HOW DOES THE DAY OF THE LORD
RELATE TO THE RAPTURE?
No reasonable Christian will deny that we entered the "last days" on the Day of Pentecost when Peter said, "This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: 'And it shall come to pass in the last days?" and Peter goes on to say what will follow right up to some very dramatic wonders in heaven and signs on earth ending with the "Day of the Lord". As dramatic as those wonders in heaven, "...the sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood...", and the signs in the earth, "...blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke...", you would think there would be more preaching on the Day of the Lord than what there is. Why isn't there? Before answering this, let's do a quick word study on the Day of the Lord and any similar expressions to try to grasp what this event will be.
The following will not be a complete or perfect list on scriptures concerning the Day of the Lord. It will serve only as a study aid to make a few points about the Day of the Lord. Certain sections are highlighted in various ways to accent them and comments are made to direct and focus the readers' attention to critical points. To get the proper context of these scriptures and exposition on what is going on, read before and after these scriptures. These scriptures were found by doing computer word and phrase searches under the following headings:
Isaiah 2:12 "For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low"
Isaiah 13:6 "Howl; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty."
Isaiah 13:9 "Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it."
Isaiah 34:8 "For it is the day of the LORD'S vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion."
Lamentations 2:22 "You have called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the LORD'S anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up has my enemy consumed."
Ezekiel 13:5 "You have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD."
Ezekiel 30:3 "For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen."
Joel 1:15 "Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come."
Joel 2:1 "Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand"
Joel 2:11 "And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executes his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?"
Joel 2:31 "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come."
Joel 3:14 "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision."
Amos 5:18 "Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light."
Amos 5:20 "Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?"
Obadiah 1:15 "For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto you: thy reward shall return upon your own head."
Zephaniah 1:7 "Hold your peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he has bid his guests."
Zephaniah 1:8 "And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD'S sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king's children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel."
Zephaniah 1:14 "The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hurries greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly."
Zephaniah 1:18 "Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land."
Zephaniah 2:2 "Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you."
Zephaniah 2:3 "Seek the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD'S anger."
Zechariah 14:1 "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and your spoil shall be divided in your midst."
Malachi 4:5 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD"
Acts 2:20 "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come"
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
2 Peter 3:10 "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 with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up."
Jeremiah 46:10 "For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts has a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates."
Isaiah 13:13 "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."
Proverbs 6:34 "For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance."
Isaiah 61:2 "To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn"
Isaiah 63:4 "For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come."
Mal 3:2 "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap"
2 Peter 3:12 "Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?"
Revelation 16:14 "For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."
1 Corinthians 5:5 "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
2 Corinthians 1:14 "As also you have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as you also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus."
1 Corinthians 1:8 "Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"
Philippians 1:10 "That you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ"
Philippians 2:16 "Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain."
2 Thessalonians 2:2 "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."
Ezekiel 7:19 "They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumbling block of their iniquity."
Job 21:30 "That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? They shall be brought forth to the day of wrath."
Proverbs 11:4 "Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivers from death."
Zephaniah 1:15 "That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of waste and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness"
Romans 2:5 "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasures up unto yourself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God"
Rev. 16:16-17 "And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sits 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?"
Just like Comforter, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of the Father are all different names or descriptions for the Spirit of God, so are, for the most part, all the above days different names or descriptions for the same day. The Day of Christ is the same as the Day of the Lord, the former emphasizing more particularly what the Son of Man does, the latter what His Father does. Attempts separate the above days into different events on different days leads to utter confusion and futility.
The Day of the Lord is one calendar day at the end of this age. This is brought out by the very language that the prophets and apostles used under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Here are just a few:
There are two scriptures that at first seems to conflict with the idea of the Day of the Lord being one single 24 hour day, so we will consider those shortly, but before we do, we have to talk about a thousand year break or intermission in the Day of the Lord before the events of the Day of the Lord can be fully completed.
We call this 1000 year period of time, the Millenium, because a millenium means 1000 years, and the concept can be found in Revelation, chapter 20. Six times in Rev. 20:2-7 the words "thousand years" appears. While there are many symbols in the visions of the book of Revelation, specific numbers should generally be taken as literal unless an interpretation is given to give revelation of a different meaning. In other words, the Word of God should be taken literal unless there is a reason in the context of the passage to do otherwise. For example, John sees in Rev. 12:3 "a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads." This is certainly a bizarre sight to see in a vision and might be open to a lot of speculation, but the Word of God supplies us with the interpretation in verse 9, "...the great dragon...that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan?"
Another reason for the 1000 years to be literal is for the fulfillment of promises made to Israel by the prophets (most notably in the book of Isaiah) and for the reign of Jesus Christ on this earth before the judgment at the Second Resurrection. Daniel realized in his vision in Daniel 12:2 that "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt", only he did not receive details on it. Paul told us in Acts 24:15 "that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust", only he didn't know it was two different resurrections. Jesus talked about two resurrections in John 5:28-29 when he said, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his [i.e. the Son of Man] 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", only He did not tell us that there was a time span between the two and how long it was. But thank God for John's revelation by vision where he is told definitely that there are two resurrections separated by 1000 years in Rev. 20:1- "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 and 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. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: 4 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. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 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. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison."
Some people believe the "second death" is an allusion to annihilation, but this is not the case as we shall see. Even though the phrase "second resurrection" does not appear in this passage, it is obvious that if there is a first resurrection, there must be at least one other resurrection, or the adjective, "first", misleads us to a wrong conclusion. The second resurrection is rather referred to as the "second death" instead to reflect its nature as being unto death rather than to life. If it were only eternal unconsciousness or annihilation, there would be no need to have a resurrection of the body just to destroy it totally and instantaneously, and there would be no such thing as a first resurrection!
Furthermore, in Rev.19:20, 20:7, 10 we read, "And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who performed miracles before him, with which he deceived them who had received the mark of the beast, and those who worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone...And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison...And 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." We discover, that after 1000 years of being tormented in the lake of fire, the beast and false prophet are still being "tormented day and night for ever and ever"! So much for any annihilation views!
Rev. 20:11-15 goes on to say that at the conclusion of the thousand years those not in the Book of Life were cast into the lake of fire which is the "second death". No wonder that "blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection" in verse 6!
The Word of God makes it clear that the Rapture can not be a pre-trib event. Here's how it does. Pre-trib Christians will say that there is a resurrection of the saved at the start of the 7 years and a resurrection of those saved during the 7 years at the end of the 7 years, but the Word says there is only ONE First Resurrection unto eternal life, for if there were more than one resurrection unto eternal life , then the Second Resurrection would not be unto eternal death! And if there is only ONE First Resurrection, 1 Thes. 4:16 tells us when it will be:
"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. 17 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."
"The dead in Christ shall rise first" is the First Resurrection, and "then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up" is the Rapture. Do you see it? The dead rise; then the living are caught up. First is Resurrection, then is the Rapture. Now Rev. 20:4 says, "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." Those who were killed through the Tribulation were raised in the First Resurrection to reign a thousand years. So they had to be raised after the last Tribulation saints were murdered. Now if the Rapture, according to 1Thes. 4:16,17, follows the Resurrection, then we have undeniable proof that the Rapture necessarily has to follow the First Resurrection after the death of the last Tribulation martyr has been murdered! What could be simpler.
Just as no one knew that almost 5 centuries of time came between Daniel's 1st and 69th weeks (of years) in Dan. 9:24-27 and maybe some 20 centuries between the 69th and 70th, so no one knew before John's vision that one thousand years would come between the First Resurrection (of the "just" and "good") and the Second Resurrection (of the "unjust" and "evil").
In two other scripture passages (at least) we can find a break in the continuity of time that includes this thousand year period of time. Time and length of this page will not permit going into great detail on these two sections, but the serious end-time student should be able to read between the lines when the key point is made here. Look at I Cor. 15:20-28 - "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. [1000 thousand year break here] Then comes the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he has put all things under his feet. But when he says all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all." Some confusion has come into the minds of some people because they didn't see a break in time between verses 23 and 24 where the two sections necessarily deal with events on both sides of a period of reign...and Rev. 20 tells us that Christ and the redeemed reign for 1000 years, rebellion is done away at the end of the 1000 years, death is done away with, and gives the details of this period of reign and who will reign with Him and the duration of that reign!
The other break in time passage is 2 Peter 3:7-13 - "But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [could this preceding verse be alluding twice to the thousand years and it connecting with one day - the Day of the Lord?] The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night [1000 year break] in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt 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, 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 [1000 year break repeated again in this summary], wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness." Again, note that according to Rev. 20:7-11, fire coming down upon the earth from heaven, the old earth fleeing away happen after the 1000 years are over.
This is all the study that we can afford to do at the moment, but hopefully, enough has been said to show that the Day of the Lord occurs at the end of the Age, that it is a time to judge the world, for God to contend with the nations and for the Lord Jesus Christ to come, take up His rule along with the saints of God and for the Millennial earth to glorify God in the way He intended it back in the beginning before sin came into the world through Adam and Eve.
Now that we have looked at the Day of the Lord to understand it better, let's go back to the beginning of this web page and try to answer the question: WHY IS THERE NOT MORE PREACHING AND TEACHING ABOUT THE DAY OF THE LORD? One reason is that the Day of the Lord talks about judgment (as you will see later when all the scriptures on the Day of the Lord are listed, read, and studied), and judgment is not "politically correct" or popular now. We like to keep our religion positive to the point of neglecting those parts of the scriptures that some day we will have to give an account for as to why we did not "save others with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh" (Jude 23).
Yes, we are called to a "ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:17), but so was Jesus, for He "is come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10 ). Yet that did not stop Him from talking more about hell than he did about heaven, and no one would accuse Him of being off-balance. Jesus believed in love and so does any Christ-like Christian, but it is love that warns people about the truth of rejecting Christ. After all, "the god of this age has blinded them, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ...should shine on them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (2 Cor. 4:4,5), and if we do not warn them, who will?
Just like a coin has 2 sides, so the gospel, that is, the good news, has two sides: believe and be saved or don't believe and be lost. The Day of the Lord will make a big separation at the end of the Age. The dead and alive physically in the Lord Jesus Christ go "to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thes. 4:17). Many unbelievers will experience the Day of the Lord at Armageddon in Israel (see Rev. 16:14-16) and are killed to be resurrected with the rest of the lost at the Second Resurrection 1000 years after the First Resurrection (read Rev. 19:11-20:6 very carefully) to stand before the "Great White Throne" of God and be cast into the "lake of fire" (see Rev. 20:11-15).
Now the next and probably bigger reason why the Day of the Lord is not preached is because it conflicts with the pre- and mid-tribulation rapture views. That is because the Rapture happens after the great tribulation and on the Last Day of this Age...which is the Day of the Lord! If you have not read the web page at this site entitled "WHEN DID JESUS SAY THE RAPTURE WOULD TAKE PLACE?", stop reading this and click on the link, go over to that page and read it first because this page will not make sense unless you read these pages in the right order! Assuming that you have read that page first, you will see how the Rapture occurs on the Last Day, on the Day of the Lord.
Jesus, our Lord and Savior, says this in His discourse on the end-times in Matthew 24...that He will come after the tribulation and on the Last Day of this Age. Again, don't read this page if you have not read the page "WHEN DID JESUS SAY THE RAPTURE WOULD TAKE PLACE?" first. Rather, click on the link, read it, and then come back here later. He says in verses 21- 31: "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say to you, 'Look, here is Christ, or there'; believe it not. For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Therefore if they shall say to you, 'Look, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers'; believe it not. For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together."
Read very carefully as Jesus continues, "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 [remember Joel and Peter talking about the "wonders in heaven above"] 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 [same trumpet of 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thes. 4:16,17 and Rev. 11:15-18 where the seventh angel sounded the seventh and last trumpet], and they shall gather together his elect [the Rapture] from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Here is the order of events from Jesus in Mt. 24 - greatest tribulation ever , then the heavenly signs of Joel and Peter (and the rest of the prophets), then His coming in the clouds, then the last trumpet, then the Rapture on the Last Day which is the Day of the Lord.