Although the day when his church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and the day of the second coming of Christ were both mentioned in Millenium Part One: PREPARATIONS FOR THE LAST MILLENIUM, this study will add many details of these two great events.
THE BLESSED DAY OF THE LORD
At least seven years before the Lord’s second coming to the kingdoms of this world (Revelation 11:15) to “judge and make war” (Revelation 19:11), he will come to physically redeem the church (Romans 8:23; 1Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1Corinthians 15:51-53), which he purchased “with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). The Lord is certainly not a thief, but he will come “as a thief in the night” (1Thessalonians 5:2) to take his “body, the church” (Colossians 1:18) out of this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4) to be with him forever (1Thessalonians 4:18).
The church is God’s great hidden treasure—The Lord declared unto his disciples that the kingdom of heaven “is like unto treasure hid in a field [the field is the world (Matthew 13:38)]; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:44-46).
Bought with a great price—The Lord Jesus is like a merchant man who came into the world “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). He came to purchase the church “with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). According to his word, we are “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14; Genesis 22:7-8). The man Christ Jesus “gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1Timothy 2:5-6). Believers have been redeemed “with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1Peter 1:18-21; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14): “…by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Hebrews 9:12).
The indwelling Spirit—The “Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9) dwells in every born-again believer: “Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Colossians 1:27). The believer’s body “is the temple of the Holy Ghost.” Therefore, all believers are commanded, “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1Corinthians 6:19-20). And again, it is written, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2Corinthians 4:7). God is working in every believer “both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). We have overcome the false spirits in the world “because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1John 4:4).
Therefore, when the Lord Jesus comes to take “the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28) out of this world to be with him forever (1Thessalonians 4:13-18; 1Corinthians 5:5; 2Corinthians 1:14), he will come “as a thief in the night” (1Thessalonians 5:2; 2Peter 3:10) to take away his great treasure, the church, out of the world—to redeem his “purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:14).
Three witnesses—The scripture says, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2Corinthians 13:1; Matthew 18:16; 1Timothy 5:19; Hebrews 10:28). God has given three scriptural witnesses of the truth about the Lord’s coming as a thief for his treasure the church.
The Lord Jesus—The Lord warned the church in Sardis, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee” (Revelation 3:3). The Lord also declared, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15). Jesus also forewarned his disciples, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come… Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:42-44).
The apostle Paul—Paul warned “the church of the Thessalonians” (1Thessalonians 1:1), “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they [the unbelieving children of darkness] shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness” (1Thessalonians 5:1-5).
The “day of the Lord” will begin when the Lord Jesus himself descends “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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1Thessalonians 4:16-18).
The apostle Peter—The following outstanding verse clearly reveals the opening and closing events of the day of the Lord: “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” (2Peter 3:10). The “day of the Lord” will open when the church is caught up, and will end with the passing away of the first heaven and earth.
Without forewarning—The day of the Lord will begin without any warning signs or wonders preceding it. We are waiting for “his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1Thessalonians 1:10). God has already “delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Colossians 1:13). God has already “delivered us from so great a death [the penalty of sin], and doth deliver [from the power of sin as we continue to live on earth]: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us [from the presence of sin];” (2Corinthians 1:10).
At this present time, “all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:26), who read and believe the Holy Bible, are “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13), “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Philippians 3:21). We, “which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Romans 8:23). “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).
Sudden destruction by delusion—After the Lord takes the church out of this world, “then shall that Wicked [“that man of sin…the son of perdition” (2Thessalonians 2:3)] be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2Thessalonians 2:1-12).
The master reprobate and his blinded followers—A reprobate is ‘A person abandoned to sin; one lost to virtue and religion’ (Noah Webster, 1828).
Satan—According to this definition, it appears that Satan has been turned over to a reprobate mind. The Son of God, who is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2; Micah 5:2), “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8): the “Word was made flesh” (John 1:14), “that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;” (Hebrews 2:14). At the end of the world, the Lord will destroy the devil, but in the meantime, the Lord uses Satan and his wicked followers to accomplish his purposes (Psalm 17:13-14).
At the very end of the millennium, “Satan shall be loosed out of his prison” (Revelation 20:7). And he will go out and deceive the unbelievers in all nations to follow him to battle against the Lord in Jerusalem. Then fire will come “down from God out of heaven,” and devour them. “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:7-10). Even though Satan has access to the word of God and can read the recorded prophecy of his own eternal damnation and torment, the devil continues in his evil way with no repentance!
Satan’s children—The devil is the “father” of all unbelievers (John 8:44). The gospel “is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2Corinthians 4:3-4). Wicked men are called “Reprobate silver… because the LORD hath rejected them” (Jeremiah 6:30). God gives evolutionists and all those who do not like to retain God in their minds, including sodomites and lesbians, “over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;” (Romans 1:18-28). Pharaoh’s magicians were “men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith” (2Timothy 3:8).
No man truly understands the exceeding evil that is in the world until the Holy Ghost illuminates the scripture to him. The world has been evil since the sin of Adam. According to the scripture, in these last days, we see many “evil men and seducers” waxing [growing] “worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2Timothy 3:13).
THAT GREAT AND NOTABLE DAY OF THE LORD
The day of vengeance—The second coming of Christ is called “the day of the Lord GOD” (Jeremiah 46:10). It is not a day of hope and deliverance, but a day of vengeance: “For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates” (Jeremiah 46:10).
“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. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:18-20).
The millennium will be established by war—According to “The Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1) and the future events that were shown to the apostle John and recorded by him, when the Lord Jesus comes back to earth the second time “to judge and make war,” he will be sitting upon a white horse, and his armies [including his church] will follow him also sitting upon white horses (Revelation 19:11-14).
Jacob’s trouble—Unlike the imminent coming of Jesus Christ for his church without any forewarning signs, the second coming of Christ will be preceded by many signs. After the Lord comes “as a thief in the night” (1Thessalonians 5:2) to catch the church up to be with him forever (1Thessalonians 4:16-18), those who remain on earth during “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7)—during which “shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (Matthew 24:21)—will be able to track and anticipate the unfolding events of those seven years by reading chapters 4-19 of the book of Revelation like a newspaper. By the scriptures, they will be able to understand when to expect Christ’s second coming!
The church will escape!—His disciples privately asked Jesus, “…what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:1-8).
Then Jesus said, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh…
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come [the Lord’s coming as a thief in the night for his church] on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. [The church will be caught up to be with the Lord before the signs of the second coming appear (Acts 2:20). They will stand before the Son of man at the judgment seat of Christ (Romans 14:10)]” (Luke 21:25-36). All those who are “in Christ” will escape all of “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). They will only see “the beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:3-8).
Many prophesied of Christ’s second coming—The thousand-year reign of Christ on this present and temporary earth will begin when “the great day of his wrath is come” (Revelation 6:17). This is the day “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels [and “with ten thousands of his saints” (Jude 1:14-16)], In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2Thessalonians 1:7-9).
The psalmists prophesied: “Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him” (Psalm 50:3); and: “A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about” (Psalm 97:3); and: “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” (Psalm 110:5-6).
Nahum prophesied: “The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him” (Nahum 1:5-7).
Malachi prophesied: “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 fullers’ soap: 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” (Malachi 3:2-3); and: “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch” (Malachi 4:1).
Isaiah prophesied: “Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. 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” (Isaiah 13:6-9; 2:10-22).
Ezekiel prophesied: “For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen” (Ezekiel 30:3).
Joel prophesied: “Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come” (Joel 1:15); “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?” (Joel 2:11); and: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come” (Joel 2:31).
About eight hundred years before the first coming of Christ, the LORD said, “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land… Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.
Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 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: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:1-16).
Obadiah prophesied: “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” (Obadiah 1:15).
Zephaniah prophesied: “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 there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. 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. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.” (Zephaniah 1:14-18).
Malachi prophesied: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:” (Malachi 4:5)
Enoch prophesied: “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 1:14-15).
John the Baptist prophesied: “…he [the Lord Jesus Christ] that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matthew 3:11-12).
Peter preached on the day of Pentecost: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God… And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:17-21).
The apostle Paul declared: “For our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29).
GOD INVITES WHOSOEVER WILL TO COME
The Lord’s last invitation—”And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17-18; Romans 6:23). God’s will is for “all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1Timothy 2:4). God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2Peter 3:9). God promises, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9): “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).