The DAY OF THE LORD is “The Day of Jehovah,” and its usage is always associated with something dire, with judgment, and with events outside the implementation of man. In other words, it is the intervention of God with the power of God in the affairs of this world. It has a primary application to Israel, but that is always extended often to a wider field, and that involves the world.
The term covers the chronology of events after the Rapture right up to the new heavens and the new earth, which is the culmination of all human history before the eternal state. It is the time when God openly and dramatically intervenes in the undertakings of this earth in awesome power and wrath. Therefore, the DAY of the LORD covers the Tribulation; the judgments and the way humans will react to it. In particular, the greatest concentration of prophecies and the usage of this term relate to the Second Coming of the Lord – His glorious appearing; the Second Coming, which is for Armageddon and His Return to His earthly people, the Jews. It often deals with signs, people’s emotions, and cosmic happenings. It is very much connected with Israel and her dealings with God and the nations.
There are so many references to the time period known as “The Day of the LORD,” and many of them don’t mention the whole term, but we know that is what is being referred to as it parallels other passages. The list is exhaustive and too big to include all texts, but I want to list most of the major mentions for the OT and NT references for the DAY of the LORD, and special points are underlined.
. Joel 2:1-3, “Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain. Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble for the day of the LORD is coming. Surely it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, so there is a great and mighty people. There has never been anything like it, nor will there be again after it to the years of many generations. A fire consumes before them, and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the garden of Eden before them, but a desolate wilderness behind them, and nothing at all escapes them.”
((Joel is an amazing book. I give but a small summary. In chapter 1, the locusts are described and the devastation on the land they caused. The lovely scenery before them is reduced to destruction behind them. These locusts speak of invading armies.
Chapter 2 describes the advance of the armies foreshadowed by locusts in chapter 1 and contains elements of the Day of the LORD. This description of the armies is just so like an advancing tank invasion of the enemy, and Israel will suffer. The remainder of chapter 2 sees a turnaround when the Lord restores the fortunes of His people and settles them securely in their land, and then He pours out His Spirit on them. That describes the troubles for the nation in the Tribulation, especially right at the end, and after that, their restoration.
Chapter 3 is concentrating on the great battle of Armageddon, and after that, another look at the Restoration of Israel.
It is remarkable that the very first book written of all 17 of the Old Testament prophetic books details so fully the path Israel takes through the Tribulation, and the surrounding armies leading to Armageddon, and then its final restoration. That covers all Israel’s future in a nutshell. This truly is an amazing book.
The verses above contain many of the Day of the LORD signs that other prophets use also and even added to by Jesus in Matthew 24. Darkness, gloom, clouds (thick clouds) occur frequently in relation to the Day of the LORD. Verses 4-10 of chapter 2 are a perfect description of advancing tanks in battle. This army that advances on Jerusalem is none other than the confederacy of Gog and Magog detailed in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. It also embraces ALL the nations of the earth who have sent armies to Israel, called there by the three frog spirit demons of Revelation 16:13-14.
“I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs, for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.”
That is identical to the great event Zechariah speaks of in this verse: 14:2, “For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.”
The “great and mighty people” described by Joel as being in the land of Israel will be larger than any enemy so far that has been in Israel, and never will there be one like it. It is speaking of the whole Armageddon armies, that is, the forces of Antichrist and the false prophet (The revived Roman Empire); the armies of the East – mainly Asian (China); and the Gog/Magog confederacy. It happens at the end of the Tribulation time, and they all will be destroyed at the Second Coming detailed in Revelation 19.
China currently boasts an active army numbering over two million, and India is a bit less. Of course, the current world armies regarding numbers will not be in Israel at current strength. So severe will be the judgments of the Tribulation that current armies will be only a tiny fraction of what they are today. Nevertheless, their numbers in the land will be greater than any of the Old Testament armies that invaded Israel.
I will just sidetrack here for a moment. I try to follow closely what is happening in China. I would recommend to all of you a YouTube channel called “China in Focus.” It really puts you in the picture with what is happening. China is itching for war because it thinks it is superior to the USA, and in equipment and numbers, it is. It is stronger. Obama took America and the defense forces backward while China was rapidly building them up. I am trusting there will not be a war before the Rapture because there are a good number of Christians in Taiwan, and this is where China wants a war to take Taiwan over. Also, there are anywhere between 50-80 million Christians in China (possibly 6%) from all the reports I can get.
(By comparison, less than 1% of Australia is born-again Christians. The second seal that is broken in Revelation 6 is the red horse – wars and rumours of war because peace will be taken from the earth. It is then I think China will be at war. There could be a lot of civil wars as well (the USA?)
I am not a prophet, and there are no true prophets anyway in that biblical sense. They ended more than 1,800 years ago. It is just how I am seeing it. If the Lord tarries, we might have to make some adjustments. I think it is correct to examine and analyze because the Bible talks about understanding the signs of the times.
I firmly believe those three power groups will be at Armageddon. There are some writers who think the Gog/Magog war must happen before the Rapture or at the start of the Tribulation. There are real problems with that scenario, especially relating to Ezekiel 39. It is like trying to force a square peg into a round hole.
The Day of the LORD affects the whole world, as does the outpouring seal, trumpet and bowl judgments in Revelation, but it always has significance to Israel. If you have not done so, read carefully through Joel and see the progression through hardship and judgment right to the restoration of God’s earthly people.))
. Joel 2:10-12, “Before them the earth quakes. The heavens tremble. The sun and the moon grow dark, and the stars lose their brightness. 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? ‘Yet even now,’ declares the LORD, ‘return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping, and mourning.'”
((This passage, like every passage, must be placed in context, for we have just looked at the advancing armies at Armageddon, especially Gog. As they advance on Jerusalem, lay siege to it, and begin to pillage and rape and cut off the people, the Lord God says, “Enough!” and comes on the white horse at the Second Coming to destroy all of them and deliver His people. The signs of His coming then will be as Joel mentions above and as Jesus also confirmed Matthew 24:29, “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
You can see the strong parallels there in Joel and Matthew in the description of the Day of the LORD. Both passages are speaking of the Second Coming (in the verses above – the signs of His Coming), and that again rules out the claim that the Rapture is in Matthew 24. Matthew is all about the Coming to Israel, the Second Coming. I posted recently on Matthew 24 and said it had nothing to do with the Rapture, and a couple of people got irate about that, but one person emailed me and pointed out a fact that I had completely overlooked. I want to add that here, for it is very important.
In Corinthians, Paul said, “Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed….” (1Corinthians 15:51).
A mystery in the New Testament is the revelation of a truth that had not previously been known. It was then going to be revealed. What the Holy Spirit is doing through Paul is revealing to the Church what had not previously been known to them. It was something new. For that very reason, Matthew 24 must be totally discounted as being a Rapture chapter, for if it was the Rapture, then the church would have known about it for 25 years, and Paul would never have written, “Behold, I show you a mystery,” because it would not have been a mystery; it would not have been a new revelation! There are a few around who want to dismiss 1Corinthians as being a Rapture chapter. That is because they claim the rapture in Matthew 24, which it isn’t.
All that Joel is declaring here is within the Day of the LORD, which is great and awesome, and no army or enemy will be able to endure it. Do you see this expression in Joel? – “The LORD utters His voice before His army. Surely His camp is very great, for strong is he who carries out His word.”
The Lord has an army when He returns, for He is the LORD of Hosts, and His hosts are the tens (thousands) of millions of angels, the angels of heaven, all so powerful as we read at Sodom and Gomorrah.
Revelation 19:15, “From His mouth comes a sharp sword so that with it He may smite the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.”
Yes, He speaks in command when He returns, speaks with a sharp two-edged sword, and His angels will carry out His commands, for His camp is very great, and He delivers His Jewish saints and destroys all the world’s armies gathered against His people. Great is the Day of the LORD. No enemy can endure the Day of His Coming.
In Joel’s description, “great and very awesome, and who can endure it?” the language indicates a very dramatic and severe time. The whole Tribulation will be a severe time in the Day of the LORD. But as it nears the end with the huge impact of the Revelation 16 bowl judgments and the lead-up to the Second Coming, and then the great time of Armageddon, then conditions will be very severe, and who can endure it? Likewise, Nahum writes, “Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the burning of His anger?” (Nahum 1:6). And Malachi wrote, “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? (Malachi 3:2).
In Joel 2:12, our passage ended with a call for Israel to return to the Lord, this plea being issued from God through the prophet. It is a frequent move in the prophets, especially from Isaiah and Jeremiah.
Even in the midst of impending disaster or even if that disaster lay hundreds of years into the future, even 1,500 or more, God always begs His own to return to Him. The Old Testament is filled with examples of God’s pleading with a sinful people, and judgment comes after many warnings. That is the mercy of God. It is no different today, for we implore men and women to turn to Christ, as we know the Rapture is close. And once they are left behind, they face the wrathful hand of God in the Tribulation. Please turn to the Lord and be saved if you are not. Time is not on your side.))
To be continued in Part 4.