The Day of the Lord
The Day of the Lord = Yom YHWH
Anyone who has already read the book of Revelation (=Apocalypse), probably was thinking whether it is possible to set up a clear chronology of the 22 Parts (particularly with regard to a unit formed of Parts 5-19) whether it is possible to set up a time-line on which the series of events of the 22 Parts can be listed or separate pictures are displayed by John and so called ’flashes’ appear on the scene in a way that sometimes successive Parts belong together and sometimes some Parts are separate. Certain Parts – either they belong together or are separate - describe heavenly events, some describe earthly events but there are cases where the events of the two dimensions alternate within the same Part. So, we can ask the question too: in case ’flashes’ appear can you imagine that the individual ’flashes’ have common linking points? Even further questions arise regarding where we can draw the line between the certain flashes.
My aim is not to answer these questions, but rather to call the reader’s attention to the word-links, which are worth of consideration. Let's look at what the Word says about the Day of the Lord; the resurrection of the dead in Christ and a closely related event to this: the Rapture; the martyrdom and Armageddon in the light of the prophecies of both the Old and the New Testament.
The Day of the Lord ~ The Day of Wrath
The Word writes about the Day of the Lord in many places.
In Zephaniah 1:14-15 we can read the following:
”The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. 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, A day of the trumpet and alarm…”
Zechariah 14:1, 2, 4, 5, 6 ”Behold, the day of the Lord cometh ... I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle ... And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst... and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:”
Revelation 6:16-17 ”And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
Rev 11:18 ”And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."
Let's see what will the signs of the day of the Lord be?
In the book of prophet Joel we can read the following (2:31): ” The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.” and in 3:14-15 this:” … for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.”
In Acts 2:20 this is seen: ”The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:”
In Part 6 of the book of Revelation (12-14) John describes that the signs in the sky will be when the 6th seal will be broken: ”And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.”
The events after the break of the 6th seal appear as judgements;
Rev 6:15-17 ”And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”
In the meantime, after the events of the 7th trumpet (last trumpet of the 7th seal), simultaneously with the wrath of the Lord, the Word reports on the rewarding of the saints:
In Rev 11:15 we can read about the 7th as the last trumpet after which soon verse 18 describe the resurrection of the dead in the Lord: ”And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
The word found in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 links the Rapture to a certain event: ”Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 writes about the Rapture as follows: ”... we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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.”
Rev 10:7 says the following: ”But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”
We have already referred to the following two words:
Revelation 11:15 ”the seventh angel sounded…
Revelation 11:18 ”And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
We can read about the Rapture in the following words as well:
”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: And 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. And 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.”
”But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”
”And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; … for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
All the three quotations of the Gospels report that the signs in the sky will be present at the time of the coming of the Son of man and the Rapture can also be expected this time.
In 2Thess 2:1-4 we are warned of two further important events which have to precede the coming of the Day of the Lord:
”Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”
Matthew 24:15, 21, 29, 30, 31 ”When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, … For then shall be great tribulation, … Immediately after the tribulation of those days … shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven … And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect…” (see also Mark 13:14 on the abomination of desolation)
Danish 9: 27 ”And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
Danish 12:11-12 ”And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.”
In these three word-sections we can read that Antichrist must appear first before that great Day of Christ would come.
Armageddon = Har Magedon (Mount Megiddo): (Megiddo = a place of crowds); the battle of that great day of God Almighty (Revelation 16:14)
In Rev 15:1 the 7 last plagues are referred as the fulfilment of the wrath of God. In Part 16 the 7 last plagues come as the pourout of the 7 vials. In 16:2 we can read that the first angel out of the 7 pours out his vial upon the Earth ”and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” In verse 10, we can read that ”the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; ...”
Rev 16:14 reports that after the 6th plague (= the pourout of the 6th vial by the 6th angel; verse 12) out of the 7, the kings of the world prepare for the battle of that great day of God Almighty. From verse 16 we can learn how the kings gather for Armageddon and it is quite interesting and worth of attention that in verse 15 between the preparation and the assembly the word says: ”Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
We can read in Rev 17:14 that the kings ”make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Daniel writes about it similarly in 7:22)
The 7th last plague, which is the pourout of the 7th vial is the fall of Babylon (verse 19).
Thus, the 7 last plagues start still in the era of Antichrist.
One of the prophets in the Old Testament, Zechariah writes in Part 14 as follows: verse 1: ”... the day of the LORD cometh”; verse 2: ”... I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle ...”; verses 3-6: ”... Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations ... And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. … and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:”.
Regarding the words discussed previously, there are several multiple and complicated linkages among the words which reveal the Day of the Lord, the Rapture, and Armageddon. These linkages making a system show matches of content. We can conclude, therefore, that these three events cannot be completely separated from each other, they are relatively close in time to one another. The fact that the Day of the Lord is a series of events or one specific event is also difficult to determine because it may be one day from God's perspective, while this may be a period in our life. But even if it is timed as a period on the Earth, it implies a set of relatively close events according to the words above.
Will the rule of Antichrist be before the Rapture?
The words cited in paragraph The Rapture do not suggest that the Rapture take place before the era of Antichrist (the 3.5-year period from the Antichrist’s sitting into the Temple in Jerusalem) and the period of the Tribulation. We can read in two previously cited quotations from the Gospels that it will be after the Tribulation and the signs in the sky and from 2Thess 2:1-4 we can learn that the man of sin, the son of perdition must stand up - who is prophesied to sit in the Temple of God where he will show himself that he is God - even before the Day of Christ to which Jesus himself referred and about which prophet Daniel also prophesied.
How will it be possible to survive those critical times?
Matthew 24:22: ”And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”
And when the Day of the Lord comes:
Acts 2:20-21: ”The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Joel 2:32, ”whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered...”
Romans 10:13 ”For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The word also warns us in Luke 21:34 that lest our hearts be overcharged and that we pray to be worthy … to stand before the Son of man. (verse 36 and relating to this Matthew 24:44)
In Rev 13:15; as well as in 20:4 we can read about that there will be such people who will suffer martyrdom for Jesus Christ.
We can read about martyrdom in Dan 7:21, 25; Dan 8:24 and 12:10 too.
(see also section Prophetic service relating to this topic)