A CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF THE END TIME DAYS: THE DAY OF THE LORD, THE DAY OF CHRIST, ETC.
My prayer is that by listing all the end time “days” in chronological order and explaining why I put them in that order, it might help all of us in our study of God’s Word.
The events listed below are all referred to as a particular day. I believe that a chronological list of the order of end times events, as taken primarily from this study might be helpful.
1) the tribulation
2) the sun, moon and stars will be shaken which will be the sign of the coming of the Son of man appearing in the clouds before the day of the Lord.
3) the appearing of the Lord in the clouds at which time believers will be raptured or resurrected.
4) the day of the Lord ending with the battle of Rev. 19 and the Lord being present on earth for the beginning of the millennium.
5) the millennial reign
6) The great white throne judgment
The reader will see that I have indicated a particular “day” or time period by numbers, and the various titles of that same day by letters.
1) THE LAST DAY
John 11:24, “Martha saith unto Him, ‘I know that he (Lazarus) shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day‘”. The context tells us quite clearly that the last day is the day of resurrection. The resurrection will occur when Christ appears in the clouds. We read in I Thess. 4:16-17, “For 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”. And in I Cor. 15:23 we read, “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming”. (For the Scriptural evidence proving that the church is raised, along with all others who “are Christ’s” at the time of Christ’s appearing in the clouds, please see the paper on this web-site The Out-Resurrection And The Prize Of The High calling.)
A) The Day Of Our Lord Jesus Christ
I Cor. 1:6-8, “So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ“. The NIV translation is more accurate in its translation of some words and is more easily understood, so I will quote that version. “Therefore, you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The revealing (Gr. apokalupsis, means according to the Companion Bible “unveiling, revelation”) of Jesus Christ will be when He appears in the clouds. When Christ appears in the clouds believers will be raised. In other words, Paul is speaking of the day of our Lord Jesus Christ as the day in which He appears in the clouds and believers are resurrected.
B) The Day Of Our Lord Jesus
I Cor. 5:5, “To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus”. The phrase “the spirit” is used as a figure of speech, Metonymy of the Adjunct, which is defined in the Companion Bible as, “when something pertaining to the subject is put for the subject itself…”. In this case “the spirit” is used of a person, i.e. it is not the spirit itself that is saved, it is the person who is saved. The person will be saved when the body is resurrected. Therefore, I believe that the day of the Lord Jesus is the same day as the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, i.e. the day of His appearing in the clouds, when believers will be resurrected.
C) The Day Of The Lord Jesus
II Cor. 1:13-14, “For we write none other things unto you than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; as also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus”. Note that Paul speaks of the Corinthians acknowledging him “to the end”. And he also speaks of his rejoicing in them in the day of the Lord Jesus. I believe that that day of rejoicing must be in the day of resurrection.
D) The Day Of Redemption
Eph. 4:30, “And grieve not the Holy spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption“. The day of redemption is obviously the day when believers are redeemed from the grave, i.e. resurrected.
E) The Day Of Jesus Christ
Phil. 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He Which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”. Paul tells us that God will perform a good work until a certain day. I believe it is most logical that God will continue to perform a good work in us until we are resurrected.
F) The Day Of Christ
Phil. 1:10, “That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ”. Because the phrase “the day of Christ” is so similar to the phrase “day of Jesus Christ” and is used in the same epistle, I believe it refers to the same day, i.e. the day of resurrection.
Phil. 2:16, “Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain” Please see note above on Phil. 1:10.
2) THE DAY OF THE LORD
It is important to note that the context of most of the passages that speak of the day of the Lord make it quite clear that the day of the Lord is primarily God’s punishment of the Gentile nations, never of Jerusalem. In point of fact God’s punishment cannot come upon Jerusalem because the Lord promised in Ezek. 5:9 that He would never again destroy that city. That passage reads, “Therefore, thus saith the Lord God; ‘Behold, I even I, am against thee (Jerusalem, see vs. 5), and will execute judgment in the midst of thee in the sight of the nations. And I will do in thee that which I have not done, and whereunto I will not do any more the like.…….”.
I will quote only the fifteen passages in which the Hebrew reads, “yom Jehovah”, i.e. the day of the Lord, and the four New Testament passages which speak of the day of the Lord. There are four passages in which the Old Testament Hebrew has “l” as a prefix which, according to the Companion Bible, means “for” or “to” Jehovah. Those four passages are: Is. 2:12, Ezek. 30:3, Zech. 14:1 and 17.
Before we consider the occurrences of the phrase “day of the Lord” it would, I believe, be helpful to first establish when in relation to other end time events, it will occur. As we saw in the section above, the rapture will occur when Christ appears in the clouds. Once believers have been raptured, they will, of course, be saved from the day of the Lord and all its destruction. So the day of the Lord will be just after the time in which Christ will appear in the clouds. As the reader will see in the discussion on Joel 2:31, I believe that the day of the Lord will begin two days after the Lord appears in the clouds.
Is. 2:12, “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”. This passage concerns individuals, not nations. But believers will have been raptured before the day of the Lord so it concerns only unbelievers.
Is. 13:6 and 9, “Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand, it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty”. We read in verse 1, “The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see”. So in this context, the day of the Lord will come as a punishment of Babylon.
Ezek. 13:5, “Ye (the false prophets of Israel) 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”. It is clear that Israel will be involved in the battle to take place in the day of the Lord. What is that battle? It is, in my opinion, the battle that will take place as described in Rev. 19:14-21 when the Lord comes down to earth from the clouds. But it is important to keep in mind that this is not God’s battle against Jerusalem. That passage in Rev. 19 reads, 14) “And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses…..15) and out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations (i.e. the Gentile nations) .……..19) And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him That sat on the horse, and against His army……… 21) And the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse…..”.
Joel 1:15, “Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come”. Verses 15-20 speak of the crops being “rotten”, and “withered” and the beasts of the fields of Israel being short of water, but Jerusalem is not mentioned in this context. Indeed because the “destruction” comes from “the Almighty” it cannot include Jerusalem because of the promise quoted above from Ezek. 5 in which God said that He would never again destroy Jerusalem.
Joel 2:1-2, “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; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains…..” The trumpet will be sounded in “My holy mountain” but Jerusalem itself will not be destroyed by God as per His promise in Ezek.5.
Joel 2:11, “And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” This passage speaks of the Lord’s army which is described in verses 4-8. This army will march against the nations. We read in verse 6, “Before their faces the people shall be much pained”. The note in the Companion Bible on the word “people” reads, “People = peoples“. In other words Gentile nations.
Joel 2:31, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come”. Note that these cosmic events will be in evidence before the day of the Lord (but they will continue into the day of the Lord). I believe that they will be in evidence two days before Christ will appear in the clouds. Please see the paper on this web-site “After Two Days Will He Revive Us” for the Scriptural proof of that statement. It will be during those two days that Israel will mourn, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Zech. 12:10-12, “…..and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn….”.
Joel 3:14-16, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake….”. This entire chapter concerns the judgment of the Gentile nations based on how they treated Israel. Note verse 4, “Yea, and what have ye to do with Me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render Me a recompense? and if ye recompense Me swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head”. Note also verse 7, “Behold, I will raise them (Israel) out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head“.
Also of interest is the fact that “the Lord shall roar out of Zion” and utter His voice “from Jerusalem”. Those two phrases convinced me that the day of the Lord includes “the day of His coming” to earth. Also, Zeph. 1:7 which is quoted below speaks of the day of the Lord and the “presence of the Lord”. (Please see the Appendix for a discussion on the transition period into the kingdom of Heaven.)
Amos 5:18-20, “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………Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light: even very dark, and no brightness in it”
Obadiah 15, “For the day of the Lord is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head”. The phrase “upon all the heathen” makes the point very well that the day of the Lord is primarily God’s punishment of the Gentile nations.
Zeph. 1:7-8, “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. 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”. Please note that this passage tells us that the Lord will be present on earth in the day of the Lord. (Please see the Appendix for a discussion on the transition period into the kingdom of Heaven.)
Zeph. 1:14-15, “The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord: the mighty man shall cry bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, and day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness”. This context concerns unbelievers, not nations or the city of Jerusalem.
Mal. 4:5, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord“. In this case, the term “before the day of the Lord” refers to the time of the tribulation. Please see the paper on this web-site Elijah Will “Restore All Things” for the Scriptural evidence of that statement.
Acts 2:20 is a quote from Joel 2:31, “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come”.
I Thess. 5:2, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night”
II Thess. 2:2, “That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, not by a letter, as from us, as that the day of (the texts read) the Lord is at hand”.
II Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heart, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up”.
A) The Day Of God
The phrase “day of God” occurs only once and therefore the context is the only way I can think of that will tell us when the day of God will be. II Peter 3:12, “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,and the elements shall melt with fervent heat“. If we will compare this to verse 10, I believe we will have our answer as to what the day of God is, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up”.
In verse 12, which speaks of the day of God, we read “the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, elements shall melt with fervent heat”. In verse 10, which speaks of the day of the Lord, we read of “the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up”. I can see where one might see the day of God referring to the age after the millennium which is set into motion by the destruction of the present earth spoken of in verse 6. But the heavens are not going to be “dissolved” twice, i.e. once at the day of the Lord and again at the end of the millennium. Therefore, I believe a closer look at verses 10 and 12 is in order.
Let us consider verse 10 first because we know from the fact that it will come “as a thief in the night” that it does indeed refer to the day of the Lord. We read that “the heavens shall pass away”. We know that the heavens will not pass away in the day of the Lord, i.e. they will not pass away until after the millennium, so I suggest we consider the next phrase, “and the elements shall melt”. Because we know that in the day of the Lord the heavens will not pass away, but that the elements will melt, I believe the phrase “the heavens” is used as the figure of speech Metonymy of Adjunct which is defined in the Companion Bible as, “When something pertaining to the subject is put for the subject itself”. In this case the subject is the elements of heaven and that which pertains to them is heaven. All figures of speech are used to enhance a truth. In this case “heaven” is used to enhance the awfulness of the elements of heaven melting. In other words, it is the elements that melt, not heaven itself.
Continuing with the next phrase of verse 10 we read, “and the earth also……shall be burned up. The Greek word translated “earth” in this verse is “ge”. The Companion Bible defines “ge” as earth as opposed to heaven, or the ground, or a specific land. Because we know that the earth will not be burned up in the day of the Lord, I believe in this verse “ge” does not refer to the earth, but to a specific land.
Now let us go to verse 12 which speaks of the day of God in the same terms as does verse 10 which speaks of the day of the Lord. I believe that the same figure of speech is used here that was used in verse 10, i.e. “heaven” is used for the elements of heaven.
I believe, therefore, we must conclude that the day of God is another name for the day of the Lord.
But some might argue that the next verse, i.e. vs. 13, speaks of the new heavens and new earth. Does that mean that the previous verses also speak of the new heaven and new earth in spite of the fact that almost the exact same terms are used of the day of the Lord? I believe the answer to that question lies in the word with which verse 13 begins.
Verse 13 begins with the word “nevertheless” in the KJV and the word “but” in the NASB. Both words indicate a contrast. That is to say verses 10-12 speak of the day of the Lord, called “day of God” in verse 12, but verse 13 is a contrast to those verses. What is that contrast? Let us back up to verse 9 which reads, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance”. Let us list the subjects of verses 9-13:
Verse 9: The Lord is unwilling that any should perish.
Verses 10-12: Because the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, “what manner of persons ought ye to be” as they look for that day?
Verse 13: But the promise is of the new heavens and the new earth.
The contrast in this passage is between the day of the Lord that will come as a thief in the night upon those who do not look for it, and the promise of the new heavens and new earth for those who are not caught unaware of the day of the Lord.
B) The Day Of Wrath
Rom. 2:5, “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God”. This entire passage speaks, not of nations, but of individuals. It is a warning to individuals who have shown an “impenitent heart”. We must bear in mind that the rapture will occur at the day of the Lord, so the Lord’s wrath will come only upon unbelievers. I believe that because Zeph. 1:14-15 describes the day of the Lord as “the day of wrath” the day of wrath will be at the time of the day of the Lord.
C) The Day Of His Wrath
Ps. 110:5-6, “The Lord at Thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill the places with the dead bodies; He shall wound the heads over many countries”. The phrase “He shall fill the places with the dead bodies” refers, in my opinion to the battle of Rev. 19 when the Lord will come from the clouds and return to earth.
D.) The Great Day Of His Wrath
Rev. 6:13-17, “And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men…….said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him That sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: for the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?'”. Again, the great day of His wrath is obviously at the same time as the day of wrath. Is there any significance to the addition of the pronoun “His”? In my opinion, it is a significant addition. It tells us that this wrath comes from God and none other.
E) The Day Of His Fierce Anger
Is. 13:9-13, “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and He shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity: and I will cause the arrogancey of the proud to cease, and I will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible……Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger”. Here the day of His fierce anger is part of the day of the Lord. The “land” referred to in verse 9 refers to the land of Babylon (see verse 1, “The burden of Babylon…”).
F) The Day Of The Lord’s Vengeance
Is. 34:2-8, “For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies: He hath utterly destroyed them, He hath delivered them to the slaughter. ….4) and all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. …….8) For it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion“.
Let us compare the phrase ” and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll” with Rev. 6. Obviously the heavens will not be “rolled together” more than once. Therefore, because we know from Rev. 6 that this will occur on the day of the Lord, the day of the Lord’s vengeance must be the same time as the day of the Lord. As a further note we should consider Joel 2:30-31 that tells us that the sun and the moon will be darkened “before” the day of the Lord. But Rev. 6 and Is. 34:8 speak of even more drastic cosmic events, i.e. “all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down”.
Note the phrase ” the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations“. This tells us that the indignation will be upon the Gentiles, not Jerusalem. Note also the phrase “the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion“. This tells us that the indignation upon the Gentile nations will come as a recompense for how they had treated Israel before that day, i.e. during the tribulation.
G) The Day Of Vengeance
Is. 61:2-3, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn: to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified“.
The phrase “the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified” is an obvious reference to Christ’s millennial reign. So the day of vengeance must include that transition into the kingdom of Heaven. But it cannot include the entire 1,000 years because the entire 1,000 year period cannot be described as “the day of vengeance”. (Please see the Appendix for a discussion of the transition period into the kingdom of Heaven.)
I believe that in this context the beauty, joy and praise will be given as a recompense to those in Zion who suffered and endured to the end the pains of the tribulation.
Is. 63:3-4, “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with Me: for I will tread them in Mine anger, and trample them in My fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon My garments, and I will stain all My raiment. For the day of vengeance is in Mine heart, and the year of My redeemed is come”. The note in the Companion Bible on the word “people” tells us that it should read “peoples”, plural. Therefore, it is the Gentiles of whom it said “there was none with Me”. Therefore, I believe this passage refers to the Lord’s vengeance upon unbelievers of the nations for the way they treated God’s people during the tribulation.
H) The Day Of His Coming
Mal. 3:2-3, “But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? for He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s sope: and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness”.
The judgment spoken of in Mal. 3:2-3 is specifically of the sons of Levi, “He shall purify the sons of Levi”. Note the sons of Levi will be purged so that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. This takes us to Ezek. 20:38 which comes in the context of the gathering of Israel for the millennial reign of Christ. That verse reads, “And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against Me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the Lord”.
Let us also consider Zeph. 1:7-8 which will help us to conclude that 1) the day of His coming is included in the day of the Lord, and 2) it is the judgment of all the gathered of Israel. Let me quote that passage again. “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. 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”.
The phrase “hath bid his guests” takes us to the parable of the wedding feast of Matt. 22. The reader will see from the paper on this web-site A Study Of How To Interpret The Parables Of Jesus Christ proof of the fact that the point of this parable (“many are called but few are chosen”, Matt. 22:14) is that some of Israel will be found unworthy and will be “cast out” of the kingdom of Heaven. This is also the point of Ezek. 20. Because, as Zeph. 1:7-8 specifically tells us that the bidding of the guests will be in the day of the Lord, we must conclude that the judgment of the gathered of Israel at His coming must be included in the term “day of the Lord”.
Mal. 2:2-3 speaks of Christ coming to Israel and judging Her as to who will be allowed entrance into the land for the millennial reign of Christ. Because Christ will be on earth to judge those on earth, we must conclude once again that the day of the Lord includes the very beginning of the millennial reign of Christ. (Please see the Appendix for a discussion on the transition into the kingdom of Heaven.)
I) The Day Of Judgment
Matt. 10:15, “Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment than for that city”. To what judgment is our Lord referring? We read in 10:5, “these twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them saying, ‘Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not'”. So the contrast in verse 15 is between Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities of Israel that do not receive the words of the twelve apostles.
There are three judgments that are to be executed after the Lord spoke these words. They are a) the judging of the scattered of Israel at His return, b) the day of wrath, and c) the great white throne judgment. This verse obviously does not refer to the judging of the scattered of Israel because it is the cities of Israel that will be judged. And the fact that it will be a city that is judged rather than individuals points to the day of the Lord, rather than the great white throne judgment. That leaves the judgment of the cities of Israel in the day of the Lord. As mentioned above, Jerusalem itself will not be destroyed because God had promised in Ezek. 5:9 to never again destroy Jerusalem. But as we read in the section on the day of the Lord, Joel 1:15-20 tells us that the crops of Israel will be “rotten”, and “withered” and the beasts of the fields of Israel will be short of water.
I John 4:16-17,”and we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in Him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is so are we in this world”.
To whom was the first epistle of John written? I Jn. 4:3-4 answers that question. It reads, “…..Ye are of God, little children….”. The note in the introduction of I John in the Companion Bible gives reasons to conclude that it was written to the dispersed of Israel. This epistle was written to believers. It was written in the Acts period and because John was an apostle of the circumcision, it was written to Jewish believers. Furthermore, because it was written in the Acts period, it was written at a time when believers were expecting the immediate return of Christ. If we put all those things together, I believe we may conclude that in this context, the day of judgment is the judgment of the dispersed of Israel as to who will be allowed entrance into the kingdom of Heaven. As will be true of “the day of His coming”, the day of judgment, while included in the term “the day of the Lord”, speaks more specifically of the judgment of Israel. May I remind the reader that Ezek. 20 which speaks of this judgment, tells us that there will be purging. The fact that unbelievers will be purged, i.e. taken out from, implies that they are taken out from believers. In other words, both believers and unbelievers will be gathered for this judgment. This judgment is of those who are dispersed and will be gathered, not of those who will be raptured or resurrected.Those who will be raptured or resurrected are believers who will “put on immortality”, and will therefore, not be judged.
But the reader may object on the grounds that all believers will be raptured. However we read in Is. 66:20 “And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to My holy mountain, Jerusalem…..”. This verse speaks of the gathering of Israel for the millennial reign. Note that these are carried to Jerusalem. As discussed above, unbelievers will not be allowed entrance into Jerusalem for the millennial reign, therefore these are Jewish believers being carried into Jerusalem. These believers had obviously not been raptured because if they had been raptured they would not have had to be carried to Jerusalem.
So we have Jewish believers who had been dispersed not being raptured. This makes perfect sense when we realize that the wrath of God, from which believers will be rescued by the rapture, will be upon those who persecuted Israel during the tribulation, and that the tribulation will not be world wide. That is to say, because the tribulation will be geographically limited to the area of Israel and surrounding nations, the wrath of God will come to those of that limited area of the earth. The paper on this web-site will prove from Scripture that the tribulation will not be world wide.
(Lam. 1:12 also speaks of the day of His fierce anger, but that anger has already been fulfilled and was directed toward Israel. Therefore it does not fall in the category of prophecy ofend times. I mention this passage only as an example of how the same term may be used of two very different prophetic days.)
J) The Great Day of God Almighty
This phrase is used only once, i.e. in Rev. 16:14 which reads, “For they (the unclean spirits that come out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet, vs. 13) are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty”.
The “battle” referred to in verse 14 is the battle of Armegeddon mentioned in verse 15. There are two battles spoken of in the Bible that will be waged in the end times. One is the battle spoken of in Rev. 19 which will take place when the Lord returns to earth, the other is the battle that will be fought when Satan is released for a little season after the millennium (see Rev. 20:3 and 7-9). I believe the battle to be waged in the great day of God Almighty is the former, i.e. the battle to take place at Christ’s return. The reason for that belief is that the dragon, the beast and the false prophet are still at work before the battle of the day of God Almighty, but before the battle of Rev. 20 the false prophet will have already been cast into the lake of fire and will not be at work after the millennium
Let us then consider Rev. 19 which speaks of the the battle of “that great day of God Almighty”. We read in Rev. 19:19, “and I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered to make war against Him That sat on the horse, and against His army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshiped this image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone”.
3) THE DAY OF VISITATION
I Peter 2:12, “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation“. Let us consider Luke 19:44 which speaks of a “time of visitation.
In order to determine to what time period the term “day of visitation” will occur, we must consider the Greek word translated “visitation”. It is used 4 times, and is translated two times “visitation, i.e. in I Peter 2:12 and Luke 19:44. And it is also translated “bishop” two times, i.e. in Acts 1:20 and I Tim. 3:1. What is a bishop? We read in I Peter 2:25, “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls”. A bishop, like a shepherd is one who cares for those under his leadership.
Peter speaks of the Gentiles who “shall glorify God in the day of visitation“. Gentiles will glorify God in the millennium. So the New Testament day of visitation is the millennial reign of Christ.
(We also read of a day of visitation in Is.10:3, “And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?”. But this, in my opinion, is not an end time prophecy. It is a prophecy concerning the “desolation” brought on Israel which led to Her captivity of seventy years. That belief comes from the fact that “the desolation” will come from far”. Note also verses 5-6, “O Assyrian! the rod of Mine anger….I will send him against ……..the people of My wrath”.
In short, the day of visitation in the New Testament is not the same day as the day of visitation in the Old Testament. The fact that the English word “visitation” is used does not prove that the passage in I Peter refers to the same day as is spoken of in Is. 10 because the two passages are written in two different languages. That is to say, just because the English word is the same, does not prove that the Greek and Hebrew words refer to the same day. The context should take precedence over the mere repetition of the same English word.)
4) THE DAY OF JUDGMENT
II Peter 2:9, “The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished”. By determining to what judgment this verse refers we will know when the day of judgment will occur. We read also in II Peter. 3:7 of the day of judgment and the context will tell us what that judgment is and therefore, when it will occur.
II Peter 3:7, “But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men”. The “heaven and the earth which are now” will be replaced by the new heaven and new earth. That will happen after the millennial reign. The only judgment we read of after the millennial reign is the great white throne judgment (please see the paper on this web-site Will There Be Sinners On The New Earth? for the Scriptural evidence that the great white throne judgment will continue into the preparation period of the millennium) . Therefore, I believe that the day of judgment referred to in these verses is the day of judgment at the great white throne. Those to be judged are those unbelievers who lived and died during the tribulation, believers who died during the millennium and those who lived during the millennium but had not died and had not come to age to accept or deny God. For the Scriptural evidence of that statement please see the paper on this web-site Will Unbelievers Be Raised For Judgment?.
Also, contrary to Matthew 10:15 which speaks of the judgment of cities, this passage speaks of the judgment of individuals.
The term “day of judgment” is used of the judgment of Israel at Christ’s coming and it is also used of the judgment at the great white throne after the millennial reign of Christ. If the context were not so clear I would be tempted to assume that the phrase always referred to the same judgment. There may be an important lesson in this. That lesson is that we may not always assume that because the same or similar words or phrases are used in different passages, they always refer to the same thing. The context is the best way to determine to what a word or phrase refers, we must not simply ignore the context.
We often think of Christ’s coming being followed immediately by a time of peace and righteousness and all the other millennial blessings of the kingdom of Heaven, i.e. land of Israel in the millennium. But in this study of the end time days, I have discovered that there will be a transition period into that blessed time of the millennial reign of Christ.
We read in Joel 3:14-16, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake….”.
Please note that the Lord “shall roar out of Zion” and that His voice will come from Jerusalem. In the passage from Joel 3 we learn that the Lord will have come to earth during that day of the Lord or He cannot be heard from Zion. In other words, when the Lord returns to earth, there will be a transition from that day of darkness and judgment into the blessings of the kingdom of Heaven. (Please see the discussions above on Zeph. 1:7-8 which gives evidence that the Lord will be on earth during the day of the Lord, implying thereby that there will be a transition period into the peacefulness of the millennial reign.) Let us consider two events that must occur during this time of transition.
Ezek. 39:11-12 reads, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel…..and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude….and seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land“. The context will show that this time of burial will begin in the millennium and the dead are those referred to in Rev. 19 which tells of a great battle at the time of the Lord’s return to earth. And obviously it will take seven months to “cleanse the land”. Therefore, because this burial time will last seven months, we may conclude that there will be a transition into the kingdom of Heaven of at least seven months.
Dan. 12:12 reads, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days” (1,335). These days are counted from the beginning of the tribulation (see vs. 11). The tribulation will last three and one half years or forty-two (42) months. The time given in Dan. 12:12 is 1,335 days or forty- four and one half (44 and 1/2) months. In other words, Daniel speaks of those who will be blessed that “wait” two and one half (2 and 1/2) months after the end of the tribulation. What will transpire during those two and one half months?
When we read in Dan. 12:12, “Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to…..”, we must bear in mind that when Daniel is speaking of those who “wait” he is speaking of those who have already been through the entire tribulation. That is to say, the two and one half (2 and 1/2) months about which Daniel wrote in this verse is not about the tribulation, because the tribulation will have ended two and one half months earlier. I believe that the answer to our question as to what will transpire in those two and one half months is found as we reconsider the “day of His coming” discussed above.
We learned from the discussion of Mal. 3:2-3 that Israel will be judged to determine who may enter the kingdom of Heaven. I believe that it is entirely possible that Israel will be judged during the two and one half months referred to in Dan. 12 (please see the paper on the numbered days of Daniel 12 for a more complete explanation of these 2 and 1/2 months).
In short, I believe that the transition into the kingdom of Heaven will include 7 months of burying the dead and will include the two and one half months during which time Israel will be judged as to who will enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
This paper was written by Joyce Pollard. If you would like to respond please e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org