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The Day of the Lord
27 July 2014
In the previous article in this series — Not Of This World — we took a close look at the nature of Yeshua (Jesus) and His Kingdom under the New Covenant. By examining what the New Testament teaches, we found that Yeshua's Kingdom is a spiritual Kingdom which is not of this world. Because it is not like the human kingdoms of this world, the King and His subjects do NOT use violence or force to defend it. Following the glorious and holy example of their Master and King, the citizens of this Kingdom would rather die for their "enemies" than kill them.
But this is NOT the whole story! At the end of the current New Covenant era, when Yeshua returns to earth to establish His worldwide, physical Kingdom centered in the land of Israel, things are going to get pretty violent and bloody as King Yeshua deals with the enemies of God. As has been said time and again, Yeshua came the first time as the Lamb of God, slain to take away the sin of the world — but the second time He is coming as the ferocious Lion of the tribe of Judah!
Throughout the Scriptures, this time of Divine judgment, vengeance and retribution is called The Day of the Lord. Actually, because Lord (notice the small caps) in English Bibles is actually a substitute for Yahweh, for the rest of this article I will refer to it, more accurately, as The Day of Yahweh.
Seeing that this phrase is used only around two dozen times in the entire Bible, let's take a look at all the relevant passages:
Wail, for the Day of Yahweh is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. See, the Day of Yahweh is coming — a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger — to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. The stars of heaven and their constellations will not show their light. The rising sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. I will punish the world for its evil, the wicked for their sins. I will put an end to the arrogance of the haughty and will humble the pride of the ruthless. I will make people scarcer than pure gold, more rare than the gold of Ophir. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble; and the earth will shake from its place at the wrath of Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts, in the day of His burning anger. (Isaiah 13:6,9-14)
This is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: Woe to the false prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! They have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the Day of Yahweh ...they lead My people astray, saying, "Peace," when there is no peace... Therefore this is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: In My wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in My anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. (Ezekiel 13:3,5,10a,13)
This is what the Sovereign Yahweh says: Wail and say, "Alas for that day!" For the day is near, the Day of Yahweh is near — a day of clouds, a time of doom for the nations. (Ezekiel 30:2b,3)
Alas for that day! For the Day of Yahweh is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.... Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound the alarm on My holy hill. Let all who live in the land tremble, for the Day of Yahweh is coming. It is close at hand — a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness. Like dawn spreading across the mountains a large and mighty army comes, such as never was in ancient times nor ever will be in ages to come.... Before them the earth shakes, the heavens tremble, the sun and moon are darkened, and the stars no longer shine.
Yahweh thunders at the head of His army; His forces are beyond number, and mighty is the army that obeys His command. The Day of Yahweh is great; it is dreadful. Who can endure it? I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful Day of Yahweh. And everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved.... (Joel 1:15; 2:1-2,10-11,30-32a;)
In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will put them on trial for what they did to My inheritance, My people Israel, because they scattered my people among the nations and divided up My land.... Let the nations be roused; let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations on every side. Swing the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, trample the grapes, for the winepress is full and the vats overflow — so great is their wickedness!
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the Day of Yahweh is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. Yahweh will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But Yahweh will be a refuge for His people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. Then you will know that I, Yahweh your God, dwell in Zion, My holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her.... Because of violence done to the people of Judah, in whose land their enemies shed innocent blood... shall I leave their innocent blood unavenged? No, I will not! Yahweh dwells in Zion! (Joel 3:1-2,12-17,19b,21)
Woe to you who long for the Day of Yahweh! Why do you long for the Day of Yahweh? That day will be darkness, not light. It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him. Will not the Day of Yahweh be darkness, not light — pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness? (Amos 5:18-20)
The Day of Yahweh is near for all nations. As you have done, it will be done to you; your deeds will return upon your own head. (Obadiah 1:15)
I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth, declares Yahweh. I will sweep away both man and beast... When I destroy all mankind on the face of the earth, declares Yahweh, I will stretch out My hand against Judah and against all who live in Jerusalem... those who turn back from following Yahweh and neither seek Yahweh nor inquire of Him. Be silent before the Sovereign Yahweh, for the Day of Yahweh is near. Yahweh has prepared a sacrifice; He has consecrated those He has invited.... At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, "Yahweh will do nothing, either good or bad."
The great Day of Yahweh is near — near and coming quickly. The cry on the Day of Yahweh is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts His battle cry. That day will be a day of wrath — a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness — a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers. "I will bring such distress on all people that they will grope about like those who are blind, because they have sinned against Yahweh. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the Day of Yahweh's wrath." In the fire of His jealousy the whole earth will be consumed, for He will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth. (Zephaniah 1:2,3,4a,6,7,12,14-18)
"I have destroyed nations; their strongholds are demolished. I have left their streets deserted, with no one passing through. Their cities are laid waste; they are deserted and empty.... Therefore wait for Me," declares Yahweh, "for the Day I will stand up to testify. I have decided to assemble the nations, to gather the kingdoms and to pour out My wrath on them — all My fierce anger. The whole world will be consumed by the fire of My jealous anger.... But I will leave within Jerusalem the meek and humble. The remnant of Israel will trust in the name of Yahweh.... Yahweh, the King of Israel, is with you; never again will you fear any harm.... Yahweh your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. (Zephaniah 3:6,8,12,15b,17a)
A Day of Yahweh is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then Yahweh will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights on a day of battle. On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.... Then Yahweh my God will come, and all the holy ones with Him.
On that Day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. It will be a unique day — a Day known only to Yahweh — with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light. Yahweh will be King over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Yahweh, and His name the only name.... This is the plague with which Yahweh will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day people will be stricken by Yahweh with great panic. They will seize each other by the hand and attack one another.... A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.... Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts.... (Zechariah 14:1-4,5b,6,7,9,12,13,15,16a)
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father's wife.... hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the Day of Yahweh. (1 Corinthians 5:1,5)
Our letters have been straightforward, and there is nothing written between the lines and nothing you can't understand. I hope someday you will fully understand us, even if you don't understand us now. Then you will be proud of us in the same way we will be proud of you on the Day of the Master Yeshua. (2 Corinthians 1:13-14)
Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the Day of Yahweh will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this Day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6)
Concerning the coming of our Master, Yeshua the Messiah, and our being gathered to Him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us — whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter — asserting that the Day of Yahweh has already come. Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that Day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the Man of Lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God. Don't you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?
The Master Yeshua will overthrow the Lawless One with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming. The coming of the Lawless One will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-5,8b-12)
Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' He promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of the ungodly....Last but certainly not least, the entire book of Revelation, the last book of the Bible, is all about the Day of Yahweh. Chapters 6 through 20 describe the wrath and judgment of God upon mankind, using much the same wording, and giving many of the same details, as we have already seen in the Old Testament prophecies above. As I explained in a previous article, I find it quite fascinating that the plagues inflicted upon the whole world during the Great Tribulation are very similar to the ones God inflicted upon Egypt at the time of the Jewish Exodus. See Weighing In On the Rapture, point 6 for all the details!
The Day of Yahweh will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the Day of God and speed its coming. That Day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him. (2 Peter 3:3-7,10-14)
The climax of the Day of Yahweh is the physical coming to earth of Yahweh in the form of Yeshua the Messiah, as described in this dramatic passage:
Even though the phrase The Day of Yahweh is not used in Isaiah 2, the entire chapter, in language very similar to Revelation, is also describing this same time — as well as other Old Testament passages which I have not included here. Read the entire Bible and you'll find them!
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose Rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on His head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one knows but He Himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following Him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of His mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: King of kings and Lord of lords.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small."
Then I saw the Beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the Rider on the horse and His army. But the Beast was captured, and with it the False Prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the Beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the Rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. (Revelation 19:11-21)
For Children of the Light — followers of Yeshua — the Day of Yahweh is not something to dread, but, as the apostle Peter wrote, something to look forward to. On the other hand, for those who refuse to surrender to Yeshua by giving up their rebellion against God, that Day will be darkness, not light — pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness, as the prophet Amos foretold.
As we will examine in the next article — God's Favor and Vengeance — God is exercising great patience with mankind, holding back His wrath and judgment so that rebels may still have a chance to surrender and turn to Him before it's too late. But eventually, on the Day of Yahweh, King Yeshua will return to crush the rebellion. Which side will you choose?
This article is 15th a series of articles on this Web site related to Exploring New Testament Realities which also includes (scroll to see the entire list):
On July 28, 2014, Simon wrote:
Great article, just found your website while looking for articles on "The fear of man" I would not agree on your use of "Yeshua" for the name of Jesus. But otherwise you make a lot of sense.
On July 30, 2014, Brian wrote:
In response to Simon's comment above, the name Jesus has been so used and abused over the centuries that I use the Jewish version instead in order to help my readers have a fresh perspective. He IS Jewish, after all, isn't He? I hope to write an entire article in the future about my use of Yahweh and Yeshua.