The Day of the Lord is the Second Coming 

Chapter -3 Of Reclaiming the Rapture : The Day of the Lord is the Second Coming 

But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 2 Pet. 3:10

According to both Peter and Paul, the day of the Lord, is an event that will come as a big surprise, like a thief in the night. 

Paul says that it comes like a thief not to those who are of the light but to those in darkness. The Day of the Lord is the very day that Jesus returns. It is on that day the heavens and the earth are going to pass away. Nevertheless, the day of the Lord is often interpreted as being a longer period of time. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, in his book, The Footsteps of the Messiah, defines it as the seventieth week of Daniel. He states: 

“In the Old Testament, the most common name for the Great Tribulation is the Day of Jehovah or the Day of the Lord…it is always and without exception a reference to the Tribulation period.”12 

Dr. Dwight Pentecost believes that the day of the Lord “will include all the events of the millennial age, with the final revolt of Satan.”13 These are the two most common opinions of dispensational premillenialists. (Premillennialism is the doctrinal position that Jesus will return before the Millennium.) We will see that the day of the Lord is in fact the day that Jesus returns; the second coming. 

Scripture tells us that the Day of the Lord will be the day that Jesus’ feet will stand on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, when He comes to fight for His people Israel. 

Behold, the day of the LORD is coming… For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. Zech. 14:1, 3, 4 

Notice that it will be a day in which God will gather all of the nations to battle against Jerusalem, in the valley of Jehoshaphat, which is in fact the place where the battle of Armageddon will occur – something we will explore in Chapter Sixteen. We read that in that day the feet of Jesus (the LORD) will touch the Mount of Olives so that it splits. However, before that dark and climactic day, Scripture describes the buildup to war before that day. 

Events Before the Day of the Lord 

The book of Joel tells us of God’s gathering and calling together the nations for the battle of Armageddon (in the valley of Jehoshaphat). Joel 2:1 tells us that the day has not yet arrived – only that it is close, signified by the Hebrew word karov; for the day of the 

LORD is coming, for it is at hand (ָר ֙בֹו karov – literally “close”). 

The buildup to that day will include the opening of the Abyss in Revelation Nine, which will darken the sun and sky due to thick smoke and soot. 

And He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke arose out of the pit like the smoke of a great furnace. So the sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke of the pit. Rev. 9:2 

The book of Joel confirms that the darkening of the sun and moon into blood will come before the day of the Lord. 

And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD. Joel 2:30, 31 

Several passages confirm the conditions and the timing of the sun and sky being darkened before the day of the Lord. 

  • Woe to you who desire the day of the LORD! For what good is the day of the LORD to you? It will be darkness, and not light. Is not the day of the LORD darkness, and not light? Is it not very dark, with no brightness in it? Amos 5:18, 20 
  • Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! [ ָורֹב ֙ karov – literally “close”] It will come as destruction from the Almighty. Isa. 13:6
  • For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near [ָר ֙בֹו karov – literally “close”]; it will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles. Ezek. 30:3 
  • …there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. Rev. 6:12 The darkening of the sun, and the moon turning to blood, will be 

due to the ash-filled sky. The connection between the great darkness and the color of celestial bodies will be discussed in a later chapter. While eclipses may act as harbingers of events coming, the continual discoloration of the sun and moon, and complete blocking of the stars will be due to the smoke from the Abyss. The opening of the Abyss in Revelation 9 happens at the midpoint, or three and a half year mark, of the seven year treaty which Israel will sign. 

What follows in Joel is the declaration of God’s intentions to gather the nations to the valley of Jehoshaphat (also known as the Kidron valley) in Jerusalem. 

I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They have also divided up My land. Joel 3:2 

God challenges the nations to come to battle; if they don’t have a weapon, He encourages them to obtain one because they will need it on the day that He comes to fight against them. 

Proclaim this among the nations: “Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ ” Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD. “Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow– For their wickedness is great.” Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:9-14 

Verses 9-13 describe the buildup for war which will be the precursor to the actual day of the Lord, which has still not yet come. 

In verse 14 we read that the day is near, but is not yet. The actual event, the very day of the Lord is ever so close but not yet because that day is the day that Jesus’ feet will touch the Mount of Olives; when He comes to do battle with His enemies who have attempted to destroy Israel, the apple of His eye. 

The day of the Lord will bring tremendous destruction to the inhabitants of the earth but not to Israel, for it is the day that Jesus comes to defend them; it is the day of His vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion. Isa. 34:8 The time of Jacob’s trouble is the second 3 ½ year period of the seven year treaty of many. Dan. 9:27 This will be an incredible time of suffering for the Jewish people, to which both Daniel and Jesus attest. (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21, 22) The day of the Lord, by contrast, is the day that the Lord returns to deal with the Antichrist, and all of the nations that are attempting to completely eradicate Israel. It is the great day of Israel’s salvation rather than her destruction! 

Elijah 

Another proof demonstrating that the day of the Lord is not referring to the seven year treaty, or even the time of Jacob’s trouble, is found in Micah 4:5 where God says He will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 

If the entire seven year period were also called the day of the Lord; and if, as many believe including myself, that Elijah will be one of the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11 (who apparently come at the beginning of the seven year treaty) then the two witnesses would need to arrive before that period of seven years (the Tribulation). However, because the day of the Lord is the very day that Jesus returns, there is no problem reconciling Elijah coming before that day. 

Everything will be humbled on the Day of the Lord. According to Isaiah, The LORD alone will be exalted in that day. Isa. 2:17 We see in Revelation 16 that Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet, open their mouths and deceptive spirits come forth to gather the nations for the war of the great Day of God Almighty. Rev. 16:14 ISV 

Clearly, the inhabitants of the earth are still acting haughtily and thinking that they can actually wage a war to destroy Israel. 

The haughty looks of mankind will be brought low, the lofty pride of human beings will be humbled, and the Lord alone will be exalted at that time. Isa. 2:11 

For the Lord of the Heavenly Armies has reserved a time to oppose all who are proud and haughty, and the self- exalting— they will be humbled. Isa. 2:12 

He will take his stand against all the cedars of Lebanon, against the proud and self-exalting; and against all the oaks of Bashan; Isa. 2:13 

against all the high mountains, and against all the lofty hills; 

Isa. 2:14 

against every high tower, and against every fortified wall; Isa. 2:15 

Humanity’s haughtiness will be humbled, male arrogance will be brought low, and the Lord alone will be exalted in that day. Isa. 2:17 

They will enter caverns in the rocks and holes in the ground, to escape the presence of the terror of the Lord, to escape the splendor of his majesty, when he arises to terrify the earth. Isa. 2:19 ISV 

We discover in Isaiah Two that only on the day that the Lord arises to terrify the earth will the haughtiness of man be brought low, and not before. In fact, during the time of Jacob’s trouble, the Antichrist will be speaking all kinds of blasphemies and arrogant boasts against those who dwell in heaven and against God (Dan. 7:8, 11, 25) 

It had eyes like those of a human being and a mouth that boasted with audacious claims. Dan. 7:8 

I continued watching because of the audacious words that the horn was speaking. I kept observing until the animal was killed and its body destroyed and given over to burning fire. Dan. 7:11 

He’ll speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One. He’ll attempt to alter times and laws, and they’ll be given into his control for a time, times, and half a time. Dan. 7:25 

Daniel 7:11 demonstrates that the Antichrist will be speaking haughtily up until the very end. Only when he is routed at the coming of Jesus, and his body is given over to the burning flame (which is the same as the lake of fire in Revelation 19:20) will he be silenced. 

Thus there is no way to substantiate the claim that the day of the Lord is the entire period of the seven year treaty or even of the time of Jacob’s trouble. The haughtiness of man, including the Antichrist, will only be silenced on the day that Jesus comes back. In fact, we know exactly what the men of the earth are going to do and say. They will scamper into the caves and into clefts of the rocks when Jesus comes back. They will be overwhelmed with fear and will say to the mountains and rocks: 

Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the lamb. Rev. 6:16 ISV For the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to endure it? Rev. 6:17 ISV 

The Emperor Has No Clothes & the Pretrib Rapture Doctrine Has No Verse!

THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES: An analysis of the so called pretribulational verses as taught by Mark Hitchcock, and many other prominent pretrib rapturists.

I had the privilege of eating breakfast with Hitchcock at the Pretrib Rapture Conference in Dallas, TX in 2012, so this is

“WHILE NO SINGLE VERSE SAYS JESUS IS COMING TO RAPTURE HIS SAINTS BEFORE the seven-year Tribulation…” Pg 136

not an attack on his character or love for the Lord. I simply think that it is time that we demand to see the evidence which the pretrib rapture doctrine is based on. We can no longer claim that the timing is a mystery on the one hand, and then on the other hand, claim that it will certainly happen before the tribulation. If someone has a verse or contiguous passage to prove the pretribulational rapture, let him submit that evidence once and for all.

Hitchcock admits that there isn’t a single verse for the pretrib rapture. Notice that his evidence rests on other verses, namely that we will be delivered from the wrath to come. So, if it could we show (which we can) that the wrath is not the entire seven years, but the very day that Jesus’ comes back (which the eye witnesses in Rev 6 shout out), then the entire pretrib rapture argument fails.

QUOTE from Hitchcock’s book, The End:
“WHILE NO SINGLE VERSE SAYS JESUS IS COMING TO RAPTURE HIS SAINTS BEFORE the seven-year Tribulation, there are clear statements that He is coming to deliver His people from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10). Thus, it STANDS TO REASON that God will use the Rapture to accomplish this promise. Also, it’s important to note that many biblical doctrines, such as the Trinity, the inerrancy of Scripture, and the dual nature of Christ, are NOT SPELLED CLEARLY IN ONE VERSE.” Mark Hitchcock, The End, Pg 136. [emphasis mine] END QUOTE

As expected, Hitchcock, like every other Pretrib teacher, must call the “Trinity” to the stand as a witness as a distraction to the real question – “where is the timing verse for the pretrib rapture?” Let’s not get caught in that trap but actually look at the verses that he has offered as proof of the pretrib rapture.

The first supposed proof is in Revelation 6 where the men of the world in are eye witnesses of the return of Jesus! This fact is missed because pretribbers almost always read Revelation as a chronologically straightforward book, when it is anything but (we see ALL the islands and mountains moving out of their places in BOTH Revelation 6:14 and Rev 16:20 – thus proving that they are same exact event but repeated in the text.)

Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. (Rev 6:14) And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, (Rev 6:15) 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: (Rev 6:16) For the great DAY OF HIS WRATH is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev 6:17)

I have included the “pretrib rapture” verses that Hitchcock cites in his book The End, pg 150. Please read them slowly and thoughtfully. Notice that NONE of them…NOT EVEN ONE gives us the timing of the pretrib rapture. Some speak of the resurrection or the transformation but NOT EVEN ONE tells us that the (PRETRIB) Rapture will happen before the Great Tribulation. I hope that it will become evident that the EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES.

John 14:1-3 1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Rom 8:19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Cor 1:7-8 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. ESV2011[WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Cor 15:51-53 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? – SURE, WE HAVE THE RESURRECTION, BUT NO TIMING REFERENCE AT ALL]

1Cor 16:22 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Phil 3:20-21 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THERE IS A TRANSFORMATION BUT NO TIMING REFERENCE]

Phil 4:5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Col 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Col 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Thess 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THE WRATH OCCURS AT THE SECOND COMING, ACCORDING TO THE EYE WITNESSES IN REVELATION 6:16-17]

1Thess 2:13-18 13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last! 17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Thess 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THE WRATH OCCURS AT THE SECOND COMING, ACCORDING TO THE EYE WITNESSES IN REVELATION 6:16-17]

1Thess 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Thess 5:2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? LATER PAUL SAYS THAT THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL NOT BE LIKE A THIEF TO US BELIEVERS BECAUSE WE ARE OF THE DAY AND NOT THE NIGHT]

2Thess 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

2Thess 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL NOT COME UNTIL THE MAN OF SIN IS REVEALED. NO MENTION OF THE RAPTURE.]

2Thess 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Tim 6:14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Tim 6:2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

2Tim 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

2Tim 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Titus 2:13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a SECOND TIME, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. ESV2011 [THIS IS TALKING ABOUT THE SECOND COMING!]

Jas 5:7-9 7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Jas 5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Pet 1:7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Pet 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ESV2011 [THE REVELATION OF JESUS IS THE LITERALLY THE UNVEILING OF JESUS AKA THE SECOND COMING – AGAIN THIS IS NOT A PRETRIB RAPTURE VERSE]

1Pet 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Pet 5:1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1John 2:28-3:2 28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THIS SPEAKS OF OUR TRANSFORMATION BUT NOT THE TIMING OF A PRETRIB RAPTURE…IT SAYS WHEN HE APPEARS]

Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Rev 2:15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]
Rev 3:10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? – AN HOUR OF TEMPTATION NOT A SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION]
I remember looking at such a huge list of verses and thinking that it had to be true simply because there were so many verses in favor of it. But when we actually go through the list verse by verse and demand to see the evidence, it is clear that it just isn’t there. So, from one of the premiere pretribulational scholars of our day, there isn’t a single verse, which he already admitted, that gives the timing of the pretrib rapture. As a Bible teacher, I can teach nothing more than what is truly in the text and the pretrib rapture is not in the text. If you know of any other verse, please share the verse and show us where it says it.