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Lord's Day of Wrath – When?

 (Edit on 2010.05.31)

Revelation is written to tell us about future events.  While doing so, references to past events are made by necessity.  Distinguishing which belongs to the past and which to the future is necessary.

Revelation 1:1 . . .The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to make known to his servants the things which must shortly come to pass. . . (DRC)

In chapter six, we see coloured horses ride out over the earth and cause havoc.   Verse 9 shows that executed Saints wait for their numbers to be completed.  Verses 15-16 shows terrifying events befall the earth.  Verse 17 puts this event into the ‘Great Day of the Wrath of the Lamb.’  This in of itself does not give us the time – Ezekiel chapter 30 talks about it, Zephaniah talks about it in chapter one.  It is a day when religious judgment is handed out. 

It ends in Armageddon., but what begins it?  Paul mentions it in 1 Cor 1:8, 5:5 where it is a future day not taking place in the first century.

I Corinthians 1:8, Who also will confirm you unto the end without crime, in the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (DRC)

I Corinthians 5:5, . . . that the spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (DRC)

 In 2 Thess 1:9  Paul tells us:

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering to him. 2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (Webster)

History tells us that the apostasy started formally with the counsel at Nicaea.  Also the man of lawlessness needs to be revealed, the son of destruction.  His (or their) earmark is that he is sitting –usurping – God’s throne.

Thus this day of wrath cannot have taken place during the first century except in a very limited sense vis-à-vis the Jewish system of things in the year 70 CE.

Day of God's wrath

For the timing of this Lord's day of Wrath we must then consult all of God's given word, not just Revelation.  If this is done then the day of God's wrath seem to point specifically to the time after the Great Tribulation which then would mean Armageddon itself.

Psalm 110:5-6, The Lord at thy right hand Will strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 6 He will judge among the nations, He will fill the places with dead bodies; He will strike through the head in many countries.

Zephaniah 2:2-3, before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of Jehovah come upon you, before the day of Jehovah’s anger come upon you. 3 Seek ye Jehovah, all ye meek of the earth, that have kept his ordinances; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye will be hid in the day of Jehovah’s anger.

The why of it is clear to see.  The kings of the nations will be routed on that day, and the meek of the earth, all of the earth, shall depend upon God for their survival if they have softened his face before his burning anger takes root.

Paul comments:

Romans 2:5-6, but with your stiffness and unrepenting heart store up for yourself anger on the day of God's anger and revelation of just judgment? 6 who will repay each man according to his deeds: (Byington)

This shows that the Day of Wrath is Armageddon because each is being paid back their sins.  When it starts is so far not defined sufficiently but that follows now.  We have to be careful with the things revealed in Revelation for not all things in it shall come to be on this day of wrath.  Many events in Revelation seem to happen earlier than this or later even - after it is finished with.

While the scriptures indicate the day of wrath to be quite a long period, perhaps up to several years long, the indication is that it isn't including the presence of Christ mentioned in Matthew 24 from verses 1-14 at least.  More importantly, it doesn't even seem to include the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24:29 but begins after it upon Christ's revelation to all.

For confirmation of that point, look at the scriptures here:

Rev 1:
7 Behold, he comes with the clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they which have pierced him, and all the tribes of the land shall wail because of him. Yea. Amen.
10, I became in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a great voice as of a trumpet (Darby) 

The above has a parallel that begins in Matthew 24:29

29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the land lament, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the one extremity of the heavens to the other extremity of them.

This of course means that the presence of Christ mentioned in Matthew chapter 24 during which a great global preaching work is done does not seem to be part of it because Matthews account is quite linear and gives a step by step historical flow.

If Joel 1:15-18 refers to this Lord's day of wrath or if it refers to the Great Tribulation is a question that cannot be answered.  If then, in a sense, we have two kinds of Lord's day of wrath is a good question.

15 Alas for the day! for the day of Jehovah is at hand, and as destruction from the Almighty shall it come. 16 Is not the food cut off before our eyes, yea , joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17 The seeds rot under their clods; the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the grain is withered. 18 How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.

When the Lord's day of Wrath begins

Based on the two scriptures in Revelation and Matthew just quoted, it becomes apparent that the Lord's day of wrath begins with Christ appearing to the nations which their coinciding lament also testifies to.
(Some places where this day is referred to: Rev 6:16, 17; Job 20:27-29; Ps 110:5; Prov 11:4; Isaiah 13:9-16; Eze 7:19; Lam 1:12; 2:1, 21, 22; Zephaniah 2:1-4; 3:8; Rom 2:5.)

That it refers to Armageddon is somewhat indicated by Proverbs 11:4 and Zephaniah 1:18 since both scriptures tell us that on that day money value nothing and cannot assist one at all in the disasters that come upon people then.

Prov 11: 4 Riches profit not in the day of wrath; But righteousness delivereth from death.
Zephania 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of Jehovah’s wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he will make an end, yea, a terrible end, of all them that dwell in the land.

From the compilation of facts above, and from the Revelation account, it would appear that the preaching of the Good News is not carried out during the Lord’s day of wrath.  The presence Christ of mentioned in Matthew 24:1-28 is not referring to things related to the Lord's day of Wrath in Revelation.  In this way, the Lord's Day of Wrath equals Armageddon counting from Christ's revelation to the nations right after the Great Tribulation.

The final chapters of Revelation all contain details clarifying different parts of this day of wrath, the Lord’s day of Wrath.  However, though the destruction of Babylon the Great is mentioned in chapter 17, 18 and 19 this does not seem to be on the Lord's day of wrath, but perhaps just prior to it.

This is a good time to remind all that Revelation is not telling us how things happen sequentially in time, nor sequentially according to appearence in Revelation.  Thus it seems that the destruction of Babylon the Great will happen not on or during the Lord's day of wrath, as defined above but at the beginning of the Great Tribulation, as the point from which God's servants on earth may start knowing how long is left and what is going to happen later on.

(The term ‘Great Tribulation’ is used in Matthew apart from Armageddon, while in Revelation chapter seven is inclusive of Armageddon.)

The references to Christ and royal power in Revelation cannot refer to his coronation, but must refer to his wearing the emblem of office while performing his royal duties, not his coronation as king.   (See Coronation of Christ – When? Page) 
 
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