31. This is the beginning of the day of the Lord, which is what we have established as being the wrath of God. There cannot be anything that would be identified as being wrath prior to this occurring, as the sign from Joel 2:31 had not been fulfilled until that point. This is clearly laid out in Revelation 6 and is associated with the sixth seal being opened.

Revelation 6:12-17

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?

Those who are witnessing the signs that were identified in Joel know exactly what is happening here. They identify in verse 17 of the above passage that the day of His wrath is come. This is a present situation and does not refer to this having already started over three and a half years ago. The word is identifies the present situation and they know the wrath has arrived. This is why they are looking for something to hide them. They are trying to avoid the wrath of God and this is the only thing that they can think of in order to avoid what they know is coming.

The Day of the Lord is a time of wrath, where God is going to pour out His wrath on those that have been against His Word. The timing of this is going to be part of the 70th week of Daniel, not the whole period of time. It is also important to note that the members of the Body of Christ are not going to be here for the Day of the lord. The Apostle Paul identifies that we are not going to be experiencing this:

1 Thessalonians 1:10

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

1 Thessalonians 5:9

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,



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