THE DAY OF THE LORD- THE END OF MAN’S RULE ON EARTH
The Bible speaks of the end of man’s rule on earth, and the coming day of the kingdom of God under the rule of the Lord Jesus Christ. One can easily see that the world we live in is literally falling apart. An excellent point is the once great America is now under great financial and economic distress, bankrupt ready to collapse. The other economic superpowers China and Japan are also facing similar problems themselves, and the Eurozone countries are not doing much better. For 6000 years since Adam, because of gross corruption and wickedness, man has proven incapable of ruling over himself and his fellowmen! Thus, the end of man’s gov’t will herald in the beginning of the God’s kingdom on earth.
To understand what will happen, we need to know what the Bible says about the coming Day of the Lord! However, whenever the Bible mentions ‘The Day’ or ‘That Day’, it is often describing one of two main events in God’s calendar, so we need to distinguish which one is which. It could be referring to the Day of the Rapture of the Saints– the Secret Coming of Jesus Christ or the Day of God’s Wrath– the Public Coming of Jesus Christ. Proper understanding of ‘What’s In a Day?’ in God’s timetable will guide us on how to live, and how to be prepared for that Day! If not, many will be LEFT BEHIND to face the coming dire Great Tribulation, and even death!
THE DAY OF THE LORD! WHAT’S IN A DAY?
The term ‘Day of the LORD’ is found 29 times in the Bible. It often refers to the Great Tribulation in the Endtimes prior to the return of Jesus Christ. It is described as the Day of God’s Destruction and Wrath Job21:30. It is the Day of the LORD’s Fierce Anger Is13:13, and Vengeance Is34:8. It is a Day of Darkness Am5:20; ‘the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD’ Joe2:31. ‘That Day is a Day of Wrath, a Day of Trouble and Distress, a Day of Wasteness and Desolation, a Day of Darkness and Gloominess, a Day of Clouds and Thick Darkness’ Zeph1:15. However, the Day of the LORD is also used to describe the Day of the Rapture 1Th4:16,17, the Day of Escape and Salvation Heb2:3, the Day of Redemption Ep4:30, the Day of our Reward Lk6:23, Re22:12, and the Day of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1Co1:18, ‘the Perfect Day’ Pr4:18.
THE RAPTURE DESCRIBES A FORTHCOMING BIBLICAL EVENT
The word Rapture is Not Found in the Bible, but is used to describe a forthcoming significant event. Like the Rapture, there are many other terms that are not found in the Bible such as Trinity, Sunday School, spiritual warfare, denominations, seminary, and even the word Bible, but are accepted and understood. The word Rapture is commonly used to describe an ESCAPE from the coming Great Tribulation Lk21:36, Heb2:3, Mt24:21. Rapture comes from the Latin word ‘Rapiemur’, which means ‘to be snatched up’, ‘to be raised up’, ‘to be taken up’, ‘to be seized’, ‘to be CAUGHT UP in the AIR’, ‘to be translated into HEAVEN’ such as Enoch, Elijah, and Jesus were in time past! Paul said ‘By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was NOT FOUND, because God had translated him..’ Heb11:5. God took Enoch Ge5:24, Elijah 2Ki2:1,and Jesus Ac1:10, alive into HEAVEN as examples of the forthcoming Rapture that will happen in the endtimes!
Before Jesus was crucified, He told His disciples ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions.. I go to prepare a place for you.. I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also’ Jn14:1-3. Jesus promised to take us to where He is, to HEAVEN, in the Rapture. Paul said ‘For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then WE which are alive and remain shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the AIR: and so shall WE ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words’ 1Th4:16-18. Sadly, there are many who don’t comfort others with these words, don’t warn of the Lord’s soon coming, and don’t believe in, but speak against the Rapture, and often contradict the Word of God!
Jesus repeatedly warned us to ‘Watch and Pray’ so that we wouldn’t miss out on the day of His coming for us Jn14:3, the Day of Visitation 1Pe2:12. Jesus said ‘Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man’ Lk21:36. Watch what? Pray for what? Be worthy to ESCAPE what? What things shall come to pass? Stand before whom? Here Jesus was exhorting us to be ready for His return by being found worthy to ESCAPE the great distress of nations, with perplexity and great fear coming upon the earth Lk21:25-26. We shall then stand before Jesus, ‘which delivered us from the wrath to come’ 1Th1:10.
Jesus said ‘Watch therefore, for ye know neither the Day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh’ Mt25:13. The Day Jesus told us to ‘Watch and Pray’ for is the Day of His Appearing 2Ti4:8, 1Pe5:4, the Day of the Rapture of the Saints 1Th4:16,17, the Day of Our Reward Re22:12. It is the approaching Day of His coming for us Heb10:25. Hosea said ‘After two days will he revive us: in the 3rd Day he will raise us up, and WE shall live in his sight’ Hos6:2; the 3rd Day being 2000 years after Christ, when He will Raise us up. Pr4:18 states ‘..the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the Perfect Day’. The Day of the Rapture is the Perfect Day when WE will be glorified in Jesus 2Th1:10. John said ‘..WE know that, when he shall appear, WE shall be like Him; for WE shall see Him as he is’ 1Jn3:2.
JESUS SECRET COMING vs JESUS PUBLIC RETURN- TWO DISTINCT COMINGS
In the New Testament, the Day of the Lord is used 5 times to refer to the return of Jesus Christ to earth. The fact that Jesus will bring either Reward Mt16:27, Re22:12, or Judgment, logically speaks of two different Comings. The Secret Coming of Jesus is when Only those Looking For Him and Are Ready, will See Him, and ‘be CAUGHT UP.. to meet the Lord in the AIR’ 1Th4:16,17. Jesus said ‘Blessed are the Pure in Heart, for they shall See God’ Mt5:8. John wrote ‘..when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall See Him as He is.. every man that hath this hope in Him, purifieth himself, even as He is Pure’ 1Jn3:2,3. Only the Pure in Heart shall See God. Without Holiness, no man shall See the Lord Heb12:14.
The Day of Jesus Secret Coming will be the Day of ESCAPE from the Great Tribulation Lk21:36, Heb2:3. Jesus said ‘..behold, I come quickly; and my Reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be’ Re22:12. David asked ‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a Pure Heart..’ Ps24:3,4.
The Day of Jesus Public Return will be at the end of the Great Tribulation, ‘when Every Eye shall See Him.. and all kindred.. shall wail’ Re1:7. For those not looking or unprepared for Jesus return and missing ‘..the Blessed Hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and Saviour Jesus Christ’ Tit2:13, they will not be taken in the Rapture, but go through the Great Tribulation– the worst period ever in mankind’s history ‘such as never was or ever will be’ Mt24:21. It will be a terrible, horrific, painful, miserable, and most fearful time in history. Jesus said ‘..except the days should before shortened, there should no flesh shall be saved..’ Mt24:22.
THE DAY OF JESUS SECRET COMING– ONLY FOR THOSE LOOKING AND READY
The Day of Jesus Secret Coming will be a surprise to most people for He will come as a thief in the night 1Th5:2, secretly and swiftly. Jesus said two would be in the field and one taken; two women grinding at the mill and one taken Mt24:40,41; two in bed and one taken Lk17:34. Jesus told us ‘But of that Day and hour knoweth no man, not even the angels, but my Father only’ Mt24:36. ‘That Day’ is the Secret Coming of Jesus; it will be a surprise for no man knows when. What is our Hope? It is to be ‘in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His Coming’ 1Th2:19. This is called ‘the Blessed Hope’ Tit2:13.
Paul said ‘For God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Th5:9. But we must be blameless on the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ 1Co1:8. Paul wrote God ‘..which hath begun a good work in you shall perform it until the Day of Jesus Christ’ Php1:6. Jesus promised to raise us up at the Last Day. Jesus said ‘..every one which Seeth the Son, and believeth on him.. I will Raise him up at the Last Day’ Jn6:40. For those ready, the Last Day will be the Day of the Rapture– the Day of Jesus Secret Coming! Ep4:30 states ‘..grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby, we are sealed unto the Day of Redemption’. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of Jesus Secret Coming. It is the Day of Redemption!
THE DAY OF JESUS PUBLIC RETURN– EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM AND WAIL
The Bible tells of the Day of Jesus Public Return ‘when EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM’ Re1:7. Jesus will then return ‘after the tribulation of those days.. with power and great glory’ Mt24:29,30. Jesus shall ‘..gather His Elect together from the four winds, from one end of HEAVEN to the other’ v31. Notice here that His Elect shall be gathered together from HEAVEN. They were already raptured to HEAVEN, and will be returning with Jesus to Earth. Jude 14 states ‘..Behold, the Lord cometh WITH ten thousands of his saints’.
That Day of the Lord will be the Day of the Wrath of the Lamb Re6:16,17; the Day of His Fierce Anger Is13:13. Peter said it is the Day of Judgment 2Pe3:7; the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, when the heavens and the earth will pass away with a great noise and in fervent heat 2Pe3:10. On the Day of Jesus Public Return, no one needs to watch for EVERY EYE shall see Him, and they shall mourn and wail because of Him. Jesus will come to judge all on the earth Jn5:22, Ps96:13. The Day of the Lord will be a Day of Destruction and Desolation, great and terrible; a dreadful Day Mal4:5; the Day of Vengeance of our God Is61:2,63:4. It is the Day of the LORD’s Wrath and Anger Zep1:18, 2:3. Nothing will be secret about this coming Day, for EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM and WAIL Re1:7!
THE DAY OF THE RAPTURE– BREAKING OUR APPOINTMENT WITH DEATH
While the Bible states ‘.. it is appointed unto men once to die..’ Heb9:27, the Day of the Rapture will be a very special day when faithful believers will break their Appointment With Death! Ps79:11 states God has the power to ‘.. preserve thou those that are appointed to die’ and Ps102:20, ‘to loose those that are appointed to death’. Jesus said ‘I am the Resurrection, and the Life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever Liveth and Believeth in Me Shall Never Die. Believest thou this?’ Jn11:25,26. A parallel scripture, 1Th4:16-18 state ‘For the Lord himself shall descend from HEAVEN with a shout.. and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then WE which are ALIVE and REMAIN shall be CAUGHT UP together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the AIR: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Clearly we see that Jesus will come down from HEAVEN to take those living, along with the dead ‘in Christ’, up to HEAVEN.
In Jn11:26, Jesus asked do we really believe this, and in 1Th4:18, Paul said we need to encourage one another with the words that Jesus is coming for us in the Rapture. Paul said that ‘..God hath not Appointed us to wrath, but to obtain Salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’ 1Th5:9. Paul states that we have an Appointment with Jesus, not to die, but be taken alive to HEAVEN. The apostle John said if we have this hope in Jesus to be like Him, we must purify ourselves, even as He is pure 1Jn3:3. Thus, we have a Divine Appointment with Jesus on the Day of the Rapture– to meet Him in the AIR; never to die, but to be with Him forever! Faith is all about believing what God said He will do! NO FAITH, NO RAPTURE!
THE DAY OF OUR CHANGE, THE DAY OF REDEMPTION
Both King David and righteous Job referred to a Day of being CHANGED, that is to have a Glorified Body like Jesus. David looked forward to being crowned with glory and honour Ps8:3.He said ‘As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy LIKENESS’ Ps17:15. Likewise, Job also alluded to becoming like Jesus. He said ‘If a man die, shall he live again? all the Days of my Appointed time will I wait, till my CHANGE come’ Job14:14. The apostle Paul said we ‘have the firstfruits of the Spirit.. waiting for the adoption, to wit, the Redemption of Our Body’ Ro8:26. Jesus said ‘And when these things Begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your Redemption draweth nigh’ Lk21:28. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of the Redemption of Our Body!
The Day of Redemption relates to the Day of Our Bodily Change, when our bodies will be redeemed fully from corruption into immortality. Paul wrote ‘Behold, I shew you a Mystery; We shall not all sleep (die), but we shall all be CHANGED, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.. the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be CHANGED. For this Corruptible must put on Incorruption, and this Mortal must put on Immortality.. then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ 1Co15:51-55. Paul said ‘..by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men..’Ro8:12; but also ‘The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death’ 1Co15:26. On the Day of the Rapture, we will receive an Incorruptible, Immortal, and Glorified body just like Jesus Christ. We will BE CHANGED ‘to be conformed into His Image’ Ro8:29!
THE DAY OF THE LORD- THE DAY OF THE RAPTURE vs THE DAY OF GOD’S WRATH
In summary, when speaking of the Day of the Lord, the Bible speaks of two significant, but contrasting events in the Endtimes. The first event is the Day of the Rapture, and the other event is the Day of God’s Wrath. The Day of the Rapture is the Day of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the Day of our Divine Appointment with God- our Escape, our Adoption, our Redemption, our Resurrection, our Reward, our CHANGE, our Immortality, and our Glorification. The Day of Judgment is the Day of God’s Wrath, God’s Vengeance, the Day of His Fierce Anger, the Day of Destruction, the Day of Darkness, the Great and Terrible Day of the LORD.
One can only prepare for the Day of the Rapture, but never for the Day of God’s Wrath and the Great Tribulation! Jesus repeatedly warned us to Watch, Pray, Be Ready, Be Pure, Be Holy, to Look for His return, in order to Escape the things which shall come to past in the Endtimes! If one does not believe in, or is not ready for the Rapture but is LEFT BEHIND, he will never be able to prepare for the atrocity that will occur during the Great Tribulation, a most terrible, horrendous, miserable, hopeless, painful, and grievous 42 months period of hell on earth Re13:5,7! Jesus said ‘..except those days be shortened, there should NO FLESH be saved..’ Mt24:22. This means if it were to continue, literally everyone would either die or be killed! There will be wars throughout the world, thermonuclear explosions, great natural disasters, famine, droughts, pestilence, and disease wiping out millions upon millions of people! Everyone would be helpless while living through it. Also if one does not have the FAITH to believe the words of the Lord, ‘I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that were I am, there you may be also’ Jn14:3, then for sure, there is no other ESCAPE, but to be LEFT BEHIND to suffer in the Great Tribulation!
Finally, on the Day of the Rapture- the Day of Jesus Secret Coming, Jesus is coming FOR HIS SAINTS in the AIR. On the Day of Jesus Public Return- His 2nd Coming, Jesus is coming WITH HIS SAINTS back to earth to rule and reign. Re19:14 states ‘..the armies which were in HEAVEN followed Jesus upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean’. Jude 14 tells ‘Behold, the Lord cometh WITH 10,000s of his Saints’. This is ‘What’s in a Day’. In the Holy Bible, THE DAY OF THE LORD describes Jesus coming back twice- the 1st time FOR HIS SAINTS, and the 2nd time WITH HIS SAINTS! AMEN!