Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 42
The Day of Christ vs The Day of The Lord – Part 2
I Thessalonians 5:1-12
Now let’s go right back to where we left off at the end of the last lesson, where we had been chasing a whole set of references up through the Old Testament concerning what Paul said up here in verse 2 of I Thessalonians chapter 5 about the “The day of the Lord.”
I Thessalonians 5:2
“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.”
Now if you remember and reflect back on that last program, none of the verses that we looked up concerning the “The day of the Lord” came from Paul. Not one. They were all Old Testament, and as we come into the New Testament with regard to this coming day of judgment, I’m not quite ready to drop the day of the Lord just yet, so I’m going to wind it up in the first part of this half hour. I think I can cover the references for “The Day of Christ” in far less time. In Zechariah chapter 14 we have a reference that I wanted to use in regard of the coming judgment on the earth, the coming day of the wrath of God, when the Grace of God will have been lifted, and His wrath and vexation will come in, not just on the Nation of Israel, but upon the whole human race, from one end of the world to other.
“Behold the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; (this will be the battle of Armageddon) and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.”
Then that great 7-year period of the wrath and vexation and the vengeance of God will end with the event of verse 4.
“And his (the Lord Jesus Himself) feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,…”
Then come on down to verse 9 and when His feet rest on the Mount of Olives, this is what follows after that day of judgment.
“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth:…” (that’s when we’ll reign and rule with Christ)
Now let’s just go to Matthew chapter 24, and we’ll also see the Lord Jesus’ reference to this same day of judgment as He talks to the twelve disciples in His earthly ministry. I’ve had questions come up more than once about Matthew 24, and I just answer them in one curt little statement, “It’s all Tribulation!” There is nothing in Matthew 24 that applies to us in the Church Age, but rather it’s all prophetic concerning this day of the Lord. You can pick that up so clearly in verse 3.
“And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (age) 4. And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”
Now when you’re warned to look out for deception, what does that mean? Hey it’s coming! There’s coming a vast deception, the likes of which the world has never seen. Now you see almost every despot ruler comes in by deception. All you have to do is go back and look at the history of World War II. How did Hitler gain control of the German people? Deception! He didn’t say right up front that he was going to be what he turned out to be. He sold the German people a bill of goods, he deceived them, and they bought all that he sold them. Then after the fact they said, “Well we didn’t know.” But they should have, and that’s true of any despotic leader. They come in with flatteries, and a lot of promises.
Oh you know everybody likes to feed at the government trough. I can remember a historian of the last century who wrote, “America will remain the greatest nation on earth, until the common ordinary person suddenly finds out that he can feed at the government trough.” And folks we’re there. Everybody gets the idea that the government owes them everything that they want, and when that happens, then our great democracy comes to an end. Well Jesus warns that there’s coming a day of tremendous deceptions, spiritually, materially, and economically. The biggest deceiver that the world has ever seen is coming. Then Jesus goes on and lists in the succeeding verses some of the signs.
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7. For nation shall rise against nations, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”
Now that doesn’t sound like utopia to me, but rather this is judgment, and this is all in accord with all those verses we read in the last lesson coming out of the Old Testament. Now let’s see what the Lord goes on to say so far as Israel is concerned.
“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.”
It’s going to be the greatest persecution that Israel has ever experienced. The Holocaust is going to look like a Sunday School picnic compared to this final 3 years of the Tribulation for the Jew.
“And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.”
In other words, parents will be reported on by their children, and children will be told on by their parents, and there will be no one that anybody can trust. Now verse 11.
“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.”
Then he comes over to the period of verse 15 on down, but the verse I want you to look at in particular is verse 21. Where Jesus Himself now in full accord with all these promises concerning the day of the Lord that we looked at in the Old Testament says, when this day of the Lord comes –
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
Nothing in those 4000 years before Jesus including the flood, or what we’ve had these 2000 years since Jesus’ earthly ministry can compare with the judgments that are coming on the earth. That’s why I made the statement that the Holocaust by comparison will be rather tame. Now don’t get me wrong, it was awful, I’m not one of those who deny the Holocaust, it was awful… I remember the first time we went to the Mediterranean, and we were on the island of Rhodes, we met a dear little old Jewish lady who still had the tattoo numbers on her arm, and she shared some of the horrors of how it was to be in the concentration camps in Nazi Germany, so don’t ever believe these people who are trying to deny that there was a Holocaust. But the Lord Himself says, “That even that will not compare with those final 3 years.” Now reading verse 21 again.
“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”
Well I think we can go back to the Book of Revelation and look at just a few of the verses that are in full accord with all these verses we’ve been looking at with regard to the day of the Lord. I’ll just pick out a few, and let’s go first to chapter 16 to where we just have a glimpse of all the various plagues that will be coming on the planet one right after the other, leading up to Christ’s Second Coming. See, none of these things are attendant with the Rapture of the Church, none of these things are something that gives a sign that we’re going to go. But these signs are in concert with the Second Coming and this tremendous 7-year period that we call the Tribulation, and the day of the Lord. Let’s just jump in at verse 2. Here we’ll be reading about the first plague or if you have a King James it’s called a vial, but it’s really a bowl judgment like pouring out contents from a soup bowl.
“And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. 3. And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
And so on through all these bowl judgments, they just keep getting worse with each one. Then let’s bring it all the way down to verse 17, the final bowl judgment, which I attach to the battle of Armageddon. I attach the 7th bowl judgment with those mass armies packed into the valleys of Israel, probably in tents. Other than that almost protection from the elements, but they’ll be packed in like sardines in a can. I know this is contrary to all good military strategy, because the Sovereign God is ordering it, and they’re going to pack those million and millions of Gentile troops into Israel, and then verse 17 says –
“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.” It’s finished! This is the end! Now verse 18.
“And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: (all the great population centers of the world will suddenly disintegrate) and great Babylon (which I call in the Book of Revelation, that composite of all the nations of the world, this great economic system that we’re seeing today, tied together with the Internet, and technology that had to come in order for these end-time events to happen. So this Babylon, this great Babylon, this composite of the nations of the world who are in confusion) came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” Not His love, not His Grace, now it’s nothing but wrath. Now verse 20.
“And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.”
In other words, God is going to totally renovate the surface of the planet, just like He did in Noah’s flood with water, He’s going renovate it this time with other natural phenomena, by earthquakes, and volcano’s and what have you. And then verse 21. Imagine these millions of young men out there on the plains of Israel, there will be millions of them, and they’ll be packed in, and what is their doom?
“And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: (100 pounds)
Now we know what a 5 pound hailstone can do, but these hailstones are 100 pounds chunks of ice. These armies will be literally crushed and ground, and that’s also the reference to the wine vat. And then back in Revelation chapter 14 and verse 20 we find the end results. So these armies of many million men are crushed with these 100 pound hail stones, and this hail starts to melt in the heat of an Israeli summer (now I can’t prove that from Scripture but nevertheless we know that the biggest portion of the year is pretty hot in Israel). And as these hail stones strike these millions of troops gathered in the valleys of Israel you can look at it even as the Book of Revelation pictures it.
“And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.”
Now of course that’s the symbolism of the Anti-christ literally putting out the command to all the remaining armies of the world to come to Israel. Come to the Middle East because we’ve got to settle this Jewish problem once and for all. You see more than one great despot has thought that that was the source of the world problem, Israel. So I think the Anti-christ is going to put out the command to send your armies, send your troops, send everything you’ve got so we can finally get rid of this little Nation of Israel. Now always stop and think, that when the world is dealing in situation like this under God’s heavy hand of Sovereignty, the most intelligent can do things that are ridiculous.
Now we know it’s utterly ridiculous for millions upon millions of troops to come to Middle East to get rid of a little nation of only 10 or 15 millions. But I always remind people when the high priest and the Romans consorted to go and arrest Jesus down there in the garden of Gethsemane, timid and compassionate as He was, how many foot soldiers did they send to arrest Him? Does anybody know? I think it was 100, though I didn’t look this up as I hadn’t intended to use it.
“And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.”
“Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priest and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.”
But you see this is the ridiculous men’s actions that common sense says, “they won’t pack those soldiers in.” Well I know that, but they won’t use common sense, they, by the work of God will be packed into those valleys of Israel like grapes into the wine vat, and that’s the analogy. Now reading on in Revelation chapter 14.
“And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, (that’s God’s way of bringing the armies of the world to the valleys of Israel) and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.”
So God’s going to bring these millions of troops under idiotic commands of their generals to encamp in these valleys. Now if you’ve been to Israel, you can stand up on Mount Carmel and see all these valleys laying out there as flat as a table top. There are many different valleys in Israel that are flat areas so as these troops are just packed in there, then comes this final bowl judgment, the 100 pound hail which becomes God’s way of treading His wine vat. Have you got the picture? Symbolism, yes, but it’s a literal truth. Now then what’s the results?
“And the winepress was trodden without (outside) the city, (these valleys are all up North of Jerusalem) and blood (not grape juice) came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”
Which if I understand right is about 180 miles. That river of melting ice, and blood will just find it’s way out of the valleys of Israel, down to the South, all by the wrath of a Sovereign God. Now in Revelation come over to chapter 19, and we’ll look at the final event of the wrath of God, which is His Second Coming. That will end the 7 years of Tribulation. I hope you remember our lesson last taping on the Rapture, and realize that none of this is part of the Rapture, this is His Second Coming!
Whereas the Rapture is the sound of trumpet when Christ comes to the air, and the soul, spirit, and Resurrected Body of the departed believers are all reunited, and Christ takes them back to glory with Him, and if we’re still alive as believers when this event happens, we’ll be translated into a glorious resurrected body and go with them. Christ will not even touch the planet when this event happens, and there are no judgments associated with it. But oh for His Second Coming that’s all it is. Now verse 11. This is the final event of the Tribulation.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse;…”
Now I always have to stop here. I do not think that Christ is going to come riding through the air on a white horse. But the symbolism, which Revelation, Daniel, and Ezekiel use extensively is, “His coming in power and victory.” Which of course all emperors did when they would come into a conquered city. Oh they love to ride in on a white steed just to show that they were victorious. So the symbolism is given that same effect, that Christ is coming now like a conquering emperor which of course the ancients were too well aware of. So He comes according to symbolism on this white horse.
“…and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”
Remember what I said in the last program? This isn’t an unfair God. This isn’t an unjust God. These millions of Tribulation people have had the same opportunity for salvation that you and I have had, but what have they done with it? They’ve walked it underfoot. They’ve had absolutely no concern about the things of God. So when someone says, “How can the God of love be so cruel?” I always say, look, God spent all of His cruelty of the human race on His Son at the cross. Christ suffered like you and I can never imagine, and He did that for the whole human race.
He did that so God could offer salvation to everyone, rich or poor, black or white, oriental, or western, so He could offer that salvation free for nothing to anyone who would believe it. Then we say, “God doesn’t have the right to judge those who walked that under foot? You’d better think that again, because He has every right in the world. He’s just, He’s fair, “and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” Then verse 12.
“His eyes were as a flame of fire (they weren’t burning flames, but they were so piercing, it was like a welders torch) and on his head were many crowns: and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. 13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: (not His blood, but His victims. That’s the reference again of the wine vat) and his name is called The Word of God. 14. And the armies which were in heaven…”
I have to feel these armies are you and I as members of the Body of Christ. It’s not armies of warfare, but organization, and Paul makes it so plain that all the saints are in a tremendous organization. The Body of Christ is an organism with organization. So all these people in distinct places of organization who were in heaven followed Christ on white horses. Now completing verse 14.
“And the armies which were in heaven, followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”
And we find up verse 8 that this is the clothing for the saints, that white linen. Now verse 15.
“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, (now He’s not holding a big Roman sword in His teeth, not even a little dagger. But the sword of the Lord is what? HIS WORD! He speaks the Word, and the hail falls, he speaks the Word and these armies of nations disappear, He speaks the Word and all the birds and vultures come and devour their residue. So it’s with the sword of the Lord) that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.”
Remember although He does all of that in His fierceness and wrath, we know that today before any of that happens, He is the God of Love, and Grace! We had one of the most tremendous testimonies in Albuquerque last week, that just blew us away. This gentlemen had gone through a lot of bitter experiences, and had come to the place that he cursed God at every chance. He had gone home and found every Bible, tore the sheets out and threw them in the fire and cursed God with every hand full that went in the fire.
Then a few days later he happen to catch our program, and this is what is so amazing. Just a few minutes into the program, he heard me speak of the Grace of God, and God opened his heart, and that young man of about 40 years old, was saved there on his living room floor. He said, “I cried out God I know I’m a sinner.” Oh he cursed God, he hated God, “but where sin abounds, God’s Grace abound more.” Now that’s today. But here in Revelation this will be the wrath of God, and in verse 16 this says it all. And why can He do it?
“And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
He’s Sovereign, He’s in total control of everything, and His wrath will fall because of His Sovereignty.