The end of this age of humanity, right before the start of a 1000 year reign of Christ on earth (the Millennial Kingdom), will be preceded by approximately 7 years of refinement “as by fire” on the earth. There are two separate but overlapping purposes for this refinement period. First, is to prepare Israel to receive her true King (Jesus) and to fulfill all prophecy. This purpose is specifically for national and ethnic Israel and is detailed in the 70 Weeks of Daniel. Second, is for God to cleanse the earth of its’ bloodguilt and wickedness. This cleansing is worldwide in scope and is called the Day of the Lord. Collectively, the 70th Week of Daniel and the Day of the Lord will prepare the earth and its inhabitants for Jesus to rule in His Kingdom.
It is the Day of the Lord that we will examine here. Other names for it include “The Great Day”, “The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”, “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble” and “That Day of Which I Have Spoken”.
The Day of the Lord is an intense period of God’s intervention and judgment (wrath) on earth. God will rise up to protect Israel from certain destruction in order that all prophecy can be fulfilled; this begins the Day of the Lord. During the Day of the Lord:
- The earth, and in particular Jerusalem, will be cleansed of its bloodguilt (answering the prayers of the Seal 5 martyrs)
- Nations will be judged by how they treated Israel
- Wickedness will be purged
- Those who rejected God’s salvation plan will be punished (2 Thessalonians 2)
The Second Coming of Jesus Christ ends the wrath of the Day of the Lord and will bring about Israel’s reconciliation with God. Ultimately, the Day of the Lord will prepare the earth (physically) and its inhabitants (spiritually) for Jesus to usher in His Millennial Kingdom.
Who Is Involved:
The Day of the Lord is worldwide in scope. This may seem difficult to comprehend, but please understand that God has been patiently waiting into “overtime”. The clock started ticking almost 70 years ago when Israel was re-established as a nation. This was His clearest warning, much as the ark served as a warning in Noah’s day for many decades before the Great Flood. God warned us because “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9).
God’s patience is a gift, but His cup of wrath will be completely filled by the sinfulness of humanity very soon. Unfortunately, many have slumbered through His warning. The few who have been proclaiming that the “end is near” are ridiculed even among other believers.
True believers in Jesus will be whisked away at the last second as God’s wrath is stirred. Those who are left behind will “perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12) Yet God will still extend His forgiveness and salvation as long as one doesn’t take the “mark of the beast”. “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.” (Joel 2:12-13)
Events that occur BEFORE the Day of the Lord:
- The gathering of believers unto Christ (the rapture) – 2 Thess 2:3
- The revealing of the antichrist – 2 Thess 2:3-4
- Wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke, darkened sun and blood red moon – Joel 2:30-31
- Elijah will appear – Malachi 4:5
True believers in Jesus are promised to be spared from this time of wrath and will be safely taken to heaven (alive). Paul teaches that the Day of the Lord cannot come until the departure (rapture) has occurred. Once that happens, the doors to heaven will be closed and God’s wrath will commence soon.
There is connection between the Day of the Lord and the 70th week of Daniel. We know that Daniel’s 70th Week is specifically started by the confirming of a 7 year covenant with Israel and “many”. The traditional interpretation is that either the antichrist or the false prophet confirms this covenant, and this would effectively “reveal” the antichrist at the start of the 70th week. Thus, the Day of the Lord could start at the same time as the 70th week of Daniel.
However, Daniel 9:27 may refer to a confirming of the Mosaic / Law covenant. The covenant might be re-instituted by Israel itself, as a result of God’s arising to protect her during the Gog/Magog war (Ezekiel 38-39). If this view is correct, then the antichrist will not be fully “revealed” until he sets up the abomination of desolation in the Temple and claims to be “god” in the middle of the 70th week. In this view, the Day of the Lord would not be able to start until the second half of the 70th week of Daniel (Trumpet 6 or later).
The Blood Moon Sign (Seal 6, Joel 2, Acts 2) specifically comes BEFORE the Day of the Lord. It occurs as a result of “wonders in the heaven and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke” – likely a result of earthquake and volcanic activity, and possibly other heavenly signs (asteroids?). These “wonders” darken the sun and make the moon appear red at the same time, globally.
It appears that ALL the inhabitants of the earth do recognize that “the great day of wrath” is imminent when the blood/fire/columns of smoke/darkened sun/blood moon appears. The pause, if any, between Seal 6 (the blood moon sign) and the beginning of the Day of the Lord may possibly be explained by Seal 7’s “about a 1/2 hour of silence”. Perhaps this pause is when the covenant which starts the 70th Week of Daniel will be signed.
The Day of the Lord is possibly triggered by a massive impending attack on Israel that would lead to its annihilation, known as the Gog/Magog war. War often leads to the signing of covenants and treaties.
Elijah is also expected to appear before the Day of the Lord begins. This strengthens the connection that he might be one of God’s Two Witnesses after the church body leaves, as described in Revelation 11. Whether he is literally Elijah, or one who “comes in the spirit of Elijah” (like John the Baptist), is unknown.
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact start of the Day of the Lord. It comes after a number of specified events, but at which point afterwards depends on when the antichrist can effectively be identified. Thus, the Day of the Lord might include all the judgments of the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls, or it may just include the wrath of Trumpet 7 and the 7 Bowls.
Regardless of whether or not they share the same start point, the 70th week of Daniel and the Day of the Lord both have the same endpoint: The Second Coming of Christ.
The duration of the Day of the Lord is unspecified (unlike the 70th week of Daniel which is defined as 1260+1260 days). Some passages describing the Day of the Lord refer to it’s start point, some to the entire time period, and some to it’s end point, but none tell its complete duration. Based on its connection to the revealing of the “lawless one”, it seems to begin when the antichrist can effectively be identified. The Day of the Lord ends at the Second Coming of Christ.
The Day of the Lord will start suddenly, unexpectedly, and catastrophically. It is described as coming upon the earth “like a trap”, “as labor pains”, and “as a thief in the night”. The Day of the Lord starts with an earthquake that becomes global in scope, like nothing the earth has ever experienced before. The beginning of the Day of the Lord has strong connections with the events of Seal 6, the beginning of birth pangs (Olivet Discourse), and the Gog Magog war, and is marked by:
- God rises in judgment and wrath (Mt 24, Rev6, Ez38-39)
- The “beginning” of birth pangs (Mt24, Mk13, Lk21)
- Sudden, unexpected destruction (Mt 24, Rev6, Ez38-39)
- Great war (Mt 24, Rev6, Ez38-39)
- Global earthquake (Mt 24, Rev6, Ez38-39)
- Famine (Mt 24, Rev6)
- Pestilence (Mt 24, Rev6, Ez38-39)
- Dark sun (Rev6)
- Blood red moon (Rev6)
- Men HIDE in fear (Rev6)
Note the Blood Moon Sign, which is a special key unique to these 3 passages:
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.” Joel 2:30-31
And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ Acts 2:19-21
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” Revelation 6:12-17
The Blood Moon Sign specifically comes BEFORE the Day of the Lord, but it appears that the inhabitants of the earth do recognize that “the great day of wrath” has come. This perhaps refers to the imminence of the wrath and the beginning of the Day of the Lord. The pause may be explained by Seal 7’s “about a 1/2 hour of silence”, in which the covenant of the 70th Week of Daniel may be prepared to be signed.
These passages also introduce us to wonders in the heavens, blood, fire, vapor of smoke (volcanic eruptions), and a great earthquake which moves every mountain and island. Note other passages which connect these same signs:
“But on that day, the day that Gog shall come against the land of Israel, declares the Lord God, my wrath will be roused in my anger. For in my jealousy and in my blazing wrath I declare, On that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground. I will summon a sword against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Lord God. Every man’s sword will be against his brother. With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him, and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples who are with him torrential rains and hailstones, fire and sulfur. So I will show my greatness and my holiness and make myself known in the eyes of many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” (Ezekiel 38:18-23)
Note that after this event, Israel burns the weapons of war for 7 years – placing the start of the Day of the Lord approximately 7 years before the end of the Day of the Lord (as fuel sources will quite probably not be needed in the Millennial Kingdom; regardless, it is unlikely they would survive the destruction of Jerusalem at the Second Coming anyways). Ezekiel 38 additionally mentions ALL the people on earth being affected, just as Seal 6 did. We find ALL the people on earth hiding as the Day of the Lord begins in Isaiah as well:
Enter into the rock and hide in the dust from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty. The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low; And people shall enter the caves of the rocks and the holes of the ground, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. In that day mankind will cast away their idols of silver and their idols of gold, which they made for themselves to worship, to the moles and to the bats, to enter the caverns of the rocks and the clefts of the cliffs, from before the terror of the Lord, and from the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to terrify the earth. (Isaiah 2:10-12, 19-21)
Again, everyone on earth responds in fear at the Beginning of the Day of the Lord. Additionally, the Beginning is marked by “birth pangs” as in “labor”:
Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. Because of this, all hands will go limp, every heart will melt with fear. Terror will seize them, pain and anguish will grip them; they will writhe like a woman in labor. They will look aghast at each other, their faces aflame. See, the day of the Lord is coming —a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. (Isaiah 13:6-9)
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)
These are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah: “Thus says the Lord: We have heard a cry of panic, of terror, and no peace. Ask now, and see, can a man bear a child? Why then do I see every man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor? Why has every face turned pale? (Jeremiah 30:4-6)
The “beginning of birth pains” are defined by Jesus in the Olivet Discourse:
7 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. (Matthew 24) 8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. (Mark 13) 10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21)
“All these” groups the birth pains together as they act collectively. The birth pains are represented by the Seals in Revelation 6 – the time has come for Jesus to unseal the title deed to Earth. The “scroll” details how the reclamation will occur; the seals detail what is unrestrained/released at the initial opening of the scroll:
- White horse with a rider, conquering (antichrist, now unrestrained from rising to power)
- Red horse with a rider, war and murder (unrestrained violence, possibly marked by the Gog/Magog war)
- Black horse with a rider, scales in hand (unrestrained economic oppression/control; famine)
- Pale horse ridden by Death, followed by Hades. 1/4 of humanity killed by sword, famine, pestilence, wild beasts (a result from the effects of the other seals)
- Martyrdom (unrestrained global anti-Christ religion will result in martyred believers in Christ)
- The third heaven is opened to receive the church (as the church is born, Rev12), resulting in a global earthquake, which in turn causes volcanic eruptions. The ash and smoke in the atmosphere cause the sun to appear black and the moon to appear red. Those on earth can see into heaven and hide from God and the Lamb. Satan and the fallen angels are cast down from heaven onto the earth (stars falling – Rev12); alternately the “stars falling” could be meteors/asteroids.
- Silence in heaven for “about half an hour”. After this, peals of thunder, rumblings, lightning, an earthquake.
The only other place a “great sign in heaven” is mentioned, other than Luke 21, is in Revelation 12:1-2. This is an interesting connection, because this sign is set to occur in September 2017 (see HERE).
This day will come like a trap upon those on the earth, but note that there is an escape route prior to the start – the rapture of the church:
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:24-26)
Like a pregnant woman who writhes and cries out in her pangs when she is near to giving birth, so were we because of you, O Lord; we were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind. We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen. Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead. Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the fury has passed by. For behold, the Lord is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, and the earth will disclose the blood shed on it, and will no more cover its slain. (Isaiah 26:17-21)
The passage in Isaiah 26 is particularly interesting in that it connects the dead rising (resurrection), God’s people entering their chambers to hide (rapture), and God coming out of His silence to punish the earth (beginning of wrath).
It appears that God rises up in wrath to supernaturally protect Israel from imminent destruction, and whisks the church out of the way at the same time. God is fully in charge of the timing of this event – he “hooks the jaws” of Gog to lead him as a horse into position. Likewise, Jesus is the “author and finisher of our faith”, and thus controls when the “fullness of the Gentiles” (Rom 11:25) is complete. God has a Day of which He has spoken, and this Day will begin exactly at the time He has preordained.
The entire Day of the Lord is marked as being one of darkness. In it is contained the entirety of God’s wrath through the 7 Trumpets and the 7 Bowls:
- Hail and fire, mixed with blood. 1/3 of earth and trees burned up. All green grass burned up.
- Something like a mountain burning with fire (asteroid?) thrown into the sea. 1/3 sea becomes blood, 1/3 sea creatures die, 1/3 ships destroyed.
- Great star (asteroid?) falls from heaven, blazing like a torch. 1/3 rivers and springs are poisoned by “wormwood”. Many people die (from either poisoning or thirst).
- 1/3 of the light from the sun, moon, and stars are dimmed. 1/3 of day is dark, 1/3 of night is dark.
- Woe 1 – Satan given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit. Demon army comes up like locusts/scorpions to sting humans for 5 months. Death will not be allowed. The sealed 144,000 Israelites will be untouchable.
- Woe 2- 200,000,000 demon army kills 1/3 of humanity via fire, smoke, and sulfur.
- Woe 3 – Flashes of lightning, rumblings, thunders, an earthquake, heavy hail. The 7 Bowls are released.
- Harmful and painful sores on people who have taken the mark of the beast.
- Entire sea turns to blood, all sea creatures die.
- All rivers and springs become blood.
- Sun scorches people with fierce heat.
- Kingdom of the beast is plunged into darkness. People in anguish over their pain and sores (continuing from Bowl 1).
- Euphrates river dried up, humanity assembles for battle at “Armageddon”
- Flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, the greatest earthquake ever – Jerusalem split into 3 parts, cities in the nations fall, all islands disappear, all mountains flattened. 100 pound hailstones fall from the sky. This Bowl ends the Day of the Lord.
Besides the book of Revelation, events encompassing the Day of the Lord time period are described as a time of punishment, distress, darkness, and gloom:
The great day of the Lord is near—near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry. That day will be a day of wrath— a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness— a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers. “I will bring such distress on all people that they will grope about like those who are blind, because they have sinned against the Lord. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath.”In the fire of his jealousy the whole earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth.” (Zephaniah 1:14-18)
Alas! That day is so great there is none like it; it is a time of distress for Jacob; yet he shall be saved out of it. “And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him. But they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them.“Then fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the Lord,nor be dismayed, O Israel; for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity.Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid. For I am with you to save you, declares the Lord; I will make a full end of all the nations among whom I scattered you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished. (Jeremiah 30:7-11)
Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on my holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming. It is close at hand—a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come. Before them the earth shakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord thunders at the head of his army; his forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys his command. The day of the Lord is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? (Joel 2:1-2, 10-11) Note, this describes the demonic army of Trumpet 5.
But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. (2 Peter 3:7)
It will be a time of great persecution for those who come to faith in Jesus Christ, as there will be a strong deception upon mankind (the last 3.5 years in particular, after the antichrist declares himself to be “god” and sets up the “abomination of desolation” in the Temple):
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. (Matthew 24:21)
9 “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, (Matthew 24)
9 “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. 10 And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. 11 And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. 12 And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. 13 And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Mark 13)
Note that the original Seal 5 martyrs who had been crying for vengeance, received their robes (resurrection bodies) and entered their “rest” (as per Isaiah 26) along with the rapture of the church. However, as these last three passages demonstrate, there will be many more martyrs added until “the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been” (Rev 6:11/5th Seal). The souls of these martyrs accumulate on the crystal sea before God’s throne (Revelation 15). The deception upon mankind will be so persuasive that persecution of true believers will be done at the hands of “religion” – note that believers will be beaten in the synagogues. Believers will have to stubbornly persist in the faith, even unto death. The Holy Spirit will guide the words of those standing in the faith, just as He did for the apostles and early Christians. Early believers underwent great persecution and martyrdom, and the latter believers will as well. God has a specified number of martyrs that He will allow, and no more.
The deception upon mankind will be very persuasive:
11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24)
23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.25 See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matthew 24) 21 And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23 But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand. (Mark 13)
The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
Satan will be empowering the False Prophet and the Antichrist to perform many signs and wonders. It is part of God’s judgment on the portion of humanity that rejected His Son that He not only allows satan to deceive, but He sends a supporting deluding influence upon humanity.
During this time the Gospel will continue to be preached:
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 24)
Yes, it is the church’s job to spread the gospel. But this preaching of the gospel continues in the body of Christ’s absence through the 2 witnesses (Revelation 11), the sealed 144,000 Jews (Revelation 7), and an angel – “Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7 And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6-7) Everyone will hear the gospel before the final wrath of God is poured out in the Bowls. God, even in His wrath, calls people to repentance.
29 “Immediately after the distress of those days, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ (Matthew 24) 24 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. (Mark 13) 25 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, 26 people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. (Luke 21)
Here we have a picture of the END of the Day of the Lord:
- the sun will be darkened
- the moon will be darkened
- the stars will “fall from the sky”
- nations in perplexity with the roaring of the sea and the waves
- the heavenly bodies will be shaken
- people fainting with fear and foreboding of what is coming on the world, because of the powers of the heavens being shaken
- The Son of Man comes in a cloud with power and great glory
The outpouring of the 7th Bowl judgment also gives a sweeping overview of the End of the Day of the Lord:
The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe. (Revelation 16:17-21)
It appears that Mystery Babylon (likely the “Tribulation-times” city of Jerusalem), is destroyed at the End of the Day of the Lord, perhaps in conjunction with the armies assembling against Christ for the Battle of Armageddon. It is also possible that the destruction of Mystery Babylon is PART OF the Battle of Armageddon. The destruction of Mystery Babylon is detailed in Revelation 17&18.
There are both similarities and differences between the Beginning, Middle, and Ending of the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord ends with the Second Coming of Jesus. It is marked by a unique day of darkness in the sun, moon, and stars. The moon is dark, not blood red (a critical distinction).
“On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost. And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.” Zechariah 14:6-7
The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. I will make people scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of the Lord Almighty, in the day of his burning anger. Isaiah 13:10-13
It seems that the Mount of Olives may be split in two on this day (or perhaps several days sooner?), to allow a final escape before Jerusalem is destroyed.
Then the Lord will go out to battle against those nations, waging war as in a day of battle. His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. Then the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a very large valley, with half of the mountain moving toward the north and half toward the south. You will run away through my mountain valley, because the valley of the mountains will extend as far as Azal. You will flee, as you fled from the earthquake during the reign of King Uzziah of Judah. And so the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones will be accompanying you.” Zechariah 14:3-5
And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. Joel 2:32
30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. (Matthew 24:30).
What is the sign of the Son of Man in heaven? We are told in Revelation 19:
Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. (Revelation 19:11-21)
Power and great glory indeed! In the evening, Jesus appears on a white horse with the armies of heaven and defeats His foes with one Word at the Battle of Armageddon (which turns out to be an extremely one-sided “battle”).
“For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgment with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land” (Joel 3:1-2)
Proclaim this among the nations: Consecrate for war; stir up the mighty men. Let all the men of war draw near; let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, “I am a warrior.” Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations, and gather yourselves there. Bring down your warriors, O Lord. Let the nations stir themselves up and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Go in, tread, for the winepress is full. The vats overflow, for their evil 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 are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. The Lord roars from Zion, and utters his voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth quake. But the Lord is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the people of Israel. (Joel 3:9-16)
For the Lord is enraged against all the nations, and furious against all their host; he has devoted them to destruction, has given them over for slaughter. Their slain shall be cast out, and the stench of their corpses shall rise; the mountains shall flow with their blood. All the host of heaven shall rot away, and the skies roll up like a scroll. All their host shall fall, as leaves fall from the vine, like leaves falling from the fig tree. Isaiah 34:2-4 (entire chapter 34 is the end of the DoTL)
Just like the beginning of the Day of the Lord, a cataclysmic earthquake will mark the End of the Day of the Lord. Where the earthquake at the beginning “merely” moved every mountain and island out of place, this earthquake will completely flatten every mountain and every island will disappear. Not only will the earth be shaken, but the “powers of the heavens” (satan and the horde of fallen angels/demons) will be shaken as well. The end of the Day of the Lord is marked by utter destruction:
Behold, the Lord will empty the earth and make it desolate, and he will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants. The earth shall be utterly empty and utterly plundered; for the Lord has spoken this word. The earth lies defiled under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, and few men are left. Terror and the pit and the snare are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth! He who flees at the sound of the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For the windows of heaven are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. The earth is utterly broken, the earth is split apart, the earth is violently shaken. The earth staggers like a drunken man; it sways like a hut; its transgression lies heavy upon it, and it falls, and will not rise again. On that day the Lord will punish the host of heaven, in heaven, and the kings of the earth, on the earth. They will be gathered together as prisoners in a pit; they will be shut up in a prison, and after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be confounded and the sun ashamed, for the Lord of hosts reigns on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and his glory will be before his elders. (Isaiah 24:1,3,5-6, 17-23)
“I will utterly sweep away everything from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord. “I will sweep away man and beast; I will sweep away the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, and the rubble with the wicked. I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth,” declares the Lord.” (Zephaniah 1:2-3)
In Luke 21, there is roaring of the sea and waves and foreboding of what is coming on [happening to] the world. This caused me some confusion because that seems to fit better with Seal 6 (the Beginning of the Day of the Lord). In actuality, the passage could fit there as well. However, let’s look at the little key here that tells us the “powers of the heavens will be shaken”. This definitively connects it to the other verses describing the powers of the heavens being shaken in Matthew and Mark. In Matthew and Mark we find out the “powers of the heavens are shaken” AFTER the “tribulation of those days”. Mark describes it as the “powers that [are] in the heavens will be shaken” – which is more accurately stating what will happen. Remember that in Ephesians we are told that there is a “ruler of the authority of the air” (2:2), and that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood; but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of the darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (6:12). When Jesus comes, the evil forces that currently run rampant in our realm will literally be shaken out of their abode.
In Hebrews 12, the author reminds his listeners of the giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, where God’s voice shook the earth in an earthquake. He goes on to say “At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:26-29). He states that only once more God’s voice will shake the earth – but this time His voice will shake the heavens, too. In shaking the heavens, He will remove the things that have been made (the fallen angels – Ephesians 6:12). This will complete the preparations necessary for setting up His kingdom that cannot be shaken, which will begin in the Millennial Kingdom and never end.
So, back to the foreboding, the distress of nations, and the roaring of the sea and the waves… Well, in the 5th bowl judgment, the world was plunged into darkness. How long this darkness lasts, we are not told. It could still be dark at the time the heavens are shaken. In the 6th bowl, lying spirits assemble people for Armageddon. Then, in Bowl 7 the greatest earthquake ever, which flattens all mountains completely and buries all islands, occurs. This could definitely explain the foreboding, distress, and tsunamis (roaring seas and waves). Bowl 7 announces the arrival of the End of the Day of the Lord, as described above.
The birth pangs reached their climax during the Day of the Lord and are now over – the End of the Day of the Lord is marked by “delivery”. At this point, all Israel (the elect) will be saved. Jerusalem will be restored and raised up above the nations. God will forever dwell among His people:
Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. Micah 5:3
In the whole land, declares the Lord, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive. And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” Zechariah 13:8-9
And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one. The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction. Jerusalem shall dwell in security. Zechariah 14:9-11
“Therefore thus says the Lord God: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 They shall forget their shame and all the treachery they have practiced against me, when they dwell securely in their land with none to make them afraid, 27 when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands, and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore. 29 And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the Lord God.” Ezekiel 39:25-29
And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Matthew 24:31)
This is the point at which all Israel, the remaining elect, will be saved.
There are parallel tracks running at any given time – one in the supernatural / spiritual realm (the “third heaven”), and one in the natural / physical realm (the “first and second heavens”). In end times prophecy, we see views from both perspectives. The Day of Christ is the heavenly track while the Day of the Lord runs its course on earth. The Day of Christ is the day of redemption, when the age of grace is complete and the church is called to join Jesus in glory. Jesus tells us in Luke to pray that we are worthy and have the strength to stand before the Son of Man and escape all the things that are going to come upon the earth (Luke 21:36). We do this by being AWAKE spiritually (being born again, sealed by the Holy Spirit).
You will be a part of one “Great Day”, and they both begin with the rapture of the church. Which “Day” you are a part of is up to you!
Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt? Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape? If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.
Douglas Berner – “When God Intervenes”.
Peter Goodgame – The Day of the Lord: When, How and Why?
Jesus Christ Initiates the Wrath of God – BeginningandEnd
A Disclaimer: The Bible is infallible. I am not. Be a Berean – examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!