Day of the Lord: Part 1
from eParousia Vol. 2 No. 2, February, 2004
Day of the Lord is a very significant event in God's program for
the End Times. The phrase "the Day of the Lord" appears
about twenty-one times in the Old Testament and six times in the
New Testament. In all but a few cases it refers to a time yet future.
Adding together all the synonymous phrases such as "that day,"
"the Day of Christ," and "the Day of God," there
are over 100 references that refer to a future time when God will
intervene in history. Indeed, it is the most prophesied event in
all of Scripture. With so much written about the Day of the Lord
in the Bible, it is crucial that we understand what the Day of the
Lord is all about, and when this Day will occur. In this article,
we will ask several key questions about the Day of the Lord. As
we will discover in our study, understanding the Day of the Lord
is the key that will unlock the timing of the rapture of the Church.
is the Day of the Lord?
are many passages in the Old Testament that give us a vivid description
of the Day of the Lord.
for the day of the LORD is near! It will come as destruction from
the Almighty... Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, cruel,
with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation; and
He will exterminate its sinners from it... I will punish the world
for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity... Therefore I
shall make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken from
its place at the fury of the LORD of hosts in the day of His burning
anger. (Isaiah 13:6-13)
is the great day of the LORD, near and coming very quickly; listen,
the day of the LORD! In it the warrior cries out bitterly. A day
of wrath is that day, a day of trouble and distress, a day of
destruction and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day
of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet and battle cry,
against the fortified cities and the high corner towers. And I
will bring distress on men, so that they will walk like the blind,
because they have sinned against the LORD; and their blood will
be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. Neither their
silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the day
of the LORD’s wrath; And all the earth will be devoured
In the fire of His jealousy, for He will make a complete end,
indeed a terrifying one, of all the inhabitants of the earth.
these descriptions and the other passages that illustrate it, it
is clear that the Day of the Lord is a time when God's patience
will be over and His divine wrath will be poured out on wicked mankind.
It is the time of God's judgment when the wicked are recompensed
for their evil. It is also a time when God will humble the proud
and abase the lofty. Isaiah tells us that, "the Lord alone
will be exalted in that Day." (Isaiah 2:11,17).
phrase "the Day of the Lord," as used in the Old Testament,
may indicate several different elements concerning that future time
of divine judgment upon the world. Sometimes it is used to indicate
the beginning point of the Day of the Lord and at other times it
refers to a specific event that takes place within that time period.
We must understand that this phrase does not refer to a 24-hour
day, but an extended time period that will encompass many events
and will be characterized by God's judgment and wrath.
prophecies concerning the future Day of the Lord are always given
within a context of present or "near" historical reality.
The future Day of the Lord often served as a backdrop to God's indirect,
local judgment coming on a specific city, nation or group of nations.
The local judgment was a guarantee of the future eschatological
Day of the Lord's wrath which would be worldwide in its scope. This
is the case with prophecies against Babylon (Isaiah 13), Egypt (Ezek.
30), apostate Israel (Amos 5, Zeph. 1), and Edom (Obadiah). The
judgments prophesied against these nations did come in a local "Day
of the Lord", but the language in these texts also speaks of
a time of judgment, which will involve the whole world and all of
are two main purposes for the eschatological Day of the Lord spoken
of in Scripture. First of all, as outlined above, it is a time of
wrath and judgment against the wicked on earth. The book of Revelation
shows us that this time of God's judgment will especially focus
on the final beast empire of Satan that will dominate the world
in the End Times. A secondary purpose of the Day of the Lord will
be to refine that part of the nation of Israel who will survive
the Great Tribulation of Antichrist (Jer. 30:11; Zech. 13:9; Mal.
3:2-4) and prepare the remnant of the nation of Israel for her Messiah.
sign will announce the Day of the Lord?
describes several natural phenomena that will accompany the Day
of the Lord. These include a great earthquake (Is. 13:13; Ezek.
38:19-20; Joel 3:16; Haggai 2), clouds and darkness (Joel 2:2; Amos
5:18-20; Zeph. 1:15) and the sun, moon and stars going dark (Is.
13:10, Joel 2:10, 3:15). The prophet Joel, who speaks almost entirely
of the Day of the Lord, even gives us the sequence of these events.
He states that, "the sun will be turned into darkness, and
the moon into blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD
comes" (Joel 2:31). It is very clear from this verse that before
the Day of the Lord begins, before God begins to pour out his wrath
on wicked mankind, there will be signs in the heavenlies. Joel makes
it clear that BEFORE the Day of the Lord begins, God will announce
it by making the sun and moon go dark. This brings us to our next
does the eschatological Day of the Lord begin?
we don't know the exact day and hour of the rapture of the church
or the onset of God's wrath, Scripture gives us at leas six precursors
that must happen before the Day of the Lord can begin. The Day of
the Lord will begin:
AFTER the apostasy and revealing of the man of lawlessness
2. AFTER the persecution of Antichrist (Great Tribulation)
3. AFTER the opening of the 6th Seal
4. AFTER the rapture of the church
5. AFTER the "last trump", the "trump of God"
6. AFTER the coming of Elijah
article was originally published through eParousia,
Sola Scriptura's monthly end-times e-newsletter.