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 [ ָורֹב֙ 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