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It may seem odd to be talking about the Day of the Lord on Father’s day, but as I considered whether to stay on our series about Understanding Prophecy, or switching to a special message for Father’s Day, I thought that the Day of the Lord actually does fit.
How?
Well, just wait, and I will see if I can explain that in a bit.
First, I want to remind us why we should study prophecy.
Why study prophecy?
Assurance of the truth (Literal fulfillments)
Assurance of God’s faithfulness (to His Covenants)
Proper Priorities for Life (Kingdom of God)
Key Concepts
How to interpret prophecy
The Covenants of God
The Kingdom of God
The Day of the Lord
How to interpret prophecy
The Covenants of God
The Kingdom of God
Today’s topic, The Day of the Lord is another of the key concepts we need to understand before jumping into some of the passages, like Matthew 24.
Without understanding key concepts that come from an overall understanding of scripture, it is easy to get mired down and confused studying one specific passage.
Having these key concepts down will help us understand what we find in specific passages, like Daniel, Matthew, and Revelation.
Some have taught things that are not true about Matthew 24 because they did not keep in mind the key concepts from all of scripture, like the Day of the Lord.
We do not want to fall into error, so let’s get these concepts down.
To Learn about the Day of the Lord, we are going to look at some passages, and answer some basic questions.
What?
Who? Why? When?
What is the Day of the Lord?
What is a part of the Day of the Lord?
Who is acting upon whom?
Why is this happening?
When is the Day of the Lord?
Keep those questions in mind, as we read some passages about the Day of the Lord.
So, where in the Bible does it talk about the Day of the Lord?
That phrase occurs in about 23 passages.
Then, the phrases “that day,” or “the day,” or “the great day” occur more than seventyfive times in the Old Testament.
Let’s look at a few of them.
What is the Day of the Lord?
So, keeping in mind those passages, what is the Day of the Lord?
What characterizes the Day of the Lord?
Time of judgment.
Wrath.
Darkness.
Gloom.
It is a time that God is pouring out His wrath upon mankind.
It will be darkness, gloom, fearful.
It is not something of which you, or anyone you know would want to be a part.
Joel describes it this way...
It will be so bad, that there has never been a day like it...
What is a part of the Day of the Lord?
Or, what will take place on the Day of the Lord?
The word distress in this verse, is the word for tribulation.
Matthew uses this word in 24:21.
It is interesting that Matthew 24:21, Jeremiah 30:7 and Daniel 12:1 all describe this day as a day of tribulation and trouble unlike any before it, just like Joel did.
The time period of the tribulation is described in Daniel 9 as a seven year period, and it is described in detail in Revelation 6-19.
This seven year period of tribulation is all a part of the Day of the Lord.
How can the “Day” of the Lord be a seven year period?
Well, in Hebrew, just like in English, when the word day is used with an ordinal it is just one 24-hour period.
1st day, 2nd day, etc.
Otherwise, context dictates whether day is a 24-hour period, or a longer period.
For example,
“Back in the day, when I was in Jr. High, I would ride my bike all day.”
the first use of day, is a period of time, defined in context of when I was in Jr. High.
The second use of day is a 24-hour period.
Context is the key.
When we take all of the scriptures referring to the Day of the Lord together, we see that there is a lot taking place in the Day of the Lord, and that it is an extended time period.
So, what all is taking place during the Day of the Lord?
Daniel 9 says this will start with a ruler that is to come making a covenant with Israel for a seven year period.
In 2 Thessalonians, Paul confirms that the Day of the Lord will not be until the revealing of this man.
So, part of the Day of the Lord will be this ruler that makes a covenant with Israel.
Another part is the breaking of the covenant, and the abomination that causes desolation, which Jesus also refers to in Matthew 24.
(Which did not take place yet.)
It is interesting that both Isaiah and Revelation refer to something that will happen in the Day of the Lord.
When God is pouring out His wrath on mankind, they will hide in mountains and caves.
Revelation 6 is in the beginning of the tribulation.
Zechariah 14 refers to a number of things that will happen on the Day of the Lord, which will take some time to accomplish.
Jerusalem will be attacked and taken.
Some of the people will be taken into exile.
This will take some time.
The Lord will return to fight the nations and establish His kingdom.
So, the return of the Lord is in the Day of the Lord.
Zechariah describes it this way:
Revelation details this as happening after the seven year tribulation period.
Zechariah 14 also refers to the time of His kingdom on earth as being a part of this day.
So, the time period of His kingdom is a part of the Day of the Lord, when He rules the nations with an iron scepter.
Revelation says this...
Peter says there is yet another thing which will be a part of that day.
Zephaniah wrote about this as well.
Thus, the destruction of the heavens and the earth will be a part of the Day of the Lord.
Revelation has this after the Great White Throne Judgment, so that also would be a part of the Day of the Lord.
So, the Day of the Lord, is an extended period of time.
It stretches from the Ruler making the covenant with Israel, through the time of the seven year tribulation, through the time of Jesus 2nd coming to earth, through the kingdom Jesus establishes on earth, on to the destruction of the heavens and the earth.
That is a long time.
And it is all a time of wrath and judgment, in which the Lord will be punishing the world for sin, and pride.
Who is acting upon whom?
This may seem like a silly question, but it is important because some people have looked at certain passages, and said the tribulation is the wrath of man, or the wrath of Satan.
Whose wrath is it?
The wrath of the Lord.
He will use the nations, and use Satan to punish Israel, but it is His wrath.
All through Revelation, where the seven year period is described in more detail, who is the one who is opening the seals, and pouring out the wrath?
The Lamb.
God is.
And who is He acting upon?
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