Things to Come, Lesson 12, The Day of the Lord, Part 2,
In our first lesson concerning the Day of the Lord we learned that this phrase describing a particular time is often used in scripture and we learned that this time is a specific time when God intervenes in the affairs of men.
Intervention of God in the affairs of men is certainly not a new thing for the Bible is filled with direct physical acts of God upon the Earth and upon men.
However the past 2000 years have been a silent time as to Godís intervention.
There have been no universal floods, no parting of the seas, no stopping of the sun, no virgin births, no resurrections since our Lord Jesus Christ walked the dusty trails of Israel.
But God has given us His Word, spoken through his Son Jesus Christ, and in speaking He has ushered in the age of Grace and this age has been conducted under the auspices of Godís Spirit working in the hearts of men by faith.
There have been no physical acts of intervention during this period for God has chosen men under the direction of His Spirit by which to conduct His business.
And God is using this time also to allow Satanic and human evil to run its course and He has chosen to be silent and to not interfere in this process.
Of course we know that Godís Spirit is at work providing restraint in order to prevent total destruction until God decides to intervene in a physical sense.
God is now allowing what is called "the mystery of lawlessness" to run its course which will result in the coming of a great world leader, who epitomizes lawlessness, the perfect opposite of Godís son, who is righteousness.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-12, For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
But the silence of the last 2000 years is about to be broken as God must intervene in His creation lest all be destroyed by the great destroyer, Satan and his man of sin.
We know that God created everything that can be seen and touched and he created everything that lives and breathes, and everything that he created according to Genesis 1:31 was good for ÖÖÖGod saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.
God created everything to bring glory to himself and He intends for that purpose to be realized and therefore you can be sure that anything man does or Satan does will not disturb or destroy his purposes.
God will intervene at his good time to insure that his creation meets his pronouncement that every thing that he had made it was very good
Now I believe the scriptures teach that the Day of the Lord includes the Great Tribulation all the way through the Millennium to include the cleansing of the heavens and Earth by fire, and the creation of new heavens and a new Earth.
The Day of the Lord includes the day when God pours out his judgments upon the Earth and those of the Earth who oppose Him, including Satan and his forces.
Zephaniah 1:14-18, describes Godís judgments which will take place during the last half of the Tribulation and will include the rescue of Godís chosen people, the Jews who will be surrounded by the forces of Satan.
The Apostle Peter tells us in II Peter 3:10-14 that the Day of the Lord continues though the 1000 year rule of Christ, and through the cleansing of the heavens.
God does not leave us ignorant of what takes place during the Day of the Lord by describing in the book of Daniel a federation of nations which will be devoted to the elimination of Israel.
Daniel tells us of this political leader who will make and break a covenant with the people of Israel thus setting the stage for our promise keeping God to rescue His people.
Every promise of God is secure!
Godís Spirit will be active in the perilous times to come for God will send out 144,000 Jewish missionaries to preach the Gospel of the coming Kingdom to every one on Earth.
God will raise up two special witnesses to prophesy for 1260 days, having power to control the weather, having power over the purity of water, and having power to smite the earth with plagues as often as they choose.
God uses the symbolism of the vials to describe his wrath, a wrath such as was never seen on the Earth nor will never be seen again.
At the end of this seven year period of Tribulation the great battle of Armageddon initiated by united enemies of Israel will occur as described in Ezekiel 38 and 39
And Godís defeat of them is given in Ezekiel 39:1
Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: 2And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: 3And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand. 4Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. 5Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
And then the great intervention of God, the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ in glory with His angels gathering his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Our Lord Jesus Christ told us of this in:
Matthew 24:29-31, Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
His elect of course include those who were saved during the tribulation and this resurrection is implied in Revelation 20:4
Revelation 20:4, And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
The Church, and I believe the Old Testament saints, will already have been raised, but at the end of the seven year period of the tribulation those slain for the witness of Jesus will be raised to live and reign during the Millennium.
Christ will destroy the beast, his armies, and the false prophet.
Revelation 19:17-21, And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; 18That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. 20And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 21And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
Satan will be bound as recorded in Revelation 20:1-3
And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.
The nations will then be judged.
Matthew 25:31-46, When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42For I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
The nation of Israel shall be re-gathered into their own land.
This is so beautifully expressed in:
Ezekiel 37:1-14, The hand of the LORD was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the LORD, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, 2And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry. 3And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest. 4Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: 6And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. 7So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone. 8And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. 9Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. 11Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, 14And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
And not only will re-gathering take place but Godís sifting and purging will take place as Israel is judged.
Ezekiel 20:33-38, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you: 34And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out. 35And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. 36Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord GOD. 37And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: 38And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
And Israel will be restored never again to leave their land.
Amos 9:15, And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.
And then Revelation 20:6-10 records those great times when Jesus Christ reigns here on the earth with His bride, the Church, that He has married, with whom He has eaten the great marriage supper of the Lamb.
And also that final rebellion of Satan and his forces who will be for the last time cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Following this the resurrection of the dead takes place where all the dead will be assembled before Godís Great White throne to be judged unworthy to participate in Godís kingdom.
Revelation 20:11-15, And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
And finally eternity is ushered in where we will find a new creation of heaven and earth plus the Holy City, which is the bride of Christ.
Revelation 21:1, And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
What a glorious day it will be, if you are in Christ!