Friday, May 19, 2006

The Day of the Lord by Mo Dardinger

Just what is the Day of the Lord? This topic is generally overlooked in our churches today. Have you ever heard a sermon preached about it? Most haven't. Yet it fills the Scriptures. The Lord our God has a great deal to say about the Day of the Lord, and that makes it a topic which should concern us, His followers.

I attended the first session of a conference on biblical prophecy at a local church recently. The speaker had been assigned the topic “When Does the Day of the Lord Begin?” He briefly but accurately described seven different views of the End Times and the timing of the Rapture. (I really appreciate it when speakers and writers “get it right” concerning views other than their own. No one likes to be misrepresented, and as Christians we ought to be extremely careful to be accurate in what we say about our brothers and sisters, however misguided we may think them.)

This well-known teacher of biblical prophecy then gave us his view on when the Day of the Lord begins, how long it lasts, and what characterizes that Day. But he never gave us the signs that will signal that the Day of the Lord is about to begin. This surprised me greatly, since these signs are mentioned repeatedly in the Old Testament and are also described in the New Testament. If you want to know when the Day of the Lord begins, you must look for the signs the Lord has given us.

We have been studying Joel, which mentions the Day of the Lord in every chapter and which – as discussed in our last study – describes the signs to look for that will tell us that Day is about to begin. You and I must do better than the teacher that I heard. We must “know the code.” We must know the signs.

Signs that Herald the Day of the Lord

These are the Old Testament verses that mention the signs associated with the start of the Day of the Lord:

Isa 13:9-10
9 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.
10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not flash forth their light;
The sun will be dark when it rises
And the moon will not shed its light.

Joel 2:10-11
10 Before them the earth quakes,
The heavens tremble,
The sun and the moon grow dark
And the stars lose their brightness.
11 The LORD utters His voice before His army;
Surely His camp is very great,
For strong is he who carries out His word.
The day of the LORD is indeed great and very awesome,
And who can endure it?

Joel 2:31-32
31 "The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.
32 And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Will be delivered;
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who escape,
As the LORD has said,
Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.”

Joel 3:14-16
14 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 grow dark
And the stars lose their brightness.
16 The LORD roars from Zion
And utters His voice from Jerusalem,
And the heavens and the earth tremble.
But the LORD is a refuge for His people
And a stronghold to the sons of Israel.

Mal 4:4-6
4 "Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.
5 Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.
6 He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse."

What are the signs? Could they be any more obvious?

∑ Elijah the Prophet returns.
∑ The sun is darkened.
∑ The moon is darkened.
∑ The stars are darkened.

If you come up with a different list, let me know.

The Character of the Day of the Lord

So we know what to look for when the Day of the Lord is about to begin. But what is the Day of the Lord? What does it accomplish?

From my studies, I would say that this Day is a time period when God is reclaiming the Land of Israel for Himself and for the People of Israel, the Jews. It is a time of vengeance on Israel's enemies, and yet it is also a time when many Jews will be suffering and dying, most of them in unbelief. So even though they are in the process of being delivered physically and saved spiritually, the Day of the Lord is still a time for mourning and distress for Israel.

Some Bible teachers extend the Day of the Lord through the Millennium. They do this largely on the basis of 2 Peter 3:7-13, which implies that the Day of the Lord will see the end of the Old Heavens and Old Earth and the creation of the New Heavens and New Earth. They also generally take End Time passages which talk about the Day of the Lord and then use the phrase “in that day” to mean that the “in that day” events are a part of the Day of the Lord. Some of these events are clearly Millennial events.

I do not extend the Day of the Lord into the Millennium, however. The descriptions that I find of the Day of the Lord all indicate that it is not a time of joy, peace, and prosperity like the Millennium is. Read them and see for yourself just what will characterize the period of time that the prophets call “the Day of the Lord”:

Isa 13:6-9
6 Wail, for the day of the LORD is near!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore all hands will fall limp,
And every man's heart will melt.
8 They will be terrified,
Pains and anguish will take hold of them;
They will writhe like a woman in labor,
They will look at one another in astonishment,
Their faces aflame.
9 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.

Ezek 30:2-5
2 "Son of man, prophesy and say, "Thus says the Lord GOD,
"Wail, "Alas for the day!'
3 "For the day is near,
Even the day of the LORD is near;
It will be a day of clouds,
A time of doom for the nations.
4 "A sword will come upon Egypt,
And anguish will be in Ethiopia;
When the slain fall in Egypt,
They take away her wealth,
And her foundations are torn down.
5 "Ethiopia, Put, Lud all Arabia, Libya and the people of the land that is in league will fall with them by the sword."

Joel 2:1-2 NKJV
1 Blow 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 is coming,
For it is at hand:
2 A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any {such} after them,
Even for many successive generations.

Amos 5:18-20
18 Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD,
For what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you?
It will be darkness and not light;
19 As when a man flees from a lion
And a bear meets him,
Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall
And a snake bites him.
20 Will not the day of the LORD be darkness instead of light,
Even gloom with no brightness in it?

Obad 15
15 "For the day of the LORD draws near on all the nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you.
Your dealings will return on your own head.”

Zeph 1:14-18
14 Near 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.
15 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,
16 A day of trumpet and battle cry
Against the fortified cities
And the high corner towers.

1 Thess 5:1-11
1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you.
2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.
3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.

2 Peter 3:7-13
7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.
11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.

What is your conclusion, brothers and sisters? The Day of the Lord is a day of gloom and destruction, right? It is a period of time that will be difficult, full of warfare and bloodshed. It will be a time of sorrow, a time of distress and destruction.

Copyright (c) 2006 Mo Dardinger - all rights reserved

Scripture taken, unless otherwise noted, from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, Updated Edition (NASU), © Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

The Bible text designated NKJV is from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.


Raul said...

Perhaps the scriptures do tell us the precise length of the Day of the Lord period. We who hold to the Pre-wrath view believe that the second half of Daniel's 70th Week consists of the Great Tribulation period followed by the Day of the Lord period. Some have guessed at the length or duration of both periods. However, if we turn to the book of Isaiah, perhaps we are plainly told the length of the Day of the Lord and then deductively, we can also know the duration of the Great Tribulation period. Please, consider these verses:

Isaiah 34:8 (New King James Version)
For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance,
The year of recompense for the cause of Zion.

Isaiah 61:2 (New King James Version)
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD,
And the day of vengeance of our God;
To comfort all who mourn,

Isaiah 63:4 (New King James Version)
4 For the day of vengeance is in My heart,
And the year of My redeemed has come

Here, in these verses, we are given the term "year". So, is it possible that the Day of the Lord period will last one prophetic year or 360 days and thus the Great Tribulation period, which precedes the Day of the Lord period, will last 2.5 years? I have shared this with some Pre-wrathers, and some have accepted it, while others have rejected it. What do you folks think?

Gone Fishin' said...


I understand why you think it may be an answer, but I don't think so. I'm not saying it's not a possibility, but as I read it I see the usage of the word "year" the same as I see the usage of the word "day" in The Day of the Lord.

I don't believe it's speaking of a literal day OR a literal year, but is speaking of that day/year as I would speak of the day or year when I will live on an acreage and hunt my own land. The day/year that I will accomplish this will be a good day/year when I discover I have more friends than I thought that want to hunt my property!

If you think about it, does it really make consistent sense to choose the word "year" to be literal but to say that "day" is not when they're used in the same sentence to refer to the same thing? Just a thought.


Raul said...

Dave, thanks for your feedback. Yes, I see your point. And you're right that the usage of the term "year" might not be meant to be understood literally. By the way, someone pointed out to me that Noah and his family were in the Ark for about a year. If that is true, then that adds a little more weight to this proposition of the one year of wrath. Either way, I do believe that the Rapture will occur on a future Rosh Hashanah. Do you hold to that view as well? Let me just say a quick word about myself. I used to believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture for many years. Then, a few years ago, I was convinced by Roy A. Reinhold at www.ad2004 that the Pre-Wrath position was more scripturally sound.

Raul said...

I did a quick search of Genesis and found that indeed Noah and his family were in the ark for about a year.

Genesis 7:6-7 Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood.

Genesis 8:13 By the first day of the first month of Noah's 601st year, the water had dried up from the earth.

Also, there is precedence in the Old Testament for one day representing one year.

But, again, I won't be dogmatic about this idea of the Day of the Lord lasting one year. I just think it is one possibility to consider and ponder. And, I'm glad you're open to it as well. I ran this by Charles Cooper and he said the same thing as you. He doesn't reject it outright, but leans to the belief that the term "year" is not literal but rather generic. He gave the example of "Every dog has his day". So, who knows, maybe we'll live to see how it all plays out. As for me, I hope for a shorter Great Tribulation period and a longer Day of the Lord period. Although, ultimately, I rather trust in His will that it may be done according to His plan and purposes. God Bless

Gone Fishin' said...

Roy A. Reinhold is a good guy. We had some correspondence in the past. And your comment on Rosh Hashanah makes sense to me. And it’s nice to know that Cooper’s response was similar to mine. I’ve taught him everything I know. Grin.