|Topical Bible Study||October 1961|
God’s Plan for Man—Lesson XIII
The Day of the Lord
THE Bible uses the expression, “day of the Lord,” to denote that period in the divine plan when the hand of God is manifested in the affairs of men for the blessing of the people. It is in contrast to the long nighttime of ignorance and weeping during which weeping has been largely unrestrained. While the expression, “day of the Lord” and others of similar import refer in a general way to the entire thousand years of the reign of Christ, it is frequently used with reference to the early part of Christ’s second presence during which Satan’s world, or social order, is being destroyed.—I Thess. 5:2,3; II Pet. 3:10
The work of Christ in setting aside Satan’s social order is described as being accomplished during “the days of the Son of Man.” (Luke 17:26,27) It is the “day” during which Jesus, “the Son of Man,” is present, the crumbling of the institutions of the earth being among the signs that he has returned.
“The day of the Lord” is also foretold in the Old Testament, where it is symbolically described as one of clouds and darkness, denoting trouble. (Joe1 2:1,2) Daniel described this “day” as “the time of the end” in which there would be a great “time of trouble.”—Dan. 12:1,4
This same period of national and international trouble which denotes Satan’s world is also described in the Bible as the day of “God’s vengeance.” (Isa. 34:1-8; Jer. 25:32,33) During this period all the sinful and selfish institutions of men, dominated by Satan, are to be destroyed, whereas heretofore these have been allowed to flourish.
During this “day” selfish human authority throughout the earth will be replaced by divine authority in the hands of Christ. (Rev. 11:15,17,18) The Bible reveals that this results in the nations becoming angry, leading to a time of great tribulation foretold by Jesus.—Matt. 24:21,22
The Bible also uses the expression “last days” with reference to the time during which the kingdom of Christ is established and reigning. This kingdom is likened to a great mountain which has a dominating position over all other “mountains” and “hills,” symbolic of the “kingdoms of this world.” The Bible shows that the people recognize the authority of Christ’s kingdom, and through obedience to its laws find peace and security.—Micah 4:1-4
All evil will not have been destroyed until the closing years of “the day of the Lord” For this reason the Bible describes this “day” as one which is partly “light” and partly “dark,” and not becoming fully “light” until the “evening.”—Zech. 14:7
While it is during the early part of “the day of the Lord” that the selfish governmental institutions of men are destroyed in a time of national and international trouble, the work of destroying evil will continue throughout this entire “day” of a thousand years. Finally all “enemies” will have been destroyed.—I Cor. 15:25,26
In the study of prophecy it is essential to realize that a “day” frequently stands for a long period of time. The proper answers to the following questions will reveal this.
What is “the day of the Lord” referred to in the prophecies of the Bible, and how long is it?
What does the Bible mean by “the days of the Son of Man”?
How did the Prophet Joel and the Prophet Daniel describe “the day of the Lord”?
What is the day of “God’s vengeance”? Explain what will be accomplished during this prophetic “day.”
What are the “last days” mentioned in the prophecies, and what takes place during these “days”?
How did the Prophet Zechariah describe “the day of the Lord”?
How long will the work of destroying evil continue?
“The Battle of Armageddon,” pages 11-20.
SUMMARY OF IMPORTANT THOUGHTS
“The Day of the Lord” is the time during which all evil is destroyed, and the righteous will of God is established throughout the earth. To begin with, it is a time of “thick darkness,” God’s “day of vengeance.” To close with, it will be a time of “light.”