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The Day of the Lord

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Question:  Just wanted to know when the next installment of the series on Revelation may be anticipated... I am currently teaching this book verse by verse from the original language and use your work as one resource.

Secondly, the Church Age is not specifically stated to be 2000 years exactly as the language of II Peter 3 indicates that a day is HOS (like or as) not KATHOS (exactly like) 1000 years. If you research it carefully, the Day of the Lord actually begins at the middle of Daniel's 70th week, as seen by the fact that it cannot begin until Elijah returns and Antichrist is revealed. Further, the destruction of economic Babylon (Rev. 18 - which refers to the US - as Is.13, 21, 47; Jer. 50, 51) occurs just prior to the day of the Lord.

Response:   Thanks for the e-mail. As to your point on the length of the Church Age, you are quite right to point out that 2nd Peter 3:8 does not specify a 2,000 year length for the Church Age - no passage does (else it would be more commonly taught). The difference between the correlative adverbs hos and kathos, however, is negligible in Greek (apart from the fact that kathos is strictly comparative whereas hos may bear a variety of other meanings) - they are synonyms. So your point about "exactness" or lack thereof would be valid for either word. However, the seven Genesis days are precise, and the chronology which I believe the Bible exhibits elsewhere is likewise precise (as far as it is possible to chart these things), begging the question of whether or not the millennial days ought not also to be equally precise (that is certainly my view).

Incidentally, it has recently come to my attention that the "six days" mentioned prior to the transfiguration are likely to be understood in this same, figurative sense, being likewise meant to give us an indication of the length of human history before the Messiah returns (Matt.17:1).(1) Just as the transfiguration which prefigures the Second Advent comes "after (24 hour) days" and marks the beginning of the "seventh day", so the Second Advent itself comes six (millennial) days and marks the beginning of the seventh millennial day or Millennium (the prefiguring of which in Matt.17:1 happened after the six literal days mentioned). In my view, this is the best way to explain why Matthew has given this very specific point about the transfiguration's occurring "after six days".

Sadly, I do agree with you on your identification of Babylon with the U.S. (see Coming Tribulation part 3B, section II.1.c.6: "Probable Identification of the Future 'Mystery Babylon'"). However, the distinction between an economic and a religious Babylon (or even also a political one), is not something I find in scripture. This view, as I can best chronicle it, grew out of the desire to explain how antichrist could destroy what seems to be his own country. But, indeed, this destruction of his own people is prophesied in the Old Testament too (e.g., Is.14:20).

As to Elijah's return (and Moses' as well), this is another widely misunderstood passage. Everything in Revelation chapter 11:1-14 occurs during the first half of the Tribulation (the seventh trumpet which announces the beginning of the Great Tribulation does not sound until verse 15) - with the exception of the prediction of gentile control of Jerusalem (the forty-two months). Antichrist dominates the middle east (and to a greater or lesser extent the world) from the mid-point of the Tribulation onwards, the campaigns of Daniel chapter eleven all playing themselves out during the first half. Here is how I translate the verses in question (see Coming Tribulation part 3A, section V: "The Two Witnesses"):

And a reed was given to me like unto a measuring rod, [with the one who gave it to me] saying, "Get up and measure the temple of God and the altar, and [count] the worshipers within it[s precincts]. But exclude this inner court and do not measure it. For it has been handed over to the gentiles, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months" (i.e., during the Great Tribulation which will begin after the events of chapter 11:1-14). For (lit. "and") I shall give (i.e., before that time) to my two witnesses [authority], and they shall prophesy dressed in sackcloth for 1,260 days (i.e., during the entire first half of the Tribulation). Revelation 11:1-3

Daniel makes it very clear that it is in the middle of the Tribulation that antichrist establishes himself in Jerusalem (Dan.9:27; 11:45 plus 12:1). That is when antichrist is "revealed" (cf. 2Thes.2:1-12). This gets us to your point on the Day of the Lord. It is also clear from the context of 2nd Thessalonians chapter two that Paul has in mind the resurrection first and foremost in his discussion of antichrist. His main purpose is to demonstrate that the resurrection will not take place until our Lord's return, "the Day of the Lord". That "Day" is very flexibly used in scripture. We have just stipulated that, for God, a day is like a thousand years (i.e., a millennial day), so that the great day of judgment, the day of Christ's return, His Second Advent, may include not only the literal day of His return, but the entire millennial day of one thousand years that follows. The other point which complicates the interpretation of these things is that in Old Testament usage, the judgments associated with that "day" are often considered part of the "day" itself (since they herald it). And since the entire Tribulation is a period of divine judgment, the entire Tribulation can and often is included in the meaning of the phrase "the Day of the Lord" (see The Coming Tribulation: Part 1, section IV.1.b, "The Day of the Lord Paradigm"). Paul's point in 2nd Thessalonians is to place the resurrection after the entire Tribulation (not to specifically date the beginning of "the Day").

Finally, as to the timing of the destruction of Babylon, Revelation 16:17 places it after the call to assemble for Armageddon (i.e., towards the end of the Tribulation), and Revelation 17:12-18 follows this same chronology.

Please also see:  "The Day of the Lord II"

Thank you for your interest and for your labor in the Lord and in His Word of truth.

In Him,

Bob Luginbill

Note 1:  In Luke 9:28 "eight days later" gives an inclusive count of the same time period; that is to say, from Monday to Monday is eight days if both Mondays are counted, but it may also be considered "after six days" if the intervening period of Tuesday through Sunday is being emphasized.  This sort of inclusive counting is a very common phenomenon is the chronological reckoning of the ancient world. The main point is that in both instances the transfiguration happens "on the seventh day" which represents Christ's return at the conclusion of six millennial day.

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