“But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”[2 Peter 3:7-8]
The Day of the LORD.
What exactly is the Day of the LORD?
It is a Day like no other … Unique … Set Apart … Unmatched.
It is a Day foreshadowed in the past yet anticipated in the future. It is a Day of great judgment but also of deliverance. It is a Day of final endings and new beginnings. It is a Day of divine wrath and also salvation. It is a Day of great fear but also a Day of hope.
The Day of the LORD is the culmination, the climax, the crescendo of all things, and it will be the end of the world as we know it — the end of this age.
Yet as with all things pertaining to God and His redemptive work, the Day of the LORD is riddled with nuance and mystery and is expressed through multiple layers of meaning. The Day of the LORD is rich with prophetic significance and fulfillment and can only be understood through the lenses of the holy Scriptures.
In light of this Advent season — which celebrates the Lord’s first coming — it is my aim to unpack the complex connections and discover the characteristics of His second coming, as revealed in the prophetic Word. A tall task indeed, yet one most worthy of pursuit.
Declaring the End from the Beginning
“Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,[Isaiah 46:8-13]
you who are far from righteousness:
I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay;
I will put salvation in Zion,
for Israel my glory.”
The LORD Himself reminds us through the prophet Isaiah of a very important principle and a critical key to understanding the Day of the LORD. We must remember the former things of old in order to understand the future things to come. We must be firmly grounded in our Biblical foundations and origins if we expect to be able to discern the times and understand the prophetic word.
Isaiah 46 is just one of countless prophetic passages that provides context to the coming Day of the LORD, and we are told that God has been “declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done” [Isaiah 46:10].
Of course we must remember that we are dealing in the realm of time when dealing with the prophetic word. The human experience is bound by time and we live our lives in a linear, chronological manner, whereas God transcends time and exists in the eternal present. Somehow God sees and experiences all things — past, present, future — at once. He knows the end from the beginning because He is beyond the boundaries of time.
Yet at the same time … [pun intended] God has uniquely created a universe in which He interacts with His creation within the realm of time and works out His purposes within the parameters of time. God even took on human form and was born of a woman in the “fullness of time” [Galatians 4:4] in order to accomplish His amazing work of redemption that was ordained before the very foundation of the world!
Now ponder that for a moment …
Even though time ultimately is irrelevant to God, it is not irrelevant to His creation and therefore God still interacts with us in the dimension of time. And in that respect, the entire creation is groaning and awaiting its final redemption — the restoration of all things — which will happen on that Day — The Day of the LORD!
The Day of the LORD, therefore, could be generally understood as God’s Time. God will have His Day and that Day is yet to come.
Back to the Beginning
If the LORD has declared the end from the beginning and hidden clues to the end times within the ancient times, then it doesn’t get more ancient than the creation of the world as recorded in Genesis.
What can we learn about the Day of the LORD from the creation of the world?
More than you may think.
“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”[Exodus 20:8]
Tucked conveniently within the 10 Commandments, the LORD does something profound when consecrating the Sabbath Day as the day of rest for His people. He connects our regular 6-day work week and 7th-day Sabbath rest to the original creation week.
In other words, just as we work 6 normal, 24-hour days and rest on the 7th day, so God created the universe in 6 normal, 24-hour days and rested on the Sabbath. God was setting a pattern for His people to follow in order to enjoy the fullness of blessing in relationship to Him.
But the LORD also was doing something else. I believe He was giving us a clue to the end of all things through the beginning of all things. Creation week and the subsequent Sabbath rest actually tells us something else about the Day of the LORD — the final Day of rest for God’s people.
For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”
although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”[Hebrews 4:3-4]
So I have established that the original 6-day creation week and 7th-day Sabbath rest is a template of sorts that is somehow connected to the prophetic word and the coming Day of the LORD.
Interestingly enough, the Apostle Peter also makes a connection with the beginning at God’s creation and the ending at the Day of judgment.
A Day is as a Thousand Years
For the sake of context, I feel compelled to include a considerable portion of Peter’s prophecy to show how he connected the creation of the world to the coming Day of the LORD.
“You should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly. 8But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” [2 Peter 3:2-10]
The Day of the LORD will come and nothing will stop it.
Although I plan to spend considerable time deciphering the details of the events leading up to and surrounding the Day of the LORD, I would like to propose a general overview of how the creation week in Genesis gives us a blueprint for God’s prophetic timeline.
Have you ever considered this correlation? If a day with the Lord is like 1,000 years, then perhaps we can view the entirety of human history and God’s prophetic timeline by using 1,000-year “days.” In other words, 1,000 years of human history can be understood as being equivalent to “one day.”
Let me explain.
From Adam to Abraham = approximately 2,000 years or 2 “Days”
From Abraham to the birth of Jesus Christ = approx. 2,000 years or 2 “Days”
From Jesus Christ’s Ascension to His second coming = approx. 2,000 years or 2 “Days”
All of human history and God’s prophetic timeline = 6 Days or an estimated 6,000 years, and therefore we have only one “Day” remaining on the prophetic calendar — the 7th Day or Sabbath Day of rest.
The Millennial Kingdom of Christ = 1,000 years or 1 Day — the Day of the LORD
This 7th Day — the Final Sabbath Rest — will be inaugurated on the DAY of the LORD, when Jesus Christ will return at the end of this age (6,000 years) and will usher in His 1,000 year rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
If this composite of the prophetic timeline is correct, then we must be approaching the very end of this 6,000 year age — an age where the devil and fallen man had their chance to rule. And if we are at the very end of this age, then that can only mean that the Day of the LORD — the 7th Day — is at hand, even at the very door. And what will follow is the 1,000 year kingdom of King Jesus!
The Day of the LORD is near. I can feel it. God’s people can sense it. The days are evil. It all adds up. And we must be ready.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”[Ephesians 5:16-17]