Either you have seen them in person, seen them in videos, or at least heard of them, but women, in less domesticated areas, are seen holding multiple things on their heads, shoulders, and hands while walking. What amazes me is how they do this with great balance. As seen within this series, eschatological conclusions pose great difficulty to the Bible interpreter. The problem isn’t necessarily the difficulty of Eschatology but the difficulty is holding “all the elements” in perfect balance. Moreover, other theological elements, within Scripture, are easier to comprehend because the majority of their doctrine can be located in one Testament. Eschatology, however, is found within both Testaments.
Hermeneutical presuppositions are then vital for the Eschatological positions one holds to. I tend to cling less to an Analogy of Scripture principle and tend to observe more of a true description of the Progress of Revelation. Therefore, my theological method produces results through a diachronic lens, rather than a synchronic lens. Scripture then develops its theological interpretation through time rather than appealing to the Author (God) disseminating its theology in one sitting. Moreover, this further reveals how I view the two testaments. The reader depends upon the theology of the OT to interpret the NT, not vice-versa. My understanding of the Day of the Lord will reveal how these hermeneutical presuppositions are accomplished.
Post 4 dealt with the promise to be kept from the “wrath” of God. Contextually, 1 Thess 5 defines the wrath within the idea of the Day of the Lord. That is, to not be destined for wrath is to mean exemption from the Day of the Lord. Furthermore, when you begin reading Revelation, the seals are given early on in the book. Though disputed, I would observe Rev 6 as day one of the seven-year tribulation. The first 6 seals are drastic. Those (v.16–17) on the earth will call for the rocks and mountains to fall on them in order not to see the face of the Lamb. They conclude,
for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?
That is, a summary statement of wrath has come upon day one of the tribulation.
Primary thesis concerning the Day of the Lord: The Day of the Lord is an extended period of time, predominantly defined in the Old Testament, to describe a time for wrathful retribution to be placed upon the earth, a time for the salvation of Israel from foreign nations, salvation of Gentiles, the physical return of the Lord, and a time for Messianic peace, extending from day one of the tribulation to the completion of the 1000 year messianic reign.
Wrath and Retribution upon People and Creation
The wrath of God is qualitative of the Day of the Lord. The exalted Lord of Isaiah 2:6–22 has a “Day” to place Himself against everything demonstrating pride. These prideful images extended to the haughtiness of man (v.17), creations of man (v.15–16) and even to elements of creation (v.12–14). During this “Day,” people will enter into caves in attempt to hide from the terror of YHWH and splendor of His majesty. This is nearly a direct image of Rev 6.16–17 in the 6th seal.
The prophecy of Zephaniah 1:7–18 may be the most descriptive of the “Day.” Zephaniah begins by explaining the nearness of the “Day” and it is a “Day” of sacrifice and consecration of guests. It is further described in v. 15–16 as:
A day of wrath is that day, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.
According to Amos 5.18–27, it is not a desirable “Day.”
Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord.
(V.18). Though this “Day,” is mostly a destructive time of God’s wrath upon people, God destroys elements of His creation to inflict the people (Ezek 7; Amos 8:9–14).
(Passages for further study: Is 2:6–22; 7:18–25; 34:8; Jer 46:10; Ezek 7; Joel 2; Amos 5:18–27, 8:9–14; Zeph 1:7–18)
Salvation of Israel and other nations
A smaller element within the “Day” is the salvation of Israel’s remnant and other foreign nations. The remnant of Israel is brought to salvation in Rev 7 (possibly near the beginning of the tribulation?). During that “Day”, there are 3 parts of people 1/3 is Assyria, 1/3 is Babylon, and 1/3 Israel. Within the historical setting of Isaiah, this would not have been pleasant for the people to hear because Babylon and Assyria have and are overtaking the nation of Israel and in the near future, Judah. However, what that “Day” will behold is the salvation of Israel and Gentiles under the title of “My people, work of My hands, and My inheritance.” Isaiah 19:24–25 states:
In that day Israel, will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.’
Salvation will annul ethnic distinction and fellowship will ensue all under the hand of God.
(Passages for further study: Is 19:16–25; 27; Jer 30:1–9)
The physical Return of the Lord
As displayed in the Olivet discourse, cosmic signs will occur simultaneously with the return of the Lord. Matt 24:29–30
Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man…
All those, upon the earth, at His return will see these cosmic signs. The “Day of the Lord” will include the coming of Christ. Joel 2:10–11 assigns the same cosmic signs to the Day of the Lord.
The earth quakes before them; the heavens tremble. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining. The Lord utters his voice before his army, from his camp is exceedingly great; he who executes his word is powerful. For the day of the Lord is great and very awesome; who can endure it?
The prophecy of Zechariah contains the lengthiest descriptions of the Day of the Lord and attributes it to the coming return of Christ (chs. 12–14). Clearly portraying the Messiah as the coming King is 14:4, 9.
On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.
And the Lord will king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.
The “Day” will include the coming return of Christ as the designated Messiah.
(Passages for further study: Is. 24:21–23; 25:6–12; Joel 2:10; Zech 12–14)
The final element consisting of the “Day of the Lord” is a period of Messianic peace and blessing. Joel 3:17–21 portrays God dwelling in Zion with strangers not passing through it again. The mountains will drip with sweet wine and hills will flow with milk. Earthly provisions will flourish with abundance.
Moreover, as Amos 9:11–15 describes this “Day”, God will again raise up the “Booth of David.” Again, there is a great description of an abundance of riches being inherited by all. Wine will flow from the mountains, cities will be rebuilt, vineyards will be planted for the drinking of wine, and gardens will be planted for the consumption of fruit. And according to Acts 15, this will all happen after the Gentiles participate in the rebuilding of the Booth of David by their current salvation.
According to Isaiah 4:2–6, this “Day” will finally be the time for the righteous “Branch” to reign in full glory. The Lord will cause a canopy of glory to cover all so that there will be a cloud by day and smoke by night to give shade from the glory of God.
(Passages for further study: Is 2:1–5; 4:2–6; 11:10–11; Amos 9:11–15; Joel 3:17–21; Micah 4:1–5)
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The OT description of the Day of the Lord contains many elements. It is no wonder when Paul mentions the Day of the Lord, he does not define it, but assumes the reader understands its OT roots. Even unbelievers recognize the tribulational wrath to be considered the “Day” (Rev 6:16–17) and with the first opening of the Seal, the “Day” begins. As Jason demonstrated in Part 4, when the “Day” finally comes, the church is not destined for wrath and will be taken prior to its appearing.