• Russia is deadlocked with the West over Ukraine, while its fighter planes cross into British airspace;
• The Islamic State continues its macabre display on social media of images of decapitated and caged prisoners;
• Eastern Libya, NE Nigeria, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq are battling terrorist groups who are occupying their territory;
• China marches to military and economic superpower-hood;
• The Eurozone and the United States continue to experience ballooning debt.
These developments sound frightening, perhaps even apocalyptic.
Is our post-World War II world more unstable than ever?
Is the international order fraying at the seams?
Could we be entering the period the Bible calls ‘the last days?’
To understand the end-times, we need a key. And that key is a ‘key-term?’ What is it?
‘The Day of the Lord’
This phrase is used in both Old and New Testament. It is used 23 times in Scripture.
Note that these references occur in books that are primarily prophetic, or have a strong prophetic content.
Piecing together the content of these Bible passages, it appears that ‘The Day of the Lord’ is not a mere 24 calendar day. Instead, it marks the transition from the ‘day of human government’ to the ‘day of divine government,’ when the ‘kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord & Christ’ (Revelation 11:15). After man has had ‘his day’ on earth, God will begin to have His.
The Day of Lord in Sections
Evening: Using the Hebraic formula of ‘evening and the morning were the first day’ (Genesis 1:5), the ‘Day of the Lord’ begins with the evening and dark night of the great tribulation period. Zephaniah 1:15 describes it as ‘That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness.’ Jesus calls it the worse period of trouble imaginable and never again to be repeated (Matthew 24:21).
Dawn: After the dark night comes the dawning of a new day - God’s day. What breaks the darkness? The second coming of Jesus Christ. Again, in Matthew 24:29-31 Jesus describes the period just before His return: ‘The sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, stars shall fall from heaven and the power of the heavens shall be shaken.’ When things get to their absolute darkest, the sun/Son shines brightest: at this point, Jesus Christ, light of the world (John 8:12) comes to earth and a new day dawns.
Daytime: Once Christ returns, He commences His 1,000 year reign on earth, known as ‘The Millennium.’ While the phrase ‘1,000 years’ is only mentioned in Revelation 20, God’s earthly kingdom is spoken of frequently in both testaments.
SUMMARY OF THE DAY OF THE LORD - EVENING/MORNING :
Evening & Night: The Great Tribulation;
The Dawn & Morning: The Second Coming of Jesus Christ;
Daytime: The Millennial Reign of Christ on earth.
The Key Prophetic Book
No book in the Bible uses the phrase ‘The Day of the Lord’ more than the Old Testament Book of Joel. Five times in 3 chapters (Joel 1:15; 2:1, 11, 31; 3:14), Joel explicitly uses the phrase ‘Day of the Lord.’ Indeed, this is the theme of the book. If you want greater detail about this important transitional period in human history, you can’t go past Joel. Things you will learn include:
1. Chapter One: A locust plague and drought strike the Kingdom of Judah in the 9th Century BC; it is a precursor to the ultimate end-time judgment on the entire world;
2. Chapter Two: This chapter goes from the valley bottom to the mountain top. First, is the horrifying end-time invasion of a rebellious, impenitent world as mirrored in Revelation 9 (one of the most disturbing chapters in the Bible - the description is enough to give you a sleepless night!). Then, God calls His people to ‘sanctify a fast,’ ‘call a solemn assembly,’ and gather the people. A most amazing thing happens: the people go from reproach to redemption, from fear to fearlessness, from loss to restoration. If that is not all, God offers a universal outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Joel 2 gives us an end-time blueprint how to turn impending disaster into revival.
3. Chapter Three: God gathers the nations to the Valley of Jehoshaphat to judge them. Like Matthew 24, there will be the darkening of sun moon, stars (Joel 3:15) before God comes to and roars from Zion. From there He will dwell as king over all the earth.
Don’t be afraid of Bible prophecy: it is a light that shines in a dark place (II Peter 1:19), wakes up the sleepers and sobers up the drunkards (I Thessalonians 5:6-9); gives comfort to the afflicted (II Corinthians 1:3-4), provides an incentive for evangelism, helps set priorities, and instills confidence that the coming of the Lord draws nigh (Luke 21:28).
You have been given a key to the end-times. Take it, use it, and run with it.
The Road Ahead is a blog from the ministry of Teach All Nations that offers insights on the Bible, world trends, current events, and victorious living from a Biblical worldview. If you want to receive regular updates on these topics, register your email at: http://tan.org.au/contact_us/index.asp
 References to the ‘Day of the Lord’ include: Isaiah 2:12; 13:6, 9; Jeremiah 46:10; Ezekiel 13:5; 30:3; Amos 5:18, 20; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7, 14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi 4:5; Acts 2:20; I Corinthians 5:5; II Corinthians 1:14; I Thessalonians 5:2; II Peter 3:10. There are 5 more references, all found in one book and referred to elsewhere in this blog.