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19 April 2021

The Day of the Lord

When I considered the day of the Lord, some of the questions I had were: What is the day of the Lord? When does it come? Will we know, or recognize the time of the event? What happens in that day? Is it a literal day, or a period of time concerning events. The scriptures reveal that there has been a day of the Lord, which is a type of the final day of the Lord, but it is also personal. The first place this phrase appears more or less tells what will happen:

Isaiah 2:10-12: 10. Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty. 11. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. 12. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:

Note that the day of the Lord is personal to everyone, and two things happen:
1. The proud and haughty will be humbled.
2. Yahweh alone, will be exalted.

The context of Isaiah two indicates that God will do this work through His people, and nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. This has to happen inwardly and individually first. Notice the first part of verse 11: The lofty looks of man shall be humbled. ‘Looks’ is (5869), which is literally ‘eyes.’ Here is this phrase from the Interlinear Bible: The eyes of man’s haughtiness will be humbled... This happens to God’s people inwardly first, and outwardly at the end of the world when Jesus Christ returns. We will be humbled when our own haughty ‘understanding’ is destroyed with the truth. The type was manifested by the appearance of the Messiah, which brought about the first century church. The antitype will be the last generation spiritual church and the return of Jesus. Organized religion will still exist until God exposes their pride and arrogance.

Joel 1:1-6; 14-15: 1. The word of the Lord that came to Joel the son of Pethuel. 2. Hear this, ye old men (spiritually corrupt), and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or even in the days of your fathers? 3. Tell ye your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. 4. That which the palmer worm hath left hath the locust eaten; and that which the locust hath left hath the cankerworm eaten; and that which the cankerworm hath left hath the caterpillar eaten.
(Note: All the worms are different stages of growth of the locust) 5. Awake, ye drunkards (drunk on Babylon’s wine), and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth. (Parable: No one, having drunk the old wine, immediately desires the new - Luke 5:39) 6. For a nation is come up upon my land, strong, and without number, whose teeth are the teeth of a lion, and he hath the cheek teeth of a great lion.... 14. Sanctify ye a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the Lord your God, and cry unto the Lord, 15. Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

The nation of Babylon is liken to a lion (Daniel 7:4; Jeremiah 4:7; 50:43-44), which is the first of four kingdoms mentioned in Daniel two and seven. In the book of Revelation, Babylon is ‘that great city’ which opposes New Jerusalem, and which God defines as confusion (Genesis 11:9). (Babel and Babylon are the same Hebrew word (894)) People think they have the gate to God (Babel), when in actuality Babylon is the symbol for the ultimate confused mind-set regarding the Father and Son. Joel 2:20: But I will remove far off from you the northern army... A type for Babylon (Jeremiah 25:9), refers to the locusts, which consume all the green things (right understanding - cp Luke 23:31) off the land (Psalms 105:34-35). Joel may have been describing the captivity of Israel by Babylon, but, as we shall see, the advent of the Messiah is included, which comes after that event. Most likely he was describing the trumpets in the book of Revelation which deal with the exposure of spiritual Babylon.

Joel 2:1-3: 1. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; 2. A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. 3. A fire devours before them; and behind them a flame burns: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.

One of the four reasons for blowing a trumpet was to warn of war. While externally, these verses can be considered as a warning of the imminent attack by the nation of Babylon, spiritually, the day of the Lord is likened to darkness because it is our ignorance that has allowed us to be taken captive by erroneous teachings. There is a day when the Lord brings truth and exposes our darkness. It is a time of gloominess and a time and trials.

Joel 2:9-10: 9. They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. (The same as saying the day comes as a thief. A thief comes up some other way that is not through the door) 10. The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: Locusts eat all the green things, the army is likened to a thief - The Babylonian mind-set takes away God’s understanding from the people, stealing God’s word like a thief (Jeremiah 23:30). When we first came to Christ, we were sincere, the garden of Eden (God’s mind-set) was before us. But then we were led to follow man, the green things were destroyed and the land (our minds) became a desolate wilderness - not inhabited by the Spirit of Christ.

Joel 2:12-37 describe the mercy of the Lord toward those who listen. V28: It shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit... After what? V23: Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. I will cause to come down for you, a teacher of righteousness, according to righteousness... (KJ margin) Acts 2:14-16: 14. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15. For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; Then, Peter quotes Joel 2:28-32, applying it to Pentecost.

On the very day of Pentecost, when the Spirit was poured out, 3000 souls accepted the truth of the cross (Acts 2:41). As the Spirit worked and the gospel was preached, many others accepted the truth, but also many rejected the truth. So, in figure, there was a darkening of the sun (men’s understanding), the moon turned to blood (man’s interpretation of the law exposed), and stars fell from the heavens (man’s light exposed to be earthly in origin).

How is the day of the Lord a day of darkness? Matthew 10:27: What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. It is a day when the Lord speaks into our spiritual ears to expose our darkness because of what we have believed. He darkens our sun & moon, and gives us a corrected understanding - then, we speak the truth. It remains a day of darkness for those who reject the truth.

Amos describes what happens to the wicked in the day of the Lord. Amos 5:18-20: 18. Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. 19. As if a man did flee from a lion (pride, arrogance), and a bear (unchanging attitude) met him; or went into the house (retreated into own understanding), and leaned his hand (own faith & works) on the wall (man’s concepts that block truth), and a serpent (the old man) bit him. 20. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? What happens to the light they had? Matthew 6:23: But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

These locusts, the northern army, is spiritual Babylon; it is the false doctrines of religions which infects man, the wine of Babylon on which the nations are drunk; it is the old wine that most desire instead of the new.It is interesting that on the day of Pentecost there were mockers who said, These men are full of new wine, because they desired not the new!

I see the day of the Lord as being fulfilled in the ministry of Christ as a type, which continued with Pentecost, and through the first century church. Our personal Pentecost happens when we ascend into the heavens spiritually, in our thinking. However, the final enactment of the day of the Lord is in the last generation, which comes spiritually first, then literally in the climax of the world. Paul put the event future to his day.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-5: 1. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 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... To ‘travail with a child’ is a ebrew idiom indicating a person struggling to bring forth spiritual concepts. It is also indicative of a person trying to birth Christ in another person (cf Galatians 4:19). Also remember, God’s wrath is when He separates from those who will not hear and do. Paul is speaking of a future day of the Lord. Has this happen? If not, when does it happen?

Ezekiel 13:1-7: 1. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 2. Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts (a thief), Hear ye the word of the Lord; 3. Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! 4. O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. 5. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord. 6. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. 7. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The Lord saith it; albeit I have not spoken? Ezekiel was part of the captivity in Babylon at the time of his writing, so much of what he wrote can be applied to contemporary Israel, but certainly it applies to spiritual Israel, and he mentions a battle in the day of the Lord. This battle is inward first, but becomes significant outwardly when all apostates are rallied against God’s people and the truth they are bringing. This can be see in the fifth trumpet, and continues through the sixth plague, and on to the end when the Father and Son return.

Revelation 9:1-12: 1. And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star [having fallen] from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. (A key is a symbol for knowledge) 2. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. (The understanding of God and the Spirit is darkened) 3. And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given [authority], as the scorpions of the earth have [authority]. 4. And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. 5. And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: (pray your flight be not in winter - Matthew 24:20, after completion of the feast days) and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he strikes a man. 6. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. 7. And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men. 8. And they had hair as the hair of women (in subjection to other men), and their teeth (foundational principles, on which they base their authority) were as the teeth of lions (pride, arrogance). 9. And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron (bondage); and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle. 10. And they had tails (false prophets) like unto scorpions (rebellious thoughts, people), and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months. 11. And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, (destroyer) but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. 12. One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter. These verses describe the northern army mentioned in the book of Joel.

Revelation 16:12-16: 12. And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14. For they are the spirits of [demons], working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 15. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon (Har Moed). The battle of Armageddon is on the mount of the congregation (Har Moed), in the sides of the north (Isaiah 14:13), which is Mount Zion, the city of the great King (Psalms 48:2). It is the mind-set of Christ against the mindset of the unclean spirits.

Summary: Zephaniah 1:7-8: 7. Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord God: for the day of the Lord is at hand: for the Lord hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests. 8. And it shall come to pass in the day of the Lord's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel. Zephaniah indicates two things happening: The righteous are invited to and attend the wedding supper, and those clothed with ‘strange apparel’ (No wedding garment - do not have God’s character) will be punished. Just as the Father prepared His only begotten Son to offer himself as a sacrifice for all mankind, so the last generation church, having been made in the image of Christ, will be offered a sacrifice for all mankind, as a final token of God’s love for humanity. That special group is called ‘first fruits’ unto God, not defiled with the world’s religious thinking (women - Revelation 14:4).

Zephaniah 1:14-17: 14. The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hastens 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 waste 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 uses much the same language as Joel in his description of that day. The fenced cities represent the mind-set of those who have shut out God with their ‘spiritual walls’, and their ‘high towers’, which are their strongholds, their key place of defense - their doctrines. It is a day of wrath - God’s wrath against sin can be viewed two ways: 1) He separates the righteous from sin when their error is exposed; 2) He separates Himself from the wicked who will not let go of sin. Rom 1:28: And according as they had not genuine
acceptance of the God in their knowledge, God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting. (Greek Interlinear) In finality, it is the culmination of the seventh trumpet, seventh plague and seventh seal, when God concludes this sinful world, and brings in the outward picture of the new heavens and earth.

Revelation 8:1-2: 1. And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. 2. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets. Notice that the seven trumpets take place during the seventh seal.

Revelation 11:15-18: 15. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshiped God, 17. Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and was, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou should give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.

Revelation 16:17: 17-18. 17. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air (because no one is listening); and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 18. And there were voices, and thunder, and lightning; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

A ‘great earthquake’ is mentioned in Revelation three times. The first is in the sixth seal (6:12), indicative of those who come to realize that most, or all of what they have been taught about God by religions is wrong. The second time, it is mentioned as part of the second woe (11:13-14), which is the sixth trumpet, and a time when the rest of the church receives the truth (represented by the 7000). The third time it is mentioned in Revelation 16, which makes it the greatest earthquake of all. I can think of no greater event to shake up the entire world than the resurrection of the righteous, which puts the finishing touch on the DAY OF THE LORD, when the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then, we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17), and the wicked are destroyed with the brightness of his coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8).

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