The Day Of The Lord

Fundamental Truths

 

1

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.   I THESSALONIANS 5:1-4

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt [be loosened, undone] with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved [loosened, undone], what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved [loosened, undone], and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.  II PETER 3:10-13

   “The Day of the Lord”— what is it and when is it? These verses give us some of the truths that help with the answers. First of all, “the Lord” refers to the Lord God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, and Lord of that which He created. It is not the “day” of the lord Jesus Christ, although he is involved in it. Jesus Christ is not God, but is the son of God and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is vitally a part of the things of his Father.

   The word “day” is not referring to one of the days of the week, nor is it the period of time beginning and ending with sunrise (or sunset--as in the Scripture: “And the evening and the morning were the first day”). “Day” is used figuratively in the exchange of one idea for another associated idea. Commonly, a “day” is a unique period of time involving a specific event that marks its beginning and a specific event that marks its end. In the Lord’s “Day”, the term “day” is used in the exchange of ideas. That is, comparing the common time period of  “a day” with the time period that will be the Lord’s “Day”. It, too, will be a unique period of time with specific events that mark its beginning and ending. In that way it is similar, but not similar in a “24-hour” period of time. The Day of the Lord involves a time period much greater.

   Now let’s look at the prepositional phrase: “of the Lord.” The preposition “of” results from the translation of the noun Lord being in the Genitive Case in Greek.

   The Genitive Case may indicate:  1. Origin  —  proceeding from

                                                      2. Possession  —  of, or belonging to

                                                      3. Relation  —  pertaining to

   Here, it is most likely the Genitive of Possession : the Day “belonging to the Lord,” or simply, “the Day of the Lord”. The Lord’s Day begins with an act originating from the Lord God. The action taken is based upon His just, or right, judgment. The result of this action will be “sudden destruction.” This act and the result following “will come [arrive] as a thief in the night.”

 The verb will come must be understood as will arrive.  This act marks the arrival of the Day of the Lord. The “destruction” is onlyassociated with the arrival, and not characteristic of the rest of the Lord’s Day.

   There are many other events during this Day that, similarly, result from actions of the Lord based upon His just judgment. It is His Day. He acts. His just judgment is fundamental to and intrinsically part of each action taken.

   The action and resulting events that initiate the Day of the Lord are referred to in many accounts in the Scriptures. Here are a few:

See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now He hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, “Yet once more”, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.      HEBREWS 12:25-27

Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.        ISAIAH 13:13

For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.          ISAIAH 13:10

Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come [arrive] as a destruction from the Almighty.    ISAIAH 13:6

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.      MATTHEW 24:29

But the day of the Lord will come [arrive] as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt [be loosened, undone] with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.     II PETER 3:10

  These records declare some of the great truths pertaining to the arrival of the Day of the Lord. Now it is vital to understand the   0reason why this action will be necessary.

2

But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.  I THESSALONIANS 5:1-4

 

 In this wonderful epistle to the saints in Thessalonica, Paul states, by revelation, that it was not necessary for him to write in detail to them regarding the Day of the Lord. Why? Because they already “know perfectly” the great truths and accurate details about it because he had taught them when he was with them!

   The word “perfectly” is translated from the Greek word akribos which means, “accurately, precisely, exactly.” What has happened to the accurate and precise instruction on this vital topic? God hasn’t changed in His desire that His people understand these things in exactness and certainty.

   Perhaps the problem of our understanding is similar to that which Jesus addressed when he said, “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. MATTHEW 22:29

    He was answering the Sadducees question about marriage after the resurrection of the dead. The Sadducees “say that there is no resurrection,” so they were not looking for the true answer, but rather trying to make their wrong doctrine look right.

 His answer exhorted them to see what the Scriptures say, and then know and believe accordingly. The Scriptures say the day is coming when, by the power of God, the dead shall be raised

   God is not in the business of making everyone alive again at the time of their death. He does promise victory over death, and that promise is fully accomplished in the Day of the Lord with the first and second resurrections.

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of His people shall He take away from off all the earth: for the Lord hath spoken it.      ISAIAH 25:8

Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [judgment].    JOHN 5:28-29              

And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.  ACTS 24:15   

Isaiah, Jesus Christ and Paul knew and taught the truth, with accurate precision, regarding the details and events of the Day of the Lord.

  The Lord’s Day begins with an act originating from the Lord God, and continues with other actions, including the first and second resurrections of the dead, all according to His just judgment and justice.     

     Just as the first century saints were taught accurately and precisely, we in the twenty-first can ‘know that we know’ with certainty. We must allow God’s Word to speak for itself without bringing in predetermined opinions or traditions and trying to “squeeze” the Word to conform to those ideas.

   One of the tremendous truths that is fundamentally vital in understanding the Day of the Lord is understanding the way of the Lord.

For I am the Lord, I change not.     MALACHI 3:6A                                                                                                           

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with Whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.     JAMES 1:17                                                                            

  We love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with all our mind.  Our heart’s most sincere desire must be to know Him in truth, and to truly know His ways as He reveals Himself in His Word.    

Teach me Thy way, O Lord; I will walk in Thy truth.     PSALM 86:11A                                                                             

Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near: Let the wicked [lawless] forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and [let him return] to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are  not your thoughts, neither are  your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than  your  thoughts.      ISAIAH 55:6-9                                                                                                                                   

Our God’s “way” has mercy. And He abundantly  pardons. Men may be merciful and forgiving, but His higher  ways, He describes, are “as the heavens are higher than the earth.” They’re immeasurable, unfathomable, boundless, limitless. This is His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness.

For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that He might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!   ROMANS 11:32-33                                                                               

   Man’s “dilemma” is to take God at His Word and believe that He is what He says He is and will do what He says He will do--not what man supposes or hopes He will do!  

3

   Jesus Christ teaches several significant truths about the “great tribulation” in   Matthew 24:

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.    MATTHEW 24:15,21                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

  I began this study in the Fall of 2003 wanting to understand two things: “What is the great tribulation?” and “What is wrath?” Here in Matthew 24 I learned that when we shall see the abomination of desolation, then shall be great tribulation.

   That answered one question, but, of course, raised another. What is “the abomination of desolation”? And so it goes. Each answer brings another question.

   Over time, the answers brought me to realize that I was reading about details and truths directly or indirectly related to the Day of the Lord. Thus it is the focus of this study.

 I have endeavored to let God’s Word speak for itself, not trying to fit it into any established conclusions…which, on this topic, are myriad. My intent is not to be different or unusual. But many teachings and traditions on this subject are much different than what the written Word says. Many times, people have taken a word or a verse and from that just make up whole narratives! These myths are the underpinning of much error.

   For instance, like the images and tales associated with the word “hell.” It’s said, “You don’t want to go there, so    you better do good.” The Word says everybody  goes “there” at death, for “hell“ simply means, “the state of being dead,” or “ the grave.” There are endless stories to the contrary.

   Hell is the Hebrew word “sheol.” In the Old Testament it is used 65 times (KJV) and translated  “grave,” “hell” or “pit.” It is Scriptural in its origin and must be understood only according to its Biblical usage. The first is in Genesis 37 when Jacob thought an “evil beast” had “devoured” his son Joseph.

And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, “For I will go down into the grave [sheol ] unto my son mourning.” Thus his father wept for him.  GENESIS 37:34-35                            

   Jacob is referring to “the state of being dead,” sheol, the grave” or “hell.” It is not the Hebrew word “qeber,” which means a “burying place” or “a grave.”

Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: oh save me for Thy mercies' sake. For in death there is no remembrance of Thee: in the grave [hell,sheol] who shall give Thee thanks?    PSALM 6:4-5

    Imagine if the King James translators had been consistent and used the word “hell” here and every instance the word sheol  is in the text. In “hell,”sheol, the state of being dead, who shall give God thanks? In “death” there is no remembrance of Him. Simple. Clear.

   Death is man’s great enemy. Man has not the means to defeat it. God knows our need, and by His mercy He took the required action to defeat death for us.

 God promised this in Genesis 3:15. “Her seed” would be a man, the second Adam, man’s redeemer. This man would be God’s anointed one, the Christ. At death, God would not allow His anointed one to remain in hell and his body to corrupt. God would raise him from the dead and accomplish the victory over death for all men. This is man’s hope. David refers to this in the sixteenth Psalm.

I have set the Lord always before me: because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.  Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell [sheol]; neither wilt Thou suffer [allow] Thine holy [anointed] one to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore   PSALM 16:8-11

  In Psalm 110 David refers to the Christ, man’s redeemer, as “my lord.” He is describing the future event when death, man’s great enemy is destroyed. Until this is done all men remain in hell, the state of being dead.

     The Lord [God] said unto my lord [the Christ], “Sit thou at My right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.”    PSALM 110:1

   The subject of Psalm 49 is man’s need for redemption. In no way does man have the means to accomplish his own redemption with any or all of his resources and abilities. Only God is able. His Word reveals His plan to get it done.

They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom [atonement] for him: (For the redemption of their soul is  precious [costly], and it ceaseth for ever. PSALM 49:6-8

   Verse 8 could read, “For, the redemption of their souls is so costly that it ceases (to be within their means to accomplish it) for ever.”

   The price paid for man’s redemption was the precious blood of God’s only-begotten son. God so loved that He gave His son to pay the costly price required. The resurrection of His son from the dead defeated death.

Like sheep they are laid in the grave [hell,sheol ],death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave [hell,sheol ] from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave [hell,sheol ]: for He shall receive me. Selah.  PSALM 49:14-15

   God shall absolutely fulfill His promise to redeem man from the power of the grave. He is the one and only God Who raises the dead. His promise is not to make-alive every person at the time of death in a new place called heaven, hell, or any such thing. That is not His way. He says that there is a day coming when He shall perform each and every thing He has promised. God is faithful.

   In the Day of the Lord there will be a first resurrection and a second resurrection. All those in hell--the state of being dead--will be changed into the state of being alive!

   Death shall be swallowed up in victory!    

In the class “The Day of The Lord: Its Arrival” I handle all of these truths in greater depth and detail. Here I have shared some of the fundamental truths in order to help you in understanding what “The Day of The Lord” is and what it is all about.

  God bless you!–-Greg Bernardini