Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 42
The Day of Christ vs The Day of The Lord
I Thessalonians 5:1-12
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We’re ready to pick up in the last part of I Thessalonians chapter 4, so we’ll be going right into chapter 5, verse 1 in a moment. Now, in our closing verse in the last lesson we were talking about the Rapture, that out-calling of the Body of Christ, that silent disappearance of the believers, the resurrection of the believers who have died in Christ.
I Thessalonians 4:17-18
“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them (believers who have died) in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” So this is a comforting factor for those who have lost loved ones. We will see them again! We will know them and they’ll know us. So these verses from verse 13 down through 18 are that precious moment that as believers we’re all looking for. Now to chapter 5.
I Thessalonians 5:1
“But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” (because we won’t be here.) I think what Paul is referring to is that the Lord Himself had given enough indications, as well as the Old Testament prophecies, and we can see from all those things in our present time that the time is approaching. So he writes –
I Thessalonians 5:1-2
“But of the times and season, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2. For yourselves know perfectly (completely) that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”
Now the first thing we want to qualify is the difference between the day of Jesus Christ, and the day of the Lord. Now the day of Christ is that day only Paul speaks of throughout His letters, and which we just referred to as the Rapture in chapter 4. But the day of the Lord is something that begins way back in the Old Testament and carries all the way through until we get to the Book of Revelation.
Now we’ll probably spend the rest of this half hour and the next for the most part, chasing these references down so that we understand that the day of the Lord is something totally different from the day of Christ. In fact maybe I should even add a little more to it on the board. The Rapture, as we’ve been looking at, is the day of Christ! The Tribulation and the Second Coming of Christ to end the Tribulations, those are all associated with the day of the Lord, the day of Jehovah. So we’ll look at the day of the Lord first by going all the way back to the Book of Isaiah chapter 2, and we’re going to drop in at verse 12.
Now you’ll see how every one of these references all use this same term, “the day of the Lord” and it’s a time of judgment. This will begin with the opening of the Tribulation and carrying right up to and including the Second Coming which we qualified the last time we were together as something totally different from the Rapture. Remember the Rapture is not associated with famine and pestilence and earthquakes. The Rapture can happen today or tomorrow, that’s the day of Christ! The day of the Lord, on the other hand, is always associated with the tremendous wrath of God and I want you to be looking for that as we use all these references.
“For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: 13. And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, 14. And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, 15. And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, 16. And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. 17. And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.” Now those things will happen during the day of the Lord. Now staying in Isaiah let’s come on over to chapter 13, and drop in at verse 9, and as we go just constantly beware of what it says, it’s so plain.
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. 10. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. 11. And I will punish the world for their evil,”
Now this isn’t just Israel, although remember as we read all these verses that are attendant with the wrath of God, the day of Jehovah, the whole world will come under this, but Israel will suffer by far the greatest. It’s going to be what Jeremiah chapter 30 says.
“Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: It is even the time of Jacob’s trouble…”
So not only Israel, but the world will also come under these horrendous acts of judgments. Now the world can scoff all they want to, and I know that they do, but let them scoff, the day is coming when they’re going to cry for something to put them to death to get them out of here, and it won’t happen. Now verse 11 of Isaiah 13. Remember this is God’s time of wrath and vexation as Psalms chapter 2 calls it.
“And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogance of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”Now go to chapter 24, and verse 21.
“And it shall come to pass (and you’d better believe it. The world out there never wants to consider that. They think that it will just keep on keeping on, but it won’t.) in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.”
So even the high and the mighty will never escape it. Alright, now go to chapter 26, verse 20. Now these are frightening words. But it’s God’s judgment that’s coming upon the earth. I guess I should ask a question. Why is one generation going to suffer so inexorably for the wickedness of mankind? It’s numbers! There are more people on the planet right now today than has lived previously all the way back to Noah’s flood. So God is dealing for the most part with the vast majority of the whole human race, because most of them are living today. At this moment we’re approaching 6 billion people that cover the earth. I can remember back in the early 70’s when I started teaching it was only 4 billion. So you see we’ve already gained, what? 50%. So it’s just going to keep rolling, and if the Lord doesn’t come for a time yet, it will soon be 7 billion. Now look what He says concerning this end-time mass of humanity in verse 20.
“Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation (God’s indignation) be overpast.”
Now we know there’s going to be a remnant of Israel that will be protected, and this is who God is speaking to. This remnant is going to be down there in the mountains and God’s going to protect them during those last 3 years of the Tribulation. He’s going to provide for them like He did for Israel in the wilderness experience as they came out of Egypt. Now verse 21, and here’s the reason.
“For, behold the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.”
Now I know the first thing everybody thinks of when they read this is, “but I thought He was a God of love, Grace, and mercy?” He is, and has been now for all these hundreds and hundreds of years, but His patience is one day going to run out. Now even today when we see disasters, and loss of life, that’s not God’s wrath. Now He’s permitted Satan to bring it about, but God isn’t precipitating suffering of this world, that’s the god of this world who’s doing that. But once this day of the Lord begins, and the seven years of Tribulation open up, yes then it is no longer the Grace, and the Love of God, but rather then it will the wrath of God. In fact keep your hand here in Isaiah and turn back to Psalms chapter 2. This is a portion I use so often when I teach end-time events. I always use this when I put the timeline on the board of the Old Testament program. How that mankind would reject the Messiah, and say, “I’ll not have this man to rule over us.”
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: (that is at man’s ridiculousness to reject His given Messiah) the LORD shall have them (the nations of the world) in derision.” And confusions, and we’re getting closer to that every day. Then verse 5, and here it comes. There would come a time after His rejection, and after His resurrection from the dead.
“Then shall he (God) speak unto them (the nations of the world) in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” It’s coming! And as I teach this, I always use it as the Old Testament outline, and after his wrath and vexation, then in verse 6 we have the promise of the kingdom.
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”
Yes, Christ is going to return, and after the battle of Armageddon and these judgments, He will set up His thousand-year kingdom upon the earth, where we as believers will reign and rule with Him. Now coming back to Isaiah, and we’re still studying about the day of the Lord, and let’s move on to chapter 34. Now I trust that you all realize that Isaiah was the prophet of Israel, and so these things were written primarily to the Jewish people, but they’re back here, as Paul says, for our learning, so we study them for that purpose. Not that they have a doctoral effect upon us for salvation as such, but they do teach us what is still to come.
“For it is the day of the LORD’s vengeance, (not His mercy or Grace, but now we’re talking about His wrath) and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.”
And on and on it goes that all these things that are repeated over and over are coming on the earth. Now turn over to chapter 63 verse 2. These are verses that we usually use in regard to the Book of Revelation. This is a verse concerning Christ’s coming at the battle of Armageddon which Revelation likens to grapes in a wine vat. And as Christ brings the nations in He will tread them like the treader of a wine vat, only Christ treads them in His wrath and fury.
“Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? (and the Lord responds) 3. I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me; for I (God) will tread them in mine anger,…” Now that’s not the God we know today. Today God is still the God of love, mercy, and Grace, but there’s coming a day when the day of the Lord will introduce these judgments.
“…and trample them in my fury: and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.”
Now in reference to that remember, Revelation speaks of a river of blood flowing out of the Nation of Israel as deep as the bridle of a horse, and a distance of 180 miles. Now these are all prophecies that tie together. Now verse 6.
“And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.”
Which of course is the crushing of the armies in Armageddon at His Second Coming. Now let’s go to Jeremiah chapter 25, and verse 30 This is another of the major prophets that is writing primarily to the Nation of Israel, but also writing for our learning as well.
“Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.” There’s that same analogy of the treading of grapes in a wine vat. Now verse 31.
“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, (plural, not just Israel. Although let me keep reminding you, Israel is going to be the vortex of it. Israel is going to suffer far more than the rest of the world, but they’re all coming under God’s wrath.) he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. 32. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. 33. And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.”
Now of course the Book of Revelation tells us that God is going to bring forth the birds of prey, the vultures, and they’re going to have a feast on the flesh of mankind. That’s not a pretty picture, but it’s something we’d better be aware of. The next one is found in Ezekiel chapter 30, and verse 3, and I hope you’re realizing how all these various portions of Scriptures are saying basically the same thing. I said over the years, “Why does God repeat, and repeat, and repeat?” Emphasis! He’s driving this thing home, and we’d better understand and realize that for the unbelieving world that’s left behind after our silent disappearance, this is they’re fate. Oh they’re rushing on in the interest in the stock market, and with their crazy music, and all their entertainment, and they have no thought for any of this, but they’d better wake up because this is their lot.
“For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day:…”
A day that will be almost absent of light. My own projection of this and the reason there will be such darkness in the closing days of the Tribulation is because of a nuclear war. I think the nuclear dust and nuclear clouds are just going to blot out the sun. So as you read these verses you’ll notice that it’s that constant reference to a dark day, or a cloudy day. Now finishing the verse.
“… it shall be the time of the heathen.” Which is another word for the Gentiles. So it will be for the whole world, Jew and Gentiles. Now come over and go through Daniel, Hosea, and come to the next Book of prophecy, which is Joel, and stop at chapter 2.
“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand: 2. A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of think darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong, there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations,”
Now that’s God speaking to the prophet. Now let’s turn a little further in Joel to chapter 2:28. These are verses we used back in our Revelation study, and as well in Acts chapter 2, when Peter spoke of it as, “this is that,” when he referred to the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit spoken of by the prophet Joel. But always remember Peter never comprehended that the worst part of the prophecies were stopped, and he never did see them fulfilled, but now 2000 years later it’s at the door.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Now in verse 30 is the cataclysmic events of the day of the Lord, this is still future.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.”
Do you see how plain all of this is? Now turn over a few pages to Amos chapter 5, and we want to drop down quickly to verse 18. Now Amos is one of the minor prophets.
“Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of The LORD is darkness, and not light.”
See how obvious all these things are? Now we’ve got time to look at one more and that will be in the next little minor prophet of Obadiah.
“For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head. 16. For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and thy shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.”