The term Day of the LORD in the Old Testament is used to indicate several different factors concerning that time of divine judgment on the world. Sometimes it is used to indicate the beginning point of the Day of the LORD and sometimes a specific event that takes place within that time period. The prophecies concerning the future Day of the LORD are always given within a context of present or "near" historical reality with the nation of Israel usually at the center of attention.

The intensity of the beast's oppressive reign is such that were it to continue without check, no one would be safe from his touch. Mat. 24:21-22

for then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall. And unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved;

In other words, the policy that is implemented to force beast worship would certainly reach to every corner of the populated earth. Thus, not only would the overall Gentile population be affected, but the believers in Jesus and the devout Jews of Israel would be fully searched out and killed as a result of the activities described at Revelation 12 and 13.
It is therefore necessary that this "great tribulation" be interrupted so that, on the one hand, the church, worldwide, would be physically delivered from the beast and, on the other hand, the 144,000 Jews who become believers after the rapture would be kept alive to function as evangelists (servants) in order to produce those Jews and Gentiles who will remain alive to enter physically into the 1000 year kingdom of the Messiah. Thus it is that the "Day of the Lord" return of Jesus will "cut short" the great tribulation even while the beast still has time left in his allotted reign over the earth.

The 6th seal represents the arrival of the Day of the LORD and the physical and visible return of Jesus in "the clouds of the sky" so that "every eye shall see Him" and all who are unprepared for Him "will mourn" for the suffering that will come upon the earth from God's wrath.
In the Day of the LORD parable recorded at Mat. 24:32-36, Jesus teaches that the "signs" centered around the great tribulation, indicate to those who are able to discern, that "summer is near."
That means that the "observers" will recognize the times and the seasons for the arrival of the Day of the LORD, but Jesus makes certain to clarify that the specific day or hour (which probably should be applied to week, month and year as well) is NOT known by anyone but the Father (Mat. 24:36).

1. First of all, Jesus did not say that the disciples "WOULD not know" the times or the epochs. He said, "it is not for you to know . . ."

The word "know," is ginosko in the aorist active infinitive, which views the action of the verb as a "point of time" action rather than a continuous action such as "not for you to be knowing." There are two ways to view this "point of time."

A. Not for you to know at any point of time (ever) - - -
B. Not for you to know at (this) point of time right now.

2. Now, when Jesus taught them before the resurrection, he taught about the end time events and especially about his return to gather His own unto Himself. Mt. 24:9-44

A. v. 15 - when you see the abomination of desolation

B. v. 21 - then there shall be great tribulation

C. v. 24 - false prophets with great signs and wonders

D. v. 25 - behold I have told you in advance.

E. v. 29 - but immediately after the tribulation of those days

F. v. 30 - signs in the sun, moon and stars

1. the sign of the son of man will appear
2. see the son of man coming in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.

G. v. 31 - He will send forth His angels to gather the elect.

H. v. 32 - the parable of the trees - Luke 21.29


J. v. 34 - this generation (the one that sees the signs) will not pass away until all these things take place.

K. v. 36 - but of the DAY and HOUR, no one knows . .
BUT - He just gave them the times and seasons!!

3. Why then the question from the disciples in Acts 1:7?

A. Because they forgot practically everything He taught them.

B. That is why He promised the coming of the Holy Spirit as a teaching "exhorter" (comforter) who would "BRING TO THEIR
REMEMBRANCE, all that I said to you." John 14:26
And - "He will proclaim to you the things to come."
John 16:13

4. At Acts 1:7, immediately after saying, "it is not for you to know . . ." He then says in v. 8, "BUT, you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . ."

A. For what reason? - to be witnesses of course

B. BUT also to be a reminder of what had been previously taught!!

5. The result is that the Holy Spirit re-taught what Jesus had taught, and provided amplification so that we find in Paul . .

A. 1 Thes. 5.1-4, "but of the times and the epochs, brethren, YOU HAVE NO NEED of anything to be written to you.

1. Why? Because they have been taught by the apostles, all that Jesus had previously taught.

2. For you yourselves KNOW ACCURATELY (akribos - adverb)

3. That the Day of the Lord will come just as a thief in the night. For whom? - v.3 - while THEY are saying, etc.

4. v.4, "but you brethren are not in darkness that the day should overtake YOU like a thief.

B. 2 Thes. 2.1-5, ". . with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together to Him.

1. v. 2, "that you may not be quickly shaken . . . to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

2. v. 3, "Let no man in any way deceive you, for (it will not come) unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction."

3. v. 5, "do you not remember that while I was still with you, I WAS TELLING YOU THESE THINGS."

C. It is in view of this that the writer of Hebrews writes at Hebrews 10:25, "and to a much greater degree as YOU SEE THE DAY

6. Thus, there is plenty of indication that we can indeed, KNOW the times and the epochs just as has been discussed in previous articles.

1. Jesus made it perfectly clear.
2. And Paul make it perfectly clear.

THE ORDER OF EVENTS at the 6th seal BEGIN with the signs in the heavens as recorded at Joel 2:30-31,

"And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, Blood, fire, and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and awesome day of the LORD comes."

At Mat. 24:29, Jesus refers to the Joel passage when He says,

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,

Luke 21:25 records that Jesus also mentioned "roaring of the seas and the waves" which would be the natural effects from the heavenly disturbances.

At Rev. 6:12, there is reference to a great earthquake and "stars" (meteorites) falling to the earth.

Thus we see that while the world is seeking peace and safety through beast worship, all of a sudden, a great darkness will envelop the heavens, meteorites will begin plummeting to the ground; earthquakes and tidal waves will begin shaking the very foundations of the earth; and mankind will be dismayed and shake with fear about the physical calamities that are coming.

So, for those who have not prepared for the return of Jesus by accepting Him as personal savior, the arrival of the Day of the Lord will be a time of great panic and fear.


1 Thes. 5:2-3,
For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, Peace and safety! then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

The term "thief in the night" indicates an unawareness as to the coming of the thief. "Time" is not the only issue, but the very idea that the Lord is coming back is something that is not of concern to these people.
As Peter told us - 2 Pet. 3:3-4

Know this first of all
that in the latter days
mockers will come with mocking
following their own lusts, and saying
Where is the promise of His coming?
For since the fathers have died,
all continues just as it was
from the beginning of creation.

Instead, they will be occupied with the peace and safety
provided for them through worshiping the beast.
In fact, to such an extent will this "material security"
be provided, that Jesus describes the basic daily activity
of these "beast worshipers" as it was in the days of Noah.
Mat. 24:27-39

For the coming of the Son of Man
will be just like the days of Noah.

The point of comparison is the unexpectedness that resulted in an indifferent occupation with the normal activities of life.

For as in those days which were before the flood
they were eating and drinking,
they were marrying and giving in marriage,
until the day that Noah entered the ark,
and they did not understand until the flood came
and took them all away;
so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.

It should be further noted that the point of comparison here is not the idea that people (unbelievers) are taken "all away." But that judgment comes when people are occupied with material things.
It is indeed, an over concentration on the idea of "took them all away" that has led many to think that Jesus does not have in view His return to gather the church (the rapture) but instead the gathering out of the wicked just before Jesus sets up His kingdom.
However, the subject is, the gathering of His "elect" in a supernatural manner, and there is only one time when that happens - at the beginning of the Day of the Lord via the rapture of the church.

The "sudden destruction" that Paul speaks of at 1 Thes. 5, refers to the Day of the Lord judgments which will be poured out on the world very shortly after Jesus removes His people from the earth through the rapture.

The bible speaks of two types of preparation for this arrival of the Day of the Lord.

1. Salvation preparation: This refers to those who have
trusted in Christ as savior and thus are secure in the family of God.
Paul refers to them at 1Thes. 5:4,

But you brethren are not IN darkness,
that the day should overtake you like a thief.

In other words, because of their "positional" union with Christ, they are IN THE LIGHT (Eph. 5:8) and are called at v. 5, "sons of light and of day."

Accordingly, when the "day" arrives, it will not be "sudden destruction" for those who are believers in Jesus.

(See doctrinal development of SALVATION SECURITY)

However -
If the believer is not "walking in the light" then he will be "caught off guard" when Jesus returns and will experience initial "shame" and remorse before Him at His presence.

Thus, the need for -
2. Experiential preparation:
This refers to being "in fellowship" with God; Being a believer who is actively pursuing the things of God; who is "walking in the light" as a growing and productive believer and has no sin in his life. This is called "abiding in Him" by John.
As believers remain in fellowship with God and function effectively as ambassadors for Christ, they are actively involved with ADVANCING the progress of God's plan in the world, as that plan moves ever closer to the arrival of Jesus. This fulfils the exhortation given to us at 2 Peter 3:11-12.

"Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way (in reference to the day of the Lord), what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and good worship, looking for and advancing the coming of the day of God, on account of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat."

Thus we have the warning given to us by John at 1 John 2:24-29.

1John 2:28

And now, little children, abide in Him,
so that when He appears,
we may have confidence and not shrink away
from Him in shame at His coming.

This does not mean that the "out of fellowship" believer will be left behind at the rapture but simply that his initial reaction will be great shame and remorse. Furthermore, that shame will be extended as he appears before the justice seat of Christ where all his works as a Christian will be evaluated. When it is shown what things in his life have not glorified God, he will suffer loss of reward and joy at that time, yet he himself will be saved.
1 Cor. 3:10-15.

See Discussion on partial rapture

We have a similar warning given by Jesus at Luke 21:34-36,

Be on guard,
that your hearts may not be weighted down
with carousing and drunkenness and the worries of life,
and that day come on you suddenly like a trap;
for it will come upon all those
who dwell on the face of all the earth.
But keep on the alert at all times,
praying in order that you may have strength
to escape all these things
that are about to take place,
and to stand before the Son of Man.

1. Strength to escape refers to endurance during the specific time of tribulation which will begin at the mid-point of the 70th week.

2. And to stand before the Son of Man, refers to "not shrinking away from Him in shame at His appearing," as we saw at 1 Jn. 2:28.

The emphasis, in view of the amplification in the New Testament, is that the believer can stand before the Son either -

1. In fellowship with God (abiding in Him)
and have initial great joy (Jude v. 24).
or -

2. The believer can stand before the Son out of fellowship and experience great shame and remorse.

At 1 Thes. 5:6-11, Paul continues by exhorting the believers to "reflect" their "positional" union with Christ "IN THE LIGHT" by living the Christian life not as those who are "asleep" and in darkness.

The exhortation through all the New Testament is that the believer should be living like a child of God and not like a child of the darkness. This of course, takes growth and volitional decisions to apply the word of God to every area of your life.
However, if the believer fails to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" he will fail to experience the true joy and peace of the Christian life as well as fail to serve God as a faithful ambassador for Christ. In such a condition, that believer will be "walking in darkness" and be unprepared for the events of the tribulation and the arrival of Jesus.
1 Thes. 5:6-11

so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. (v.8) But since we are of {the} day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him. Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Notice the issue at v. 8, "SINCE we are of the day" -
ie, since we are children of God, we should act like them.
And we have great motivation to live the way God wants us to, since we know that He "has not destined us for WRATH."

1. either the wrath of eternal judgment -
Romans 8:1, there is therefore now, no judgment to those who are IN CHRIST.

2. or - the temporal judgment of the Day of the Lord wrath to be poured out on the whole world. 1 Thes. 1:10, "to wait for His Son from heaven . . . who delivers us from the wrath to come."


At the time that Jesus returns, He will carry out the promise He made to the church (via His disciples) at John 14:1-3 and which was amplified by Paul at 1 Thes. 4:14-17 and 1 Cor. 15:51.

John 14:3

And if I go and prepare a (dwelling) place for you
I am coming again
and will receive you to Myself
so that where I am, you may be also.

Thus, when the "signs" for the return of Jesus begin to take place, those of the church who are "expectantly waiting" for Him should take courage and look to the sky in anticipation of being gathered together with Him.
Luke 21:28-36

But when these things begin to take place,
straighten up and lift up your heads,
because your redemption is drawing near.

This "redemption" refers to the completion of God's salvation plan for those who put their trust in Jesus from the time of the resurrection until that time that He actually returns at the Day of the Lord. That completion is the "redemption of the body" which is when the church will receive a resurrection body exactly like Christ's. Philippians 3:21

For our citizenship is in heaven,
from where also we eagerly wait for a savior,
the Lord Jesus Christ,
Who will transform our (physical) body of humiliation
into conformity with the body of His (resurrection) glory.

It is called the "redemption of the body" at Romans 8:18-23.

V. 23

And not only this, but also we ourselves
Who have the firstfruits of the Spirit
even we ourselves, groan within ourselves
waiting eagerly for (the) adoption as sons,
the redemption of our body.

Paul tells us that this "redemption of the body" or transformation of the body will take place at a point in time when there will exist in the church, both those who have died (fallen asleep) and those who are still alive, and yet it will happen to both groups at the same time. 1 Cor. 15:50-52; 1 Thes. 4:14-17

1 Cor. 15:51-52

Behold, I tell you a mystery;
we shall not all sleep (die)
but we shall all be changed
in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye,
at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised imperishable
(ie, resurrection body like at Phil. 3:21)
and we (our bodies) shall be changed.

1 Thes. 4.15-17

For this we say to you by the word of the Lord
that we who are alive and remain
until the coming of the Lord
Will not precede those who have fallen asleep (died)
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven
with a shout; with the voice of the archangel
and with the trumpet of God
and the dead in Christ shall rise first.
Then we who are alive, who remain
shall be caught up together with them in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air,
and thus we shall always be with the Lord.

This is called the "RAPTURE" of the church.
Many have protested the existence of this event because they claim that the word "rapture" does not even occur in the bible. That is true, however, as with many of our theological terms, we appeal back to the Hebrew, Greek or even the Latin to establish terminology.

This event, rapture, is so designated because of the Greek word which is translated at 1 Thes. 4:17 as "caught up."
The Greek word is harpadzo and means to seize suddenly;
to snatch or take away, as any Greek lexicon will confirm.
However, the Latin word which was used to translate harpadzo, is "rapio," and it is from this word that we establish the term, "rapture." Walvoord writes, "The word, 'rapture' is from 'rapere,' found in the expression 'caught up' in the Latin translation of 1 Thessalonians 4:17."
(The Rapture Question, John F. Walvoord, page 8)

As I have pointed out previously, at 2 Thes. 2:1-2, there occurs a juxtaposition of three terms that makes those three terms refer to the very same event.
V. 1 - The coming or our Lord Jesus Christ
V. 1 - Our gathering together to Him
V. 2 - the Day of the Lord

This "gathering together" to Him is what we have just seen described at 1 Thes. 4:14-17 and 1 Cor. 15:50-51.
It is this very same event that Jesus has in mind when he teaches,

And He will send forth His angels
with a great trumpet,
and they will gather together His elect
from the four winds,
from one end of the sky the another.

Matthew 24:31

However, there will be many both from among the Gentiles and from among the people of Israel who think that the arrival of the Day of the Lord will be for them a time of light and deliverance. However, if they do not respond to the gospel of grace before the rapture takes place nor after the rapture takes place, then that day will be a day of darkness and judgment instead of light. Amos 5:18-20

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;
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.
(Will) not the day of the LORD
(be) darkness instead of light,
Even gloom with no brightness in it?

It will begin in God's perfect timing, when He decides to "cut short" the great tribulation at some unknown day and hour after the beast begins his oppressive reign.
Paul makes it clear that the Day of the Lord will not begin until after "The" apostasy and after the man of lawlessness is revealed. We have noticed previously that "the" apostasy refers to a specific and wide-spread departure of Christians from THE FAITH.
(Chapter: Israel in the Tribulation)

We have also previously noted that the man of lawlessness is revealed at that time when he breaks the covenant with Israel and sets himself up in the Jewish temple as himself being God. 2Ths. 2:1-4

Now we request you, brethren,
with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and our gathering together to Him,
that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message
or a letter as if from us,
to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
Let no one in any way deceive you,
for {it will not come} unless
the apostasy comes first,
and the man of lawlessness is revealed,
the son of destruction,
who opposes and exalts himself above
every so-called god or object of worship,
so that he takes his seat in the temple of God,
displaying himself as being God.


Now for a bit of amplification.
The arrival of the Day of the Lord will be announced by a variety of signs and wonders, both in the heavens and on the earth. Mat. 24:29

But immediately after the tribulation of those days
AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the heaven
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken,


As these things begin to take place, the peoples of the world will be shocked into great fear and panic.

Luke 21:25-26

And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars,
and upon the earth dismay among nations,
in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves,
men fainting from fear
and the expectation of the things
which are coming upon the world;
for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

And then a very specific (though presently unknown) "sign" will spread across the heavens (the sign of the Son of Man) announcing the arrival of Jesus Christ.
And then Jesus Himself will make his entry into the atmosphere of the earth "riding" as it were, on the clouds of the sky, and "every eye shall see Him, even those who pierced Him" (Rev. 1:7).


These celestial signs will be immediately followed by a very specific sign which points directly to the arrival of Jesus and will cause a great "mourning" from all the peoples who are unprepared.

Matt. 24:30a

and then the sign of the Son of Man
will appear in the sky,
and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn,


The order of events is very clear when comparing Matthew and Luke.
As soon as the "sign of the Son of Man" is clearly presented to all the world, then He Himself will arrive on the clouds to begin administration of the Day of the Lord judgments.

Matthew 24:30b

and they will see the SON OF MAN
with power and great glory.

1 Thessalonians 4:16a

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven
with a shout, with the voice of {the} archangel,
and with the trumpet of God;


"He will descend from heaven with a shout"

"on the clouds of the sky" (Mat. 24:30),

with the voice of the archangel (1Thes. 4:16)

"and He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet
(Mat. 24:31),

the trumpet of God (1 Thes. 4:16)

"and they will gather together His elect from the four winds from one end of the sky to the other." (Mat. 24:31)

"And the dead in Christ will rise first" (1Thes.4:16).

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord" (1Thes. 4:17).

Then, just as Jesus had promised at John 14:1-3, the church; the elect will be taken to heaven where they will dwell forever. Since it is the angels whom Jesus uses to gather the elect, it is likely that those angels will be the ones to escort the church into the third heaven to await the marriage of the Lamb.

This does not violate 1 Thes. 4:17, "and thus we shall always be with the Lord." The phrase (promise) "always be with the Lord," does not mean that we will be AT HIS SIDE 24/7, but that our eternal and PERMANENT abode will now be WITH HIM.

These believers (the elect) who are  raptured from the earth are seen at Rev. 7:9-14, "standing (apparently in resurrection bodies) before the throne and before the Lamb," and are identified as "the ones who have come out of the great tribulation" (v.14).

But although the raptured church includes the "dead in Christ," the emphasis at Rev. 7:9ff is on those who are physically delivered from the earth at the end of the great tribulation. This is the same emphasis that is seen at 2 Thes.1:6-7, where the focus is on those who will be physically delivered from the affliction at the rapture, and does not really have in view those who have previously died in the Lord. 1 Thes. 1:6-7,

For after all, it is just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power.

After the church is escorted to her heavenly abode where she will dwell forever (Rev. 7:15-17), Jesus will prepare to pour out the Day-of-the-Lord judgments from His "seat" among the clouds (Rev. 14:14-16).

        And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud
        was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head,
        and a sharp sickle in His hand. And another angel came out of the
        temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud,
        "Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come,
        because the harvest of the earth is ripe. And He who sat on the
        cloud swung His sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped."

MEANWHILE ON THE EARTH, the rapture will have had a dramatic effect on a large group of Jews; ones who had probably received gospel information from members of the church and/or from the two witnesses who minister in Jerusalem during the last half of the "week."
Again, in the Olivet Discourse, at Mat. 24:14, Jesus indicated that during the tribulation and before the return of Jesus, that - -

this gospel of the kingdom
will be proclaimed in the whole world
for a witness to all the nations,
and then the end shall come.

A short period of time is required for these "144,000" to make their individual salvation decisions to trust in Jesus as the Messiah and to thus be "sealed" by God as belonging to Him. It is this "salvation seal" then that is the basis for their physical protection during the time the Day of the LORD judgments will be administered upon the earth. That is why those judgments do not actually begin until after the 144,000 are saved. It is then that the 7th seal is opened and the 7 trumpets are introduced.


This is all summarized at Revelation 6:12-17 via the 6th seal.

And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth {made} of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. and the sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come; and who is able to stand?"

And this is the very same language that Joel provides for us at Joel 2:30-31

And I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth. blood, fire and columns of smoke.
The sun will be turned into darkness
and the moon into blood,
before the great and awesome Day of the LORD comes.

And again at Isaiah 2:12-22
which was discussed previously, but I shall amplify just a bit.

For the LORD of hosts will have A DAY against everyone who is proud and lofty, And against everyone who is lifted up, That he may be abased.

This is the general exposure of the arrogance of mankind.
The spiritual and moral rebellion that reaches a peak during the 70th week of Daniel.

And {it will be} against all the cedars of Lebanon that are lofty and lifted up, Against all the oaks of Bashan,

Trees are symbolic of people. Here we see the "personal" arrogance and rebellion of man exposed and neutralized by the arrival of Jesus to judge the world.

Against all the lofty mountains,
Against all the hills that are lifted up,

Mountains are symbolic of nations. Here we see the arrogance and rebellion of the world's nations exposed and neutralized.

Against every high tower,
Against every fortified wall,

This picture speaks of military arrogance. The pseudo strength and reliability of physical might as represented by the world's military powers is exposed and neutralized at the Day of the Lord.

Against all the ships of Tarshish,
And against all the beautiful craft.

This picture symbolizes the economic prosperity of the nations. The pseudo security in material wealth is exposed and neutralized when Jesus returns to judge the world.

And the pride of man will be humbled, And the loftiness of men will be abased, And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. But the idols will completely vanish. And {men} will go into caves of the rocks, And into holes of the ground Before the terror of the LORD, And before the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble. In that day men will cast away to the moles and the bats Their idols of silver and their idols of gold, Which they made for themselves to worship, In order to go into the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, Before the terror of the LORD and the splendor of His majesty, When He arises to make the earth tremble.

Even the "religious" images of idol worship will be rejected initially when Jesus first arrives to judge the world.
However, the initial reaction will pass away and men will become much more aggressive in their rebellion against God. Even in the midst of the Day of the Lord judgments, men will still choose to curse God rather than humble themselves and worship Him.
This will be seen as we observe the reaction of people on the earth during the administration of the Day of the Lord judgments as recorded at Revelation 9:20-21.

         Stop regarding THE man, whose breath {of life} is in his nostrils;
         For why should he be esteemed?

Notice that I have added the definite article. It is present in the Hebrew and has special significance here. It focuses our attention on the one who will have prominence during this time just before the Day of the Lord return of Jesus. The beast, the man of lawlessness, is the one everyone will be looking to for peace and safety. Thus, the exhortation given in what is very clearly an "end times" context, is to stop looking to this "world ruler" for he is only a man and why should he be esteemed as honorable?

Isaiah gives us another more specific picture of this arrival of the Messiah at the Day of the Lord in chapter 13:6-13.

Wail, for the day of the LORD is near!

This is the first place in Isaiah that the term "Day of the Lord" is used. Chapter one does not use that term but as we have seen, very clearly refers to the same period of time.

It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Therefore all hands will fall limp, and every man's heart will melt. and 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. 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. 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. Thus I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud, and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless. I will make mortal man scarcer than pure gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I shall make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken from its place at the fury of the LORD of hosts In the day of His burning anger.

Here are some passages that describe the "nature" of the Day of the Lord.

Joel 1:15

Alas for the day!
For the day of the LORD is near,
And it will come as destruction
from the Almighty.

Joel 2:2

A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness.

Joel 2:11

The day of the LORD is indeed great
and very awesome, And who can endure it?

Amos 5:18

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;

Amos 5:20

{Will} not the day of the LORD
{be} darkness instead of light,
Even gloom with no brightness in it?

Ezek. 30:3

"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.

Zeph. 1:18

Neither their silver nor their gold Will be able to deliver them On the day of the LORD'S wrath; And all the earth will be devoured In the fire of His jealousy, For He will make a complete end, Indeed a terrifying one, Of all the inhabitants of the earth.

Zeph. 1:8

Then it will come about
on the day of the LORD'S sacrifice,

Zeph. 1:18, On the day of the LORD'S wrath;

Zeph. 2:2, the day of the LORD'S anger

The details of this Day of the LORD wrath is provided by the 7 trumpets and bowls recorded in the book of Revelation.


It is clear that there will be plenty of warning before the Day of the Lord actually takes place. Not warning as to the day or hour (week, month or even year), but warning as to the general time period during which the Day of the Lord will occur.

First, there is the general warning given through the gospel that unless someone trusts in Christ as savior, he will spend eternity in the lake of fire.

Second, there is the specific warning to the world via the events of the 70th week. These include:

1. The Middle East and European Peace Accord (MEPTA)

2. The inception of animal sacrifices in the nation of Israel.

3. Then the breaking of the peace accord in the middle of the week.

4. And the revealing of the man of lawlessness, the beast.

5. And the oppressive reign of the beast.

Third, there is the more specific gospel message given by Christians and the two witnesses of Revelation 11 which will draw specific attention to the reign of the beast and the source for spiritual deliverance through faith in Christ.

The problem is, that most unbelievers will be indifferent to these signs and continue in their spiritual rebellion.
Thus, when the "immediate" signs, that do indeed announce the very "hour" of His presence, appear, these unbelievers will be either -

1. already "sealed" as unbelievers through having taken the mark of the beast (Rev. 14:9-11), or -

2. Be so scarred in their soul through the darkness process (Rom. 1:18-32; Eph. 4:17-19) that they will be unable to make a decision to trust in Christ even though He is right at the door.

However, the warning remains via God's grace that, "whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved." Rom. 10:13
But if they "call upon the Lord" after His arrival, they will not be included in the deliverance through the rapture, but will remain on the earth as God's representatives during the Day of the Lord judgments. These representatives or "servants" will fall into two categories.

1. The 144,000 Jews who will minister primarily to Israel and be the core for the Millennial population.

2. A multitude of Gentiles who will also be saved both because of the impact of the rapture as well as the testimony of the 144,000 Jews and the two witnesses in Jerusalem.

This seems to be what Joel has in mind at 2:32,

And it will come about
that whoever will call upon 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.

SALVATION OPPORTUNITY as previously noted.

However, prior to the actual arrival of the Day of the Lord, there will be various warnings affording mankind opportunity to adjust to God's righteousness through faith in Christ.
Zephaniah 2:1-3 deals with these warnings as delivered to Israel.

There seems to be two categories of people in view here.

1. The "nation without shame" that needs to "get its act together" before the decree for the arrival of the Day takes place.
This refers to the arrogant ones who are "without shame" who will be exposed and judged as we saw at Isaiah 2:12-22.

Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame, Before the decree takes effect - The day passes like the chaff - Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD'S anger comes upon you.

2. And "all the humble of the land" who have been faithful in following God's "ordinances." Ordinances refers to the standards of moral justice which God designed to preserve the freedom and stability of society. Morality is not "spirituality" but indicates a "basic" positive inclination toward the things of God. These are exhorted to extend their "morality" faithfulness into acceptance of God's standards for spirituality.

A. seek righteousness: This refers to establishing a relationship with God through adjustment to His righteousness via acceptance of Jesus as the Messiah savior.

B. Humility: refers to the proper attitude that recognizes God's policy for salvation relationship. Notice, these are already designated as "humble." The first aspect of humility refers to recognition of divine morality as the proper standard for human relationships. The 2nd mention of humility refers to recognizing God's policy for relationship with Himself which is faith in the Messiah.

Seek the LORD, All you humble of the land
who have carried out His ordinances;
Seek righteousness, seek humility.
Perhaps you will be hidden
In the day of the LORD'S anger.

It is obvious that this "warning" takes place before the "decreed" arrival of the Day of the Lord takes place. Thus, we see indication that there will be opportunity for many people to be saved before the actual arrival of Jesus at the Day of the Lord. This is the reason we find an emphasis on the gospel of the kingdom being proclaimed, "and then shall the end come." Matthew 24:14

After the Day of the Lord arrives and the church is removed from the earth through "rapture," and the 144,000 servants are sealed, then will be poured out "the wrath of Him who sits on the throne and the wrath of the Lamb" through the 7 trumpets and bowls.

Revelation 7 describes two groups of people; one group on the earth and the other in heaven.

1. The group on the earth is clearly identified as 144,000 Jews, 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes mentioned. There is no reasonable basis for taking this reference to "Israel" as symbolic. To do so, violates the "golden rule of
interpretation" and opens the door to unlimited speculation.

2. The 2nd group is seen to be in heaven "standing" before the throne of God and having "come out of the great tribulation."

It should be clear that this would refer to the same group of "elect" who are gathered "from the 4 winds" when Jesus returns "after the tribulation of those days."
Furthermore, the language at v. 7:9, uniquely corresponds with the description of the church found at Rev. 5:9 which has been previously discussed.

It has been claimed that the present tense of COME, at Revelation 7:14 requires an on-going arrival of the people in view. This claim is totally false. The original language IN THE CONTEXT DEMANDS that this refer to a group of people, who in John's vision, are ALL in heaven at the same time, and are observed as a completed whole.

At verse 9, John looked and saw a great multitude STANDING before the throne.
He did not see a group of people arriving. He saw them ALREADY THERE.
The word STANDING is a perfect active participle of the verb, histemi, which is descriptive and describes the CONDITION or STATE of the multitude. In this case,
The perfect tense views the action as having occurred IN THE PAST with the results still in effect at the present time. They are ALL already there and STANDING before the throne.
He also sees them as CLOTHED (another perfect participle), which describes their condition as John sees the ENTIRE GROUP.
This sets the COMPLETED idea of the context long before the narrative gets to the present tense of verse 14.

At verse 10, "and they cry out . . ."
Here is a present tense that is describing what they are DOING - they are actively crying out - but not in the process of crying out - just simply doing it as John observes.
Who is crying out? The entire multitude which is ALREADY there.

At verse 13, One of the 24 elders asks John to contemplate something.  "From where have they come."
The speaker uses the aorist tense, which USUALLY expresses a completed action idea, but still depends on the context. And here, the context was already established at verse 9, John sees the entire group already there.
This can't be translated as "from where are they coming" because the context of verse 9 has already established that they are ALL already there.
That is why the aorist tense is used at verse 13, "from where HAVE THEY COME." The context shows us what the intent of the aorist tense is - that they ARE THERE right now.

At Verse 14, so the elder answers for John, "These are those who come out of the great tribulation." The present tense is in the participial form (present middle participle) and is descriptive (like an adjective) rather than durative.
The descriptive use indicates that these are characterized by coming out of the tribulation - NOT, that they are in the process of coming out.

The context requires that the present participle describes the present characteristic of this multitude in reference to the question that was asked. It describes them as those who come out of the tribulation - Not CAME, and not ARE COMING. It is simply identifying them as to where they come from. It cannot be used to support a “just arrived” idea nor an “on-going arrival” idea.

And once again, the context of the previous verses shows us the INTENT of this present tense - that the arrival of this multitude is COMPLETE. They are ALL already there.
And that's why in the same verse, the speaker returns to the aorist tense, "and they have WASHED . . . and MADE WHITE . . ."
This simply adds to the contextual evidence that this multitude is ALREADY THERE. They are seen as a complete, entire group, who all have the same characteristic of coming out of the tribulation.

Verse 15, "For this reason they ARE before the throne. . ."
They are ALL already there - before the throne. He sees them before the throne, he does not see them arriving.

So to summarize, the KIND OF ACTION of the present tense at verse 14, is established by the context which views the whole, entire, collective multitude as already there.

Chapter 8 of Revelation then begins the administration of the wrath of God after the rapture of the body of Christ and the sealing of the 144,000 Jewish servants.

Next Section: The 7th SEAL & SIX TRUMPETS

  Comments and questions are always welcome

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