The Day of the Lord

Session 6

In our last session we talked about the event in scripture commonly called the rapture. It is described in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 as being the event when all the saints of God, living and dead, will be gathered to meet Jesus in the air and be taken home to heaven. We discussed how the actual timing of the rapture has been debated for ages.

There are three views that are the most prominent and we looked at each in detail. After analyzing each position, it became obvious that each view has its problems and none seem to fit all of scripture in a natural way.

None of the three views seemed to work. So, we asked the question…

The whole purpose of  this study is because I believe the answer is “YES!” But, to understand the rapture and the issues surrounding the timing, we must first understand what the Bible teaches about the Day of the Lord.

To understand the Day of the Lord, we must look at what the scripture teaches and discover what the Day of the Lord really is.

The Day of the Lord in the OT

A day of wrath and judgment on the unrighteous.

Isaiah 13:6-9 (NIV) Wail, for the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. {7} Because of this, all hands will go limp, every man’s heart will melt. {8} Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame. {9} See, the day of the LORD is coming –a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger– to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it.

Isaiah continues…

Isaiah 13:11,13 (NIV) I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. {13} Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the LORD Almighty, in the day of his burning anger.

Dividing of the religious vs. those who “truly rely on the Lord”

Amos 8:3-5 (NIV) “In that day,” declares the Sovereign LORD, ” the songs in the temple will turn to wailing. Many, many bodies–flung everywhere! Silence!” {4} Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, {5} saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?”– skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales

This verse described people who are religious – they are singing in the temple and they observe the Sabbath, but their heart is in their pocketbooks. Although they are religious they have no problem cheating to make a few extra bucks.

Day of Judgment on Israel

Jeremiah 30:11 (NIV)  I am with you and will save you,’ declares the LORD. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’

The next verse describes those of Israel who have become complacent and tired of waiting on God – they feel God will do nothing about their sinful condition.

Zephaniah 1:11-12 (NIV) Wail, you who live in the market district ; all your merchants will be wiped out, all who trade with silver will be ruined. {12} At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, ‘The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.’

Israel will trust the Holy One and be joined by aliens as God’s people

Isaiah 10:20 (NIV) In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.

Isaiah 14:1 (NIV) The LORD will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them and unite with the house of Jacob.

God Judges Israel

Zephaniah 1:17-18 (NIV) I will bring distress on the people and they will walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like filth. {18} Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth.”

Amos 5:18-19 (NIV) Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light. {19} It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.

Jeremiah 4:10 (NIV) Then I said, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, how completely you have deceived this people and Jerusalem by saying, ‘You will have peace,’ when the sword is at our throats.”

God purifies His people

Zep 2:1-3 (NIV) Gather together, gather together, O shameful nation, {2} before the appointed time arrives and that day sweeps on like chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD comes upon you, before the day of the Lord’s wrath comes upon you. {3} Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.

Zep 3:8-9 (NIV) Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD, “for the day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out my wrath on them– all my fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of my jealous anger. {9} “Then will I purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the name of the LORD and serve him shoulder to shoulder.”

A day when He comes to live among His people

Zechariah 2:10-12 (NIV) “Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you,” declares the LORD. {11} “Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.

Day of wrath like never before or ever again

Joel 2:1-2 (NIV) Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the LORD is coming. It is close at hand– {2} a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was of old nor ever will be in ages to come.

Last call to return to the Lord

Joel 2:10-13 (NIV) Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. {11} The LORD thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty are those who obey his command. The day of the LORD is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? {12} ‘Even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’ {13} Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Day of deliverance for “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord”

Joel 2:31-32 (NIV) The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. {32} And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance…

Sign of the Day of the Lord: sun and stars darkened, moon darkened/to blood

Joel 2:10 (NIV) Before them the earth shakes, the sky trembles, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

Joel 2:31 (NIV) The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Joel 3:14-15 (NIV) Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. {15} The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine.

Amos 8:9 (NIV) “In that day,” declares the Sovereign LORD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.

We can divide these Old Testament verses into three major themes that surround the prophecies regarding the Day of the Lord. First, there is a sign of the Day of the Lord. The sun is darkened and the moon turns to blood (red) and the stars no longer shine. Second, God is coming to judge Israel and the world for their sin. And, third, there is a theme of deliverance. “Rend your hearts and not your garments,” “return to the Lord your God,” “Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Matt 24:29-31 (NIV) Immediately after the distress of those days ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ {30} At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. {31}And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Mark 13:24-27 (NIV) But in those days, following that distress, ‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; {25} the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ {26} At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. {27}And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.

Luke 21:25-28 (NIV) There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. {26} Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. {27} At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. {28}When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.

Acts 2:20-21 (NIV) The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. {21}And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Three Themes in the New Testament

There are three themes that are present in the scriptures from the New Testament concerning the Day of the Lord. They are:

  1. Sign of Sun, Moon, and Stars just before…

  2. Jesus comes in power and great glory

  3. Salvation/Deliverance: “gather His elect,” “Redemption is drawing near,” “everyone who calls… will be saved.”

Based on these observations, is the Day of the Lord mentioned in the book of Revelation?

Rev 6:12-14 (NIV) I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, {13} and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. {14} The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. {15} Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. {16} They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! {17}For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

Rev 7:3-4 (NIV) “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” {4}Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

Rev 7:9 (NIV) After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. {10}And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

Rev 7:13-14 (NIV) Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes–who are they, and where did they come from?” {14} I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

So, we see that the themes surrounding the Day of the Lord are throughout the Bible, but what does this have to do with the rapture?

In 2 Thessalonians 2 Paul writes about the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” and “our being gathered to Him.” Now what is the event at the coming of the Lord Jesus AND our being gathered to Him? This is so specific that it points directly to the rapture of the saints. Then in verse 2, he names the event that is described as the “coming” and “gathering” and calls it “the Day of the Lord.”…

In this passage in 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18, everyone agrees that this passage IS giving the details about the rapture of the saints. It is important to remember, though, that in the original language there were no chapter divisions. So, the Apostle Paul writes about the rapture and then continues in chapter 5 verse 1 immediately…

Paul has just been telling them what it will be like when Jesus returns to rapture the church and immediately he begins to address when this will happen – and it is blatantly obvious that what he has been talking about, HE calls “the day of the Lord.” The realization that the Bible DOES talk about the rapture, but the Biblical term for the rapture IS “the day of the Lord” is a stark revelation. And now we must ask…

If that is true then we will find the following validations:

  • All Prophecies will naturally fit

  • All Prophecies will harmonize

  • All Problems with other views will be answered

  • There will be no scriptural contradictions

We will examine these further.