Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Day of the Lord: Part 3


We have been looking at the Day of the Lord in the last few posts. We've seen that the Bible plainly excludes the Tribulation from the Day of the Lord simply because the Day of the Lord FOLLOWS the Tribulation.

Let's look deeper at the Day of the Lord.


Zechariah 14:6-7

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day, which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.”

Zechariah 14:7 indicates that the day of the Lord is one literal 24 hour day! This is the literal meaning of the text.

The day of the Lord is not 1,000 years long (or 1,007 years long for that matter). It is a single 24 hour long day that has an “evening” and a morning.


It is the day when the Lord Jesus returns and makes an end of all his enemies (v. 3 -9).




Note

The phrase “that day” is used many times in the Bible. Sometimes it refers to the Day of the Lord, but many times it does not. “That day” simply refers to whatever day the particular context has in view, rather than having a specific technical meaning itself, like “the day of the Lord.”

Sometimes, “that day” refers to the Tribulation, and sometimes to the Millennium, and sometimes to the day of the Lord.

All the passages that specifically mention “the day of the Lord” are compatible with a single 24 hour day.


[Isa. 2:12, 13:6,9; Jer. 46:10; Ezek. 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31, 3:14; Amos 5:18, 20; Obad 1:15; Zeph. 1:7, 14; Zech. 14:1; Mal. 4:5; Acts 2:20; I Cor. 5:5; I Cor. 1:14; I Thess. 5:2; II Peter 3:10]



Now, we're going to look at something here that is very important. Stick with me, and we'll get back to the Day of the Lord in a little bit.


Different Words = Same Thing


The hyper-dispensationalist will often say that when studying the Bible a good rule of thumb is that ‘different words equal different things.’

They would say, for example, that the “gospel of the kingdom” (Matt. 4:23) is not the same as the “gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). And the “everlasting gospel” of Revelation 14:6 is something else altogether.


This kind of thinking appears more ‘godly’ because the hyper-dispensationalist seems to ‘believe every word.’

However, this is wrong.




This Gospel


Jesus “went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,…” (Matt. 4:23). Again, in Matt. 9:35, Jesus “went about…preaching the gospel of the kingdom,…”

The Gospel that Jesus preached during his earthly ministry, he called "the gospel of the kingdom." The hyper-dispensationalist (aka, the cessationist) will say that the reason Jesus had SIGNS and WONDERS associated with his ministry was because he was preaching the good news of his Kingdom, and showing forth the evidence of it. We don't preach the same gospel today...or so they say!

Jesus said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations:” And again in Matt. 26:13, “Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world,…


The gospel that we are currently taking to the ends of the earth is THIS GOSPEL! It is the same gospel taught by the Lord Jesus to Peter, and revealed by the Lord Jesus to Paul.




Paul's Gospel

Acts 20:25, “And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.”


Paul’s testimony in this verse destroys the arguments of the hyper-dispensationalist and the Mid-Acts dispensationalist.


Also, Acts 28:23, 31 state that Paul “expounded and testified the kingdom of God” and that he “received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, …


The very last verse of the book of Acts has Paul still preaching the same gospel that Jesus preached!


The gospel of Jesus is the gospel of the kingdom. It is the gospel of the grace of God which was preached by Paul. It is also the everlasting gospel announced by the angel in the Tribulation.


Different words, same thing!


The Lord reveals different ASPECTS of the same thing through the use of different words and phrases.


(Read that again, please!)


Another example is found in the names that the Lord gives to Israel: Israel, Jacob, Jeshurun




Another Example of Different Words = the Same Thing

Look at these words:

Comforter, Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of the Father, Spirit of adoption, the eternal Spirit.

These words/phrases are ALL different. Does that mean that they are each referring to a different ‘Spirit?’ (If we follow the hermeneutic of the hyper-dispensationalist they do!) Or do they each refer to a different ASPECT of the same Spirit?

Doesn’t each term reveal to us a little more about the Holy Spirit?


So What?

Listen, what hyper-dispensationalism does to the gospel, the pre-tribulation Rapture does to the day of the Lord!


C. I. Scofield writes, “The day of Christ relates wholly to the reward and blessing of saints at His coming, as the day of the Lord is connected with judgment.”


Did you see what he just did? He separated the day of Christ from the day of the Lord!


But is that proper Biblical exposition?




The Day of Christ

Is Jesus Christ the Lord or not? Is He God come in the flesh or not? If He is, why can't the day of the Christ be equivalent to the day of the Lord?


These terms are different, but they refer to the SAME day:

  • The day (I Cor. 3:13, Heb. 10:25, II Peter 1:19)
  • That day (II Tim. 1:18, 4:8, II Thess. 1:10)
  • The day of Christ (Phil. 1:10, II Thess. 2:2)
  • The day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6)
  • The day of God (II Peter 3:12)
  • The day of God Almighty (Rev. 16:14)
  • The great day (Jude 6, Zeph. 1:14)
  • The day of the Lord (I Thess. 5:2, II Peter 3:10)
  • The day of the Lord Jesus (II Cor. 1:14)
  • The day of our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor. 1:8)

This is so important! Let's look at another passage:




Zechariah 14:1-4

“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle;…Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives,…”

Whose feet stand upon the mount of Olives? Aren't they the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ?


So, why can't the day of the LORD equal the day of Christ?


It's the Same with Rewards

The day of Christ in the New Testament is associated with rewards for God’s servants. Are rewards ever associated with the day of the LORD? (Good question!)

“Behold, the Lord GOD will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” (Isa. 40:10)

In the Old Testament, rewards were associated with the coming of the Lord GOD. But, in the New Testament, they are associated with the coming of the Son of man.

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works.”(Matthew 16:7)


It is at the glorious second coming (the day of the Lord) that Christ brings his rewards (the day of Christ).


It is unreasonable to assume that Christ is rewarding his saints seven years before he rewards “every man.




Listen! The Day of Christ IS the Day of the Lord. And, the Day of the Lord IS the Day of Christ. And that means that the Rapture, which occurs on the Day of Christ, occurs on the Day of the Lord. We have previously shown that the Day of the Lord is AFTER the Tribulation. This means that the RAPTURE is also AFTER the Tribulation.


Indeed, the Rapture is AT the Revelation. Which is what we've been saying all along!


(Well, this post is getting pretty lengthy, so I'll stop here. Hopefully, it's given you something to think about.

The pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine is such a confused mess, that I feel as if I'm having to untangle it one strand at a time.

Stay with me, and we'll continue in the next post.)







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