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The Fifty-Eighth (The Great and Fearful Day)

I hope you had a great week. Remember, it's easy to let stress and worldly expectations/requirements consume us. We focus on them and let them run our lives, forgetting that we are just a vapor (James 4:13-15) and we need to let Yehovah direct our steps (Proverbs 16:9). If we aren't careful, we will be blind to our true poverty as we attempt to gain the riches of the world, or even just let the world dictate our lives as we try to make it through each day (Revelation 3:17). Let Him lead so you don't end up as one of the foolish virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) when that great and fearful day arrives.

Have you ever taken a look at all the passages of scripture that reference the end? Before I started studying it in depth, I had no idea there were so many! We're going to look at some of them today with a focus on the Day of the Lord. First, let's remind ourselves that there's a couple different "days" in scripture. One is the sunset to sunset day that we are all familiar with (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31). The other is a day for Yehovah, which none of us has seen because it's 1000 years! (2 Peter 3:8)

So we have to realize that when scripture says a day, particularly for prophecy, it can mean a day as we know it or a day as Yehovah knows it. Unfortunately, this may end up with us not really being sure what the true meaning of the prophecy is or being able to predict it...hence "no one knows the day or the hour!" But that doesn't mean we shouldn't study or seek it out (Proverbs 25:2). It gets us in His Word, it prepares us for what is to come, whether we know what day that will be or not, and it brings us closer to Him and more able to hear and feel when He's speaking to us or trying to move us.

Have you thought about that? Whose words are scripture? His Words. How do you come to recognize His voice? By studying His Words. Babies come to recognize their parent's voices by hearing them over and over, day in and day out. How can we expect to recognize His voice if we don't read His Words over and over, day in and day out? It's such a simple concept, but one that we don't often think about or maybe we didn't even realize.

So let's take a look at some of His Words and get a picture of what He has told us about His day. First, let's go to the verse that has the words from our title this week, Joel 2:31. In this verse, we see a precursor to that day: the sun darkened and the moon turned into blood. Now obviously, the moon is not literally going to turn into blood as we can see from the context. The description of the sun references its light turning to darkness, so we can carry that over and see the moon's light will look like blood, a deep red. This is also confirmed because Jesus Himself talked about this sign (Matthew 24:29). He says following this will be the Son of Man coming in the clouds.

So that gives us a big clue about this day. if this sun and moon thing happen before the day, and the Son of Man comes after the sun and moon thing happen, and the Son of Man is the Lord....seems to me the Day of the Lord is Jesus' day; the day He returns to gather His elect (Matthew 24:31). But I also believe the Day of the Lord is His millennial reign. Jesus will rule for 1000 years (Revelation 20:4), which is exactly how long a day is to Yehovah (2 Peter 3:8).

It may be confusing however, to read a verse like 2 Peter 3:10. In this verse, the heavens and earth being destroyed is described as an event that occurs during that day. We know that this happens after the millennial reign, otherwise Jesus wouldn't have anything to reign over! But we know that at the end of the millennial reign will be the great white throne judgment (Revelation 20:11), and then the new heaven and earth (Revelation 21:1). My belief is that this happens at the very end of the 1000 years, so it still falls into His day. But we shall see!

Along the same line of what we started talking about, we can see that in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-8 we are warned again of the suddenness and surprise that will occur when the Day of the Lord arrives and the need for us to watch and remain sober. This word, sober, has a couple inferences: not being drunk on alcohol or on drugs, and not being distracted/overwhelmed/driven by sinful/worldly things. If worldly things consume you, you're just as unable to operate in the truth of the Word as a drunk person is unable to operate physically and mentally.

We're also given another precursor to the Day of the Lord in Malachi 4:5. In this verse, we see that Elijah will come before that day. He was one of two individuals that were taken to heaven without dying (2 Kings 2:11). Some believe he will be one of the two witnesses of Revelation 11, but he was also seen with Jesus right before He was taken to be crucified (Matthew 17:3, Mark 9:4, Luke 9:30). And Jesus also confirms that Elijah must come first before the end (Matthew 17:11).

So, we can see that we're looking for the sun to darken, the moon to look like blood and Elijah to appear before Jesus comes. We also can see that a certain "man of sin," must be revealed along with a great falling away of believers before that day (2 Thessalonians 2:2-4). We have some precursors to look out for, but as you can probably see these days it doesn't seem to take long for major events and changes in the world to happen. So don't wait until you start to see these to start living for Jesus and casting off the worries and things of the world. Get into His Word, do some more studying on the Day of the Lord and other topics. I've added a list of verses that include the phrase "day of the Lord" so feel free to dig in!

God bless you and have a great week! Shabbat Shalom!

-Rob and Sara Gene

Isaiah 2:12, 13:6, 13:9, 34:8, Jeremiah 46:10, Lamentations 2:22, Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3, Joel 1:15, 2:1, 2:11, 2:31, 3:14, Amos 5:18, 5:20

Obadiah 1:15, Zephaniah 1:7, 1:8, 1:14, 1:18, 2:2, 2:3, Zechariah 14:1, Malachi 4:5, Acts 2:20, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 2 Corinthians 1:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Peter 3:10

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