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THE GREAT AND NOTABLE
DAY OF THE LORD
Let's begin this study in God's word by reading Acts 2:19,20 which says,
“And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke:
The SUN shall be turned into darkness, and the MOON into blood, BEFORE that GREAT and NOTABLE DAY of the Lord come:”
So what is this DAY of the Lord that is called great and notable and WHAT are the SIGNS that will appear BEFORE this DAY comes?
Well Peter is quoting from the prophet Joel, so let's begin our search there. Read the book of Joel for yourself, but for now I will just pull out some verses beginning with Joel 1:15.
“Alas for the DAY! For the DAY of the Lord is at hand, and as destruction from the Almighty shall it come.”
The DAY of the Lord is a day of DESTRUCTION from Almighty God. Now read Joel 2:1-3 which says,
“Blow you the TRUMPET in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the DAY of the Lord comes, for it is nigh at hand;
A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong: there have not been the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.
A FIRE devours before them: and behind them a FLAME burns: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness, and nothing shall escape them.”
So then, we know that a TRUMPET will be blown or sounded BEFORE the great and notable DAY of the Lord COMES. In other words, AT the time in which a TRUMPET will sound as an alarm that the DAY of the Lord will be close at hand. We also know that a great people will come with chariots and flames of fire will go before them and behind them. Please read Joel 2:10,11carefully.
“The earth shall quake before them: the heavens shall tremble: the SUN and the MOON shall be dark, and the STARS shall withdraw their shining.
And the Lord shall utter his VOICE before his ARMY: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executes his word: for the DAY of the Lord is GREAT and very terrible; and who can abide it?"
Please notice again the SIGNS in the SUN, MOON, and the STARS that accompany the DAY of the Lord, or more precisely appear right BEFORE the DAY of the Lord begins. In other words, THESE SIGNS will usher in the DAY of the Lord, which is the WRATH of Almighty God.
Also pay close attention to the Lord COMING with his ARMY and uttering his VOICE before his ARMY. Revelation 19:11-16 tells us that Jesus will come a second time WITH the ARMIES which were in heaven.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he does JUDGE and make WAR.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called the Word of God.
And the ARMIES which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
And out of his mouth goes a sharp two edge sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treads the WINE PRESS of the fierceness and WRATH of Almighty God.
And he has on his vesture the name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
So the Bible makes it plainly clear that when Jesus comes again that he is coming to JUDGE and execute the WRATH of Almighty God and that he is coming with ARMIES which were in heaven. Notice that the word ARMIES is plural meaning that he will come with more than one army. Now in this passage of scripture there is a description of only one army, who are clothed in linen WHITE and CLEAN, which is speaking of the DEAD in CHRIST who are in heaven awaiting the FIRST RESURRECTION. These DEAD in CHRIST will God BRING WITH HIM when he comes. Please read 1 Thessalonians 4:14 which says,
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so THEM also which SLEEP in Jesus (or them who have DIED faithfully believing in Jesus, or that is to say, the DEAD in Christ) will God BRING WITH HIM.”
But we are also told that Jesus will come with ten thousand and thousands of his ANGELS. Please look at 2 Thessalonians 1:7 that reads,
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven WITH his MIGHTY ANGELS.
In FLAMING FIRE taking VENGEANCE on them that know not God, AND on that OBEY NOT the GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power:
WHEN he shall COME to BE GLORIFIED in HIS SAINTS, and to be ADMIRED in all them that BELIEVE because our testimony among you was believed in that day.”
So Jesus is coming with the dead in Christ and his mighty angels. And when he arrives a TRUMPET will sound, then the DEAD in Christ and those faithful believers who are left alive or have remained alive shall all be CHANGED or GLORIFIED which means that we shall receive immortal and incorruptible bodies FIRST. And then we will all be GATHERED together to MEET with our Lord in the AIR or the sky and CONTINUE on WITH Jesus to a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon to help JUDGE and execute vengeance and the WRATH of God. I will explain all of this a little further on in this study.
But for now please read Joel 2:30,31 which is what Peter quoted nearly word for word in the book of Acts, the first scripture you read at the beginning of this study of the great and notable 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 great and terrible DAY of the Lord COME.”
Again notice that the DAY of the Lord does NOT COME, until there shall appear SIGNS in the SUN, MOON, and the STARS. I have just one more verse in Joel that I want to point out. Take a look at Joel 3:12-16 that reads,
“Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to JUDGE all the heathen round about.
Put you in the SICKLE, for the HARVEST is ripe; come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.
Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision (or valley of threshing): for the DAY of the Lord is NEAR in the valley of decision.
The SUN and the MOON shall be darkened, and the STARS, shall withdraw there shining.
The Lord also shall ROAR out of Zion, and utter his VOICE from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord shall be the hope of his people, AND the strength of the children of ISRAEL.”
In this passage of scripture I find it interesting that the DAY of the Lord is connected with JUDGMENT and the HARVEST at the end of the age. In other words, TWO things will be take place on the DAY of the Lord, when Jesus comes again the second time. So let's take a look at Revelation 14:14-20, which shows us the very same thing, only more clearly.
“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one like the SON of MAN, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a SHARP SICKLE.
And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in your sickle and REAP: for the TIME is COME for you to REAP; for the HARVEST of the earth is RIPE.
And he that sat upon the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth: and the earth was REAPED.
And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
And another angel came out from the alter, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the GREAT WINE PRESS of the WRATH of God.
And the WINE PRESS was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine press even unto the horses bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.”
Every Bible student will tell you that this is the second coming of Jesus when he comes to execute the WRATH of God at the battle of Armageddon. Now in both passages of scripture, Joel and Revelation we see the words HARVEST and SICKLE, but in the book of Revelation we are give more REVELATION. We see that TWO harvests are taking place at basically the SAME time. First, one like the SON of MAN, which we know is Jesus comes on a white cloud and will gather together his PEOPLE out of the earth to ESCAPE the WRATH of Almighty God, and at this same time Jesus treads the WINE PRESS of the WRATH of God.
So where does Jesus gather his PEOPLE together? Does he take them back to heaven for seven years as many of us have been taught? Where does Jesus take those faithful believers who are WATCHING and looking for his return and who are keeping themselves pure and without spot or blemish. In other words, those believers who are living their lives WITHOUT SIN as Jesus did are caught up in the AIR and then are gathered together by the army of angels to MEET Jesus, but WHERE are they taken to meet Jesus? Take a look at Revelation 16:15,16 which reads,
“Behold I come as a THIEF, Blessed is he that WATCHES and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked. And they see his shame.
And he GATHERED them (those believers who are WATCHING and living without sin) together INTO a PLACE called in the Hebrew tongue ARMAGEDDON.”
I want you to picture a styrofoam ball, which will represent the earth. Now picture this ball with a bunch of pins sticking out of it all around the entire surface of the ball. The heads of the pins will represent all the believers who are being caught up into the AIR or sky above the earth. Now all these believes will be scattered over the entire heavens, the sky or atmosphere, but Jesus will be at ONE SPECIFIC POINT in the AIR or sky, or the first heaven. So in order for all of us to MEET Jesus in the AIR we will FIRST have the need to be GATHERED TOGETHER into that specific place where Jesus is waiting. Therefore Jesus will send HIS ANGELS to gather together his people from one end of heaven to the other end and take us to MEET with Jesus.
Now the word MEET means that the one who is meeting another goes to a specific place to meet the other person and then continues on with that person to where ever they are going. In other words, we go up to MEET Jesus who is on his way to a specific place. Therefore when we go up to MEET with Jesus we will then CONTINUE on WITH him to wherever he is going. So where is Jesus GOING? What did Jesus COME AGAIN this SECOND TIME to do? That is right! To EXECUTE the WRATH of Almighty God. So we MEET Jesus in the AIR to continue on WITH Jesus to execute vengeance with him at the battle of Armageddon. This is what the WHOLE word of God teaches.
Now I want you to read Revelation 16:1-21 in it's entirety and pay CLOSE attention the the undeniable fact that when Jesus comes as a THIEF to GATHER his people and execute vengeance upon the wicked that it takes place BETWEEN the sixth VIAL and the seventh VIAL. So in other words, the first SIX VIALS have already taken place BEFORE Jesus comes as a THIEF in the night to GATHER TOGETHER his PEOPLE who are WATCHING and have KEPT themselves pure and spotless to a place called ARMAGEDDON to help execute vengeance at the battle of Armageddon upon the ungodly and the disobedient to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
This GATHERING TOGETHER of God's people is the HARVEST that the SON of MAN puts in his sickle to REAP. There is only ONE HARVEST TIME mentioned in the Bible for the RIGHTEOUS that takes place before the 1000 year reign, which is then immediately followed by the treading of the WINE PRESS of the wicked at Armageddon. Now the valley of Jehoshaphat that is called the valley of decision is outside the city of Jerusalem. Even the pre-tribulation teachers say that the valley of Jehoshaphat is a prophecy of the battle of Armageddon.
We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 that Jesus is coming as a THIEF in the night.
“For yourselves know perfectly that the DAY of the Lord so comes as a THIEF in the night.”
Now some interpret this to mean that Jesus is coming SECRETLY like a THIEF in the night to take the church out of the earth and up to heaven for seven years to ESCAPE the time of great tribulation. But what do the scriptures tell us about Jesus coming as a THIEF ? Take a look at 2 Peter 3:10 which says,
“But the DAY of the Lord will come as a THIEF in the NIGHT; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
Jesus coming as a THIEF in the night is called the DAY of the Lord. Jesus is coming to execute the WRATH of Almighty God. The DAY of the Lord is the WRATH of God. So therefore the WRATH of God comes like a THIEF in the night. And this great and notable DAY of God's WRATH will NOT come until there appear SIGNS in the SUN, MOON and the STARS. Acts 2:19,20 in very explicit about this undeniable fact. So in other words, Jesus in NOT coming as a THIEF in the night UNTIL there appear these SIGNS in the SUN and the MOON and the STARS.
“And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and FIRE, and vapor of smoke:
Now I want you to please CAREFULLY read Matthew 24:29-31 which reads,
“IMMEDIATELY AFTER the TRIBULATION of those days (speaking of the time of GREAT TRIBULATION) shall the SUN be darkened, and the MOON shall not give her light, and the STARS shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken;
And THEN shall appear the sign of the SON of MAN in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall SEE the Son of man coming in CLOUDS of heaven with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet (or with a trumpet and a great voice) and they shall GATHER TOGETHER his elect from the FOUR winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Please notice the SIGNS in the SUN, MOON, and STARS that we are PLAINLY told in the books of ACTS will appear BEFORE the WRATH of God, the DAY of the Lord that comes as a THIEF in the night occur or appear IMMEDIATELY AFTER the GREAT TRIBULATION. So therefore the GREAT TRIBULATION and the WRATH of God, which is called the DAY of the Lord are NOT ONE and the SAME event.
Please take note of the exact order that these events occur. FIRST comes the ABOMINATION of DESOLATION, which begins the time of GREAT TRIBULATION, which lasts for 3 ½ years and NOT seven years like many of us have been taught.
Then IMMEDIATELY AFTER the GREAT TRIBULATION of those days there will appear SIGNS in the heavens and in the earth beneath, the SUN, shall be darkened, the MOON shall be as blood, or not give her light, the STARS of heaven shall fall.
THEN and only then shall Jesus come again to FIRST RAPTURE the church and only the church, which is defined as those who confess Jesus and the savior and who are found to be watching and faithful when he comes. The dead in CHRIST shall rise and then we which are alive and remain, in other words all the faithful Christians who are left alive or have remained alive shall be changed TOGETHER with the dead in Christ which God will bring with him and we shall be caught up together to MEET the Lord in the air and continue on WITH Jesus to the place called Armageddon to execute vengeance or the WRATH of Almighty God.
Then 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 right after telling us about the RAPTURE of the church in the preceding verses continues to say,
“But of the times and seasons, (times and seasons of WHAT? What Paul just got through telling us of course, the RAPTURE of the church) brethren, you have NO NEED that I write unto you (WHY? Think about WHY do we have NO need that Paul write and tell us of the TIMES and SEASON of the RAPTURE that he just got finished telling us about, WHY?)
For (or BECAUSE) you KNOW PERFECTLY (that is to say you ALREADY KNOW perfectly) that the DAY of the Lord COMES as a THIEF in the night.(so Paul is telling us that the RAPTURE of the church is the DAY of the Lord, or more precisely that the RAPTURE takes place, or occurs AT the time Jesus come to execute the WRATH of Almighty God)
For when they shall say, Peace and safety: (or crying and pleading for peace and safety) then shall sudden destruction comes upon THEM, as travail upon a women with child; and THEY shall not escape.
But YOU, BRETHREN (the church) are not in darkness, that THAT DAY (the DAY of the Lord) should OVERTAKE YOU as a THIEF.
You are the children of light, and the children of the day; we are not the children of the night, nor of darkness.
THEREFORE let us not sleep, as do others; but let us WATCH and be sober.
For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunk, be drunk in the night.
But let us, who are of the day, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
For God has NOT APPOINTED us to WRATH, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us, that WHETHER we wake (live or remain alive) or we sleep (die in Christ), we should LIVE TOGETHER (be made alive and changed together and be) with him.
WHEREFORE COMFORT yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do.”
We are not told to COMFORT one another with these words that this means we are going to be raptured before the time of great tribulation in order to escape the great tribulation. This is MAN'S INTERPRETATION of what this verse means. However the CONTEXT clearly shows us that our COMFORT is in the fact that if we should die in Christ before he comes again we are assured that we will rise again and live with him. The beginning of this passage of scripture OPENS with words of COMFORT for those who are worried about their brothers and sisters who have died in the Lord and were afraid that these brothers and sisters missed out on being able to live with Jesus.Paul reassures them that if Jesus died and was raised again, then so shall those who die in the Lord be raised again WHEN Jesus comes again the SECOND TIME.
Now we the CHURCH are NOT appointed to the WRATH of God, but this is not automatic just because we once asked Jesus into our lives. The WHOLE word of God teaches us that IF we are WATCHING, then the WRATH of God will NOT come upon us. However, if certain ones in the church are NOT found WATCHING when Jesus comes as a THIEF in the night he WILL come upon those unfaithful and disobedient Christian as a THIEF, and they WILL suffer the WRATH of Almighty God. Please take a look at Revelation 3:3 which says,
“Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and HOLD FAST, and repent. IF THEREFORE you shall NOT WATCH, I WILL come upon YOU as a THIEF, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you.”
Now the opposite of this verse in equally true. THEREFORE IF we ARE WATCHING Jesus will NOT come upon us as a THIEF and we WILL KNOW the HOUR that he will COME.
Joel 1:15 "Alas for the DAY! For the DAY of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty."
Jeremiah 30:7 “Alas! For THAT DAY is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of JACOB'S trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.”
THAT great and notable and terrible DAY of the LORD that comes as a THIEF in the night, the WRATH of God is NOT appointed to the church, but rather is the TIME of JACOB'S trouble.
The church will ESCAPE the WRATH of God, but the church WILL go THROUGH the entire period of GREAT TRIBULATION spoken of in Matthew chapter 24. Take a look at Luke 21:36 which says,
“WATCH you THEREFORE, and pray always, that YOU may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass.”
WHAT things shall we ESCAPE who are WATCHING and PRAYING and keeping ours lives free from sin? Please back up to verses 27 and 28 and read,
“And THEN shall they SEE the Son of man coming in a CLOUD with POWER and great glory.
And WHEN THESE things BEGIN to come to pass; then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws nigh.”
So WHAT are the THESE THINGS that will BEGIN to come to pass that we are to be WATCHING for? Wait a minute! Were we not taught by the pre-tribulation point of view that there are NO SIGNS that need to be fulfilled before the RAPTURE of the church. Well if the PRE- tribulation view is correct, then these verses here in Luke 21: 25-36 CANNOT be used to teach the RAPTURE because we are told to LOOK for THESE THINGS or THESE SIGNS. Again WHAT SIGNS ? Back up a couple of verses to verse 25, which says,
“And there shall be SIGNS in the SUN, and in the MOON, and in the STARS; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and looking after those things which ARE COMING on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
And THEN (and ONLY then) shall they SEE the Son of man COMING in a clouds with POWER and great glory.”
And again WHEN do these SIGNS appear. Acts 2:20 CLEARLY states that they appear BEFORE the DAY of the Lord, when he comes as a THIEF in the night.
And Matthew 24:29 CLEARLY states that these SAME SIGNS appear IMMEDIATELY AFTER the time of GREAT TRIBULATION. So therefore the great tribulation and the wrath of God CANNOT be ONE and the SAME event. They come and occur very close together, but they are NOT the SAME thing. These SIGNS appear BETWEEN the great tribulation and the wrath of God, These SIGNS shall SEPARATE the great tribulation from the wrath of God.
There is ONLY going to be ONE second coming of the Lord, which is the DAY of the Lord, when he COMES as a THIEF in the night. My dear brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, BE NOT DECEIVED, you do NOT want Jesus to come upon YOU as a THIEF in the night. The teaching of a PRE-tribulation rapture is a FALSE teaching.
The GREAT TRIBULATION is NOT the WRATH of God. These are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT events, which are SEPARATED by the SIGNS in the SUN, and in the MOON, and in the STARS, which appear AFTER the time of great tribulation and BEFORE the DAY of the Lord or WRATH of God. In other words, these SIGNS usher in the great and notable DAY of the Lord, the TIME of JACOB'S trouble.
The church will be here to witness these SIGNS that will cause men's hearts to fail for fear seeing the things that are coming upon the earth. But we are not in darkness and are not giving the Spirit to fear, so look up and lift up your heads that may be tempted to fear and doubt that the Lord is truly coming and you begin to THINK NOT that Jesus is coming, and your brothers and sister in the Lord begin scoffing and say, where is the promise of his coming, for when you see THESE things or these SIGNS, then know that your redemption in near. The next thing you will see is Jesus coming riding on a CLOUD.
Hmmm, will Jesus actually be riding a CLOUD or a white horse when he comes ? Well that is a study in and of it self. If you would like to know more on this subject please read the study called "WHAT does the BIBLE say about the YEAR 2012 ?"
More on this subject coming soon to http://www.amatteroftruth.com/
Your brother in Jesus Christ,
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